sperling Mike Sperling

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Art Therapy Interview: Amy Maricle

‘I love when conversations and energy just flow. Not forced. Not coerced. Just present.’ – Dau Voire A few weeks back I had the pleasure of having artist and art therapist Amy Maricle over for an artist’s date. We spent the day up in my studio talking about art, art therapy, our careers so far,...
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Art Therapy Podcast

‘A painting is never finished – it simply stops in interesting places.’  ~ Paul Gardner Like the painting that ‘simply stops in interesting places,’ my recent artist’s date and afternoon of conversation with art therapist Amy Maricle of Foxboro Art Therapy could have kept going on without ever feeling finished. There is just so much...
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Removing Barriers in the Studio

A glimpse of my growing studio inspiration wall ‘Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.’ ~ Rumi This Rumi quote hangs to the right of the painting easel in my new studio. It’s one of my favorite...
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The Art of Tantrums

‘Hungry Ghost II’ ~ Sara Roizen   “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” ~ Winston Churchill I’m typing this as my crying and flailing (almost) 2 year old throws the fourth tantrum in a row this morning. I’m not even halfway through my cup of coffee. I remember when he was an infant other...
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Inspiration vs. Stagnation

photo: Sara Roizen “If I stay long enough in the studio, just stay with the work even if it doesn’t feel great or seem satisfying or directional or conclusive, if I just stay to tend and garden, then my mind gradually yields control to the more automatic labor of painting, and with that comes a...
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The Body in Art

Body silhouette example ~ Sara Roizen ‘Each body has it’s art…’ ~ Gwendolyn Brooks A few months ago during our Happiness Art Therapy Group with veterans we used a session to explore mind/body connection. I believe that art therapy automatically lends itself to the physical and bodily realm; the tactile exploration of art materials and...
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Mandala Journal Evolution

1/29/14 mandala pages ~ Sara Roizen 6/7/14 mandala page ~ Sara Roizen   “My mandalas were cryptograms concerning the state of the self which was presented to me anew each day…I guarded them like precious pearls….It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the center. It is the exponent of all paths. It...
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Life Without an Eraser, (or Why I Love Woodburning)

  Sara Roizen ~ ‘The Family” ~ Woodburning   “Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”       – John Gardner I don’t remember when I first picked up a woodburning tool. It was probably between high school and college. Perhaps I was strolling through an art store and stumbled across the pyrography section...
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Leaves On A Stream

“Japanese Garden” ~ acrylic on wood ~ 36″ x 65″ ~ Sara Roizen I have often found it useful to offer a short guided visualization or breathing practice before my art therapy groups. In the beginning I offered these exercises a bit timidly, wondering how my clients would react to engaging in some quiet time....
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Resist(ance) & Watercolor

oil pastel & watercolor ~ Sara Roizen  “It’s easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” ~ Leonardo Da Vinci It was pouring rain as I headed deep into Brooklyn to lead one of my art therapy groups at a residential building for adults living with chronic mental illness. It seemed fitting that...
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Happiness Group & The Art of Forgiveness

Beginning a forgiveness box with a quote To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. ~ Lewis B. Smedes The holidays tend to bring up complex feelings for many people. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, New Years, and other holidays seem to blend together during this time of year and...
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Breathing Space Collaboration ~ With Veterans

What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.                    ~ John Updike CollaborationI have been collaborating with another therapist for the past number of weeks and providing art therapy groups for veterans living in supportive housing. One of these groups is a...
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Feeding Your Demons (some art)

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” (Carl Jung)   ‘Kali Dance’ acrylic & mixed media on canvas Sara Roizen For those of you familiar with the movie ‘Labyrinth’ (1986) by Jim Henson it’s a wonderful story and rich with relevant metaphors. It was one of...
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Transforming Life’s Messes

  Barn’s burnt down – now I can see the moon.  ~ Mizuta Masahide Debris Mandala It’s been an interesting (read: stressful) week here in our apartment. The entire roof of our building was being replaced, despite the forecast calling for thunderstorms. The baby was napping and I was prepping my lunch when water started pouring in...
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Mandala Journaling (When Words Escape Me)

first pages of my mandala journal ~ Sara Roizen “Come out of the circle of time
.      And into the circle of love.”        – Rumi I started a small mandala journal as a way to continue making art in the very early days of being a new mom. Now, 6 months...
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Connecting With Mandalas

Esther’s Tattoo My original mandala drawing I wanted to share a very cool story and an example of how art can connect us all, even from across the ocean… Almost a year ago a woman named Esther from the Netherlands emailed me after finding this blog while she was looking for mandala inspiration for a...
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Art Therapy Perspectives Interview

“Dreaming of Hokusai” Sara Roizen I’m excited to share that I was recently interviewed on the blog Art Therapy Perspectives by Victoria Scarborough.  Victoria is an art therapist, and her blog is devoted to interviewing other creative arts therapists from around the world to share their experiences and provide readers with new insight into the field. The...
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More Artist Trading Cards in Progress

Artist Trading Card ~ Sara Roizen ~ 2013 Artist Trading Card ~ Sara Roizen ~ 2013 I’m working with a variety of materials, from pen and ink, to watercolor, collage, paint, and the incorporation of found objects. Artist Trading Card ~ Sara Roizen ~ 2013 I’m noticing that I am intuitively drawn to nature-based imagery...
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Artist Trading Cards (ATC’s) & Building Community

Getting started on some ATC’s! “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol It’s hard to believe that 6 months have flown by since the 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 workshops began. I was thrilled to be one of the 6 art therapist instructors as well as a participant...
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Update: Mind full or Mindful Image…Artist Mystery Solved!

