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Inkscapes

Posted by on Aug 18, 2019 in front page slider | 0 comments

Inkscapes

Inkscapes Background The self, “who I am” is a beautiful and complex entity. “Who I am” is fluid, changing, growing and rich – hard to pin down to one description, or even a couple of definitions and categories. Therefore if I tell you that I am an artist, it is a scary and limiting thing, that I almost cannot agree to. I don’t sell my art works for a living, or do performances for entertainment. In general that is the popular definition of an artist “out there”. I have taught many people for the past year that practising creativity is not the same as “being an artist”. Creativity is an energy, a way of being, a way to make sense and create order out of chaos, a human necessity of expressing your “self/Self” in the world. Often the end-products – art pieces if you will – made during this flow of expression have a life of their own: it is work born from an alchemical process where medium and time interrelated with person, history, symbol and will, in an almost magical way (definitely not easily understood or described by logical left brain concepts). They want to be seen and witnessed, they want to tell their stories, they want to be heard. I often asked people on the workshop to ‘ask your poem if it wants to be heard’ before deciding to share a poem. These inkscapes wants to be seen. We tell ourselves different stories about ourselves, and today I want to share with you this story: I have always made sense of my world through drawing, painting and creating… on the black board in my room, at my aunt’s art class once a week, and in the sand pit next to the washing line. Creating was my go-to for being balanced and staying sane in this rough journey of becoming a real human. I pressed my nose against the art class window right through high school. The art teacher could not understand why I didn’t take art. Now I can: the only legitimate course of study from my cultural background was in science and maths – in which I was, thank goodness, good enough. Art! Was not a real pursuit for one’s life! But I kept drawing – even if it was only my own feet during boring exam preps. I kept visiting art galleries, supporting other artists. Until I bought Julia Cameron’s book The Artist Way in 2000 – I remember well. After my first child was born. After I built up a career as a psychotherapist. I could reclaim my Inner artist, my creative side. I had the privilege to share these delightful principles with others over the past ten years. Over the years I have dappled with many art media – Conte (a hardish soft pastel) being my first love. Inkscapes are a whole new medium that surprised me utterly with its beauty and small magnificence. A big thanks to Michael Collins for loving it with me initially, and for Anneke, my dear friend also falling in love with it.  Also, this project has been stepped up to the next level by the artistic eye and effort of Andreas Kahlau from Silvertone printing.  As well as the precise dedication and super speed of Bernie the Framer – shaking his head, but delivering on the goods of the pedantic artist! Such is the magic of true creativity – much more than expected, and touching places you find it difficult to have words for! You too can be co-opted in the creative process and follow your heart!   Herewith the formal write-up describing Inkscapes for a prestigious art competition (the formal version!) Eleen Polson Biography Eleen Polson is a psychologist with specialisations in Expressive Arts Therapy. Art and psychological aspects of the creative process inform her personal and professional life. Expressive Arts Therapy focuses on combining different art forms to express emotions and experiences for healing and personal development. Eleen has personally experienced the healing power of art, as well as facilitated many therapeutic art processes for...

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Non violent communication – the work of Marshall Rosenberg

