It’s just what I have been looking for – but didn’t think it existed!
The Life Art Course is an integrated course drawing from the principles of the Life/Art Process® and the 12 Steps. The Life/Art Process® combines movement, dance, visual art and creative writing to access the innate wisdom of the body and the transformative power of the imagination.
The Life Art Course has run in Brighton for the past two years, specifically supporting women in recovery. We hope to run a two day course in London in the autumn of 2017 for all genders. We also hope to run the full length course (10 weeks) in Brighton in 2018 in both the spring and autumn.
I appreciate that I can draw more beautifully than I realised, that I can cry with people around without any disasters happening to me, and that I can feel safe and trust in a group.
I’ve learnt that women are important for my recovery. My body can help me in my recovery, it doesn’t have to be the enemy. Drawing movement and writing are great tools for expressing emotion and working things through.
One important reminder I had is that I don’t need to be ‘an artist’/ ‘good at drawing’ in order to express on paper with colour.
This course has been specifically designed to support people who are in 12 Step recovery (we broadly conceptualise addiction recovery to include codependency, eating disorders, and Al Anon members as well as those in drug and alcohol recovery). The focus is on deepening the participants understanding and experience of the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps through an embodied creative process.
Addiction/s can develop as a way to manage emotional difficulties or painful life events. As such, beginning the process of recovery through abstinence and learning new behaviours we may be faced with overwhelming feelings. The Life Art Process can provide a strong container for these difficult feelings, thoughts and memories. It can also offer a safe place to recognise and unblock emotions, thus allowing pain to be released in the body and soothe the mind. Instead of being addicted to behaviours and destructive patterns, we can now use the arts as a way to feel alive and to bring inspiration and vibrancy to our lives in a healthy and productive way. The arts can bring colour to recovering from the often dark and bleak experience of being caught in the cycle of addiction.
I appreciate that I am allowed to express myself without fear of judgement. That I am allowed to be still and to feel.
Benefits of practising the Life Art Process in recovery from addiction include:
• Moments of clarity in the midst of troubles or difficulty.
• Tools for dealing with grief, loss and remorse.
• The opportunity for people to experience themselves more fully through 3 levels of awareness – mental, emotional, physical.
• Improved quality of life by providing the opportunity for play and sensory awareness.
• Deepens connection between people, opening up the empathetic field of resonance between individuals and community.
• Helps people to come out of hiding, secrecy, shame and guilt.
• Teaches effective communication skills and creative problem solving.
• Reduces stress by providing physical, emotional and mental management tools.
• General increased sense of health and wellbeing.
We work from the idea that creative collaboration can bring deep connection, satisfaction and trust, as with sharing in 12 step fellowships. For being witnessed in a safe non-judgemental environment can be deeply healing. We also deliver guided body awareness techniques and simple self-care tools, for developing self -awareness can improve physical and emotional well-being, enhance creativity, as well as improving communication and relationships.
The course consists of 12 sessions that run over 8 weeks. Each session will focus on the specific spiritual principle of each step. The course will culminate in a performance ritual for the participants to show their personal and collective journeys.
The Life/Art Process® originated in the 1950’s from the work of Anna Halprin. Anna was amongst the first pioneers in the contemporary Western world to use dance as a healing and transformative art. In the 1970’s, Daria Halprin further developed the artistic and therapeutic aspects of this work and articulated the methodology that is currently delivered in the courses. For more information please see http://www.tamalpa-uk.org/ and http://www.tamalpa.org/
This has been one of the most wonderful things I have ever attended. It helped me to move and shift things that I was stuck with, like self care and asking for help.
Our courses are facilitated by Lauren Dowse. She is a creative, committed and sensitive facilitator. Lauren understands the transformative power of this work from her own experience in recovery and having worked as a professional dancer and performer for twenty years. Lauren has taught creative movement classes and workshops in many settings including, The Royal Shakespeare Co and at the University of Brighton.