Art: Henck van Bilsen Way back in June 2011I posted a wonderful image that I had found while exploring the topic of mindfulness.  Mind full or Mindful? The only problem was that I could not find the artist! I received many emails from my blog readers asking if I knew the creator of this illustration....
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The Art (Therapy) of Collage

The creation of an art collage from the soul is an inner journey that allows your soul to speak to you. Your soul’s voice can be heard through the images, feelings and insights that surface…                  ~ Kathleen Carrillo Collage as an art therapy technique is a versatile,...
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Top 100 News!

After being nominated a few weeks ago, I just found out that Art Therapy Spot blog was included in the current Top 100 Counseling Resources on the Web here: Masters in Counseling: Top 100 Counseling Resources on the Web I’m thrilled to be a part of this list and even more excited that creative arts...
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If You’re Feeling Blue…

I often post inspirational quotes about art, creativity, and life in general on my Art Therapy Spot Facebook page. Over the past few months I’ve seen how many people seem to enjoy the little inspirational reminders every few days and it always puts a smile on my face to see these quotes being shared with others. Part...
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Textural Abstract Landscapes

One of the finished textural pieces: sand, sea glass, shells, molding paste, & paint Last week I led an art workshop for a fantastic group of teens from Temple Shaaray Tefila in NYC. These teens are participating in a program called Gateways and Tents, which is a partnership between Shaaray Tefila and Ohel Avraham –...
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The Art of Travel

Sainte Chapelle stained glass windows ~ Photo: Sara Roizen One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.   Henry Miller My husband and I just returned from a week and a half adventure in Paris and Amsterdam. I had been to both places before a number of years ago,...
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My Article in BeInkandescent Magazine

“Fading Woman” Sara Roizen I’m very excited to share that I recently wrote an article called How Art Becomes Therapy, about my personal path as an artist and art therapist for a wonderful e-zine called BeInkandescent. This current June issue is called The Business of Healing Yourself and features my article along with a number of other...
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Non-Dominant Hand Art

Sun Mandala ~ Sara Roizen About a week ago I had surgery on my right (dominant) hand to repair a torn tendon. It was the first surgery I’ve had, and needless to say my anxiety was high at times. There was also the fear surrounding my right hand being  ‘out of commission’ for about a...
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The Little Moments

Photo: Sara Roizen “The little things? The little moments?   They aren’t little.”   – Jon Kabat-Zinn                                         Today on the 5 train (headed to the Bronx) a man with an orange sharpie and a pad of paper...
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6 Degrees of Creativity 2: On Sale Now!

Just a reminder that  6 Degrees of Creativity 2  is now on sale!  It will be on sale  April 1st – June 30th 2012 It is only $49  for all 6 workshops! Follow the link below for more information and to register: 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 – Registration These workshops are especially open to...
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Writing-Inspired Art Therapy

“Siddhartha” acrylic & collage on canvas, Sara Roizen “When Siddhartha listened attentively to this river, to the song of a thousand voices; when he did not listen to the sorrow or laughter, when he did not bind his soul to any one particular voice and absorb it in his Self, but heard them all, the whole, the...
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6 Degrees of Creativity ~ Workshop Description

painting in progress – close up – Sara Roizen I’m excited to share the title and description of the workshop that I will be teaching during the upcoming 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 online workshops! Feeling your Art:  Exploring Texture and Process When was the last time you gave yourself complete permission to simply play...
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6 Degrees of Creativity!

I am thrilled to share that I will be one of the 6 instructors for the upcoming online art workshop: 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 creative goodness through art-making, connection, & collaboration 6 Degrees of Creativity is a unique online workshop and community with a goal of inspiring and supporting the artist within as you...
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Art Therapy & Body Image

Francesco Clemente:  “After Attar’s ‘The Conference of the Birds’ V” People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.                     Elisabeth Kübler-Ross One...
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Art Therapy Around the Holidays

examples of leaves with words It’s been a while since I posted…This got me thinking about how quickly these cooler months (Fall and then Winter) seem to pass by. Where does the time go? When it’s almost completely dark out by 4pm, you know it’s that time of year again! This is also the time...
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Mind the Gap

It’s interesting how life can gently provide us with daily reminders. The types of reminders I’m thinking about are the ones that serve to bring us back into the present moment, and find us looking at something familiar with new eyes.  Living in NYC, it’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the hectic pace...
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Ink Painting & Art Therapy

Sara Roizen ~ ink on paper ~ 2011 Sara Roizen ~ ink on paper ~ 2011 Sara Roizen ~ ink on paper ~ 2011 “Learn how to meditate on paper. Drawing and writing are forms of meditation. Learn how to contemplate works of art. Learn how to pray in the streets or in the country....
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Therapist Artwork During Sessions

Sara Roizen ~ acrylic on paper A few days ago (on my Facebook Art Therapy Spot Wall) I posted some images of artwork that I had recently created during art therapy sessions with my clients.  Someone asked me some very interesting questions about my process in terms of making art during sessions. Below is my...
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Random Acts of Kindness (and Creation!)

Sara Roizen 2011 ~ acrylic, aluminum foil, and sand on