Posted by on May 31, 2017 in front page slider | 0 comments

Non violent communication – the work of Marshall Rosenberg

I have found the work of Marshall Rosenberg very inspiring.  It challenged me to really look at my thinking and talking and my own role in creating peace in the world.  With the support of the Gauteng NVC group we learn this new language together. For more by Marshall himself, view his numerous workshops on you-tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwHBD7Ihy5U   I wrote a reflection in January 2017 in Afrikaans below. ‘n Stuk geskryf vir SES (Sentrum vir Eietydse Spiritualiteit) in Januarie 2017. Oor die aanleer van ‘n nuwe taal wat kan lei tot ‘n hele nuwe manier van wees. ‘n Refleksie oor Marshall Rosenberg se lewenswerk: Nie-geweldadige kommunikasie (Non-voilent Communication, NVC) Deur Eleen Polson, Januarie 2017  Inleiding Ek het vrede gemaak met die feit dat ek altyd ‘n student gaan wees. Hoe langer ek leef, hoe meer leer ek en hoe meer besef ek hoe min ek eintlik weet. Vandat ek my vooropgestelde idee dat ek eintlik ‘behoort te weet’ opgegee het, en die vrees vir die onkunde bevriend het, is dit makliker. Nou ontvou my lewe as ‘n opwindende, soms angswekkend, soms ekstatiese reis. My nuutste ontdekking slaan my asem weg in die trefkrag wat dit het. Dit is gelyktydig elegant en eenvoudig asook fenomenaal moeilik en uitdagend. Pure Zen. Wat dit so kragtig maak, is dat die essensiële boodskap daarvan besonder tydig is in ons ongelukkige wêreld. My wonderlike nuwe mentor is Marshall Rosenberg (1934-2015) en sy nie-geweldadige kommunikasie (Nonviolent Coomunication, NVC). Kommunikasie in ons samelewing Ons is nooit geleer om te kommunikeer nie. Dit was nie ‘n skool-vak nie, en op universiteit het Kommunikasiekunde nie juis gegaan oor hoe om self met mense te kommunikeer nie. Dit was voor dit in die vak plek gemaak het vir ander wetenskappe, soos sosiologie, sielkunde en antropologie. Ons kommunikasie vaardighede het ons aste ware saam met moedersmelk ingekry, en is deur ons samelewing voorgeskryf. Hierdie samelewing van ons is gebaseer op ‘n hiërargiese struktuur wat al die laaste 8000 jaar in plek is, ongeveer toe mense in groot groepe begin saam leef het in die landbou-era. Daar was ‘n koning, hoofman, tsaar of ‘n dergelik amp wat outoriteit moes afdwing. Dit was nodig dat onderdane nie te veel vir hulself dink nie. Die gewone burger of stamlid is ekstern gemotiveer en moes aan reëls – wat reg en verkeerd uitgewys het – voldoen om in te pas en die sisteem te laat werk. Dit het mettertyd gelei tot die paradigma waarin ons vandag steeds funksioneer waar elke persoon as reg of verkeerd geklassifiseer word; alle gedrag kan geëvalueer word volgens ‘n gemeenskaplike eksterne maatstaf. Volgens Marshall Rosenberg (2012, 2015) kan hierdie ingesteldheid nie anders as tot geweld te lei nie: as ek reg is, moet jy verkeerd wees, en ek sal my punt beveg of verdedig. Ek sal myself aanval en straf as ek myself as verkeerd beoordeel. Ons is die hele tyd besig om ons eie egos te beskerm en is in ‘n konstante staat van verdediging – of die ‘ons’ nou ‘n individu, ‘n groep mense of a soewereine staat is. Straf, geweld en beloning is geregverdig in hierdie scenario en ons kinders word van kleins af geleer om met straf en beloning gemotiveer te word. “Hy vra vir ‘n pak-slae.” is bekend in meeste families. Om nie eens te praat van geweld as vermaak en ontspanning nie: van die Blou bulle wat die Stormers pak, tot reekse wat in familie tyd op TV wys en waar reg en verkeerd aan die orde van die dag is. Die taal wat ontwikkel rondom hierdie manier van dink en doen, is staties, beskrywend en kategoriserend: “Sy is…, Ons is….” As ons nog ‘n “altyd” of “nooit” kan bysit, voel ons soveel meer geregverdig in die opinie en posisie wat heeltyd van ons vereis word. In sielkunde het ek geleer dat stereotipering “normaal” is en ‘n strategie vir oorlewing in ons komplekse samelewing. Dit kan moontlik al die geweld begin verklaar, omdat ons dit as normaal aanvaar. Maar is daar iets anders? Kan ons anders optree? Alhoewel my oë oopgegaan het vir...

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Creative Learning 4 Life

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in front page slider | 0 comments

Creative Learning 4 Life

                  Creative Learning 4 Life is a expressive arts therapy initiative to foster creativity in schools. It uses Expressive arts therapy and the specific Creative Connection process. Expressive arts is a collective term for all creative expressions, including drama, dance, creative writing, singing, music making, visual art and craft. Expressive arts therapy aims to integrate these different expressions into therapy and personal development. The process of participation in expressive arts aims to allow and integrate different parts of the self. By focusing on the doing in a non-judgmental space, release of emotions and stress is achieved, and insight and integration are gained. Expressive arts therapy has its roots in art therapy, music therapy, psychodrama, process work, creative writing and mindfulness training. Creative Connection® is a specific expressive arts therapy tool defined by Prof Natalie Rogers. It integrates two or more forms of art expression in a supportive setting to help clients to experience and express their feelings, and to facilitate integration. The focus is on the process of creating and not on the end-product or the performance. Music and movement are combined with visual art, clay work, creative writing, singing and/or contemplation. Visit the Creative Learning 4 Life web-site for more information on courses and offerings. Dates and bookings can be done here:  Calendar and Bookings We also have a FACEBOOK PAGE with some photos and interesting links to browse.  ...

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Trauma release exercises

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 in front page slider | 0 comments

Trauma release exercises

Read an article in Afrikaans featured in the Rooi Rose of April 2017 on the work of Eleen Polson with TRE here:  Trauma & TRE Artikel Rooi Rose April 2017   What is TRE®? TRE® is an innovative series of exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. It provides an immediate experience of relaxation. TRE® frees us up to meet life’s challenges with greater skill and ease. Best of all, our bodies do the work; we often get relief without needing to process or retell our story.   Why do TRE®? Whenever we feel helpless in a situation, we experience a form of trauma. The body stores overwhelming emotions, stress and tension on a cellular level in muscular patterns to deal with at a later stage. It can be stored for years and become habits for survival. The body’s natural ability to release stress is a shaking reflex, seen in the animal kingdom. It has been suppressed by our need for control and societal expectations. The part of our brain (the sympathetic nervous system) that is responsible to keep us safe through freeze, fight or flight actions, are overtaxed in our stressful society. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for rest, relaxation and restoration. When the body is out of balance there can be an increase in sickness, anxiety, depression and burn out. A physiological balancing is necessary and through gentle physical techniques a healthy balance is restored and optimized conditions are created for healing to occur naturally. An immediate effect of relaxation is reported after tremoring.   Background: TRE® was developed by Dr David Bercelli after working in war torn areas where he noticed the body’s natural ability to release tension through an instinctive tremor mechanism. He developed it as a self-help technique that deliberately activates our bodies’ release mechanism in a safe and controlled way. Session by session, these tremors help to release the build up of muscular tension patterns accumulated in our body during stressful and traumatic life experiences. TRE® is practised in over 30 countries.   What participants reported: “I have found the process of TRE with Eleen Polson a truly remarkable experience. It left me feeling completely calm and composed. That night I slept as I had never slept before – feeling totally nurtured and protected.” – Clare Hedding, victim of armed robbery, January 2017 “TRE created change in me. I could reconnect with my true self again. I am on the road to reclaim my fullest functioning and it is beyond expectations!” – Santie Fourie, in February 2017, after MVA in 2011 Where and when: Individual and family group sessions:  To be arranged with Eleen Polson (0722121719)  at her practice in Clydesdale, Pretoria. Six sessions are recommended. Cost:   Standard psychology rates apply, it can be claimed from the medical aid if psychotherapeutic benefits are available. 20 % Discount available for cash payments of 6 sessions (see under Contact Page for costs).     Benefits of doing TRE®: Handle Worry & Anxiety Better Handle Workplace Stress Better Less Relationship Conflict More Energy & Endurance Increased Flexibility Reduced Muscle Pain Reduced Body Tension Printable version (2017):     Interesting links to more TRE information to be found on...

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Articles

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in front page slider | 0 comments

Articles

Read the article in Rooi Rose on Trauma and TRE work with Eleen Polson (April 2017, Afrikaans) here: Trauma-TRE-Artikel-Rooi-Rose-April-2017.pdf An Article in Odyssey about Expressive Arts Therapy:  Odyssey article Read about the early beginnings of Expressive Arts Therapy workshops in Rooi Rose 2010:            ...

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Coping with Trauma

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in front page slider | 0 comments

Coping with Trauma

The Chinese character for crisis is a combination of two words: danger and opportunity.  People who fully engage in recovery from trauma discover unexpected benefits. As they gradually heal their wounds, survivors find that they are also developing inner strength, compassion for others, increasing self-awareness, and often the most surprising, a greater ability to experience joy and serenity than ever before.   What is trauma and how does it work? The definition of trauma according to the American Psychological Association (APA): “Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. Psychologists can help these individuals find constructive ways of managing their emotions.” A traumatic event may be any unexpected life event perceived as negative and threatening, leaving the individual feeling helpless or out of control. Often one traumatic event recalls past traumatic experiences, and a small or insignificant event may trigger emotional reactions seemingly out of proportion to the event. Physical and emotional reactions to a traumatic event are normal; they are the body’s way of ensuring the person’s survival. The areas of the brain that are designed to activate during crises are part of the automatic system that are beyond the conscious control of the individual.  Although they produce necessary life-saving reactions, the individual who experiences these stressful reactions may feel increasingly helpless after trauma. Understanding responses to distressing events can help you cope effectively with your feelings, thoughts and behaviours along the path to recovery. A good article entitled Recovering emotionally from disaster by American Psychological Association (APA) spells out the various personal reactions to trauma: http://apa.org/helpcenter/recovering-disasters.aspx   How therapy can help after trauma: “Central to the experience of trauma is helplessness, isolation and the loss of power and control. The guiding principles of trauma recovery are the restoration of safety and empowerment. Recovery does not necessarily mean complete freedom from post traumatic effects but generally it is the ability to live in the present without being overwhelmed by the thoughts and feelings of the past”  (http://trauma-recovery.ca). Trauma Debriefing in Groups consists primarily of making individuals aware of the normal effect of trauma on their bodies, emotions and general functioning. Through psycho-education and personal awareness training they are encouraged to allow and accept the natural responses to trauma that will culminate in reintegration and healing over time. Knowing when the process is stuck and further professional help is needed, is empowering. The group context creates mutual support and counters the feeling of being isolated and helpless.  The network of colleagues and co-workers serves an important purpose: relationships have been built over time and are a source of support in times of stress, when many people find it difficult to discuss their experiences and emotions with people close to them. During Trauma Debriefing in Groups the psychologist facilitates a safe and healing conversation during which she gives members information and the tools they need to deal with stress or trauma – both on personal and group level. An interesting YouTube video about the effects of trauma on the body: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byQBP7fq5vQ From David Baldwin’s Trauma Information Pages (http://www.trauma-pages.com/s/t-facts.php):   Helpful Coping Strategies mobilize a support system — reach out and connect with others, especially those who may have shared the stressful event talk about the traumatic experience with empathic listeners cry hard exercise like jogging, aerobics, bicycling, walking relaxation exercise like yoga, stretching, massage humor prayer and/or meditation hot baths music and art maintain balanced diet and sleep cycle as much as possible avoid over-using stimulants like caffeine, sugar, or nicotine commitment to something personally meaningful and important every day hug those you love, pets included eat warm turkey, boiled onions, baked potatoes, cream-based soups — these are tryptophane activators, which help you feel tired but good (like after Thanksgiving dinner) make proactive responses toward personal and community safety — organize or...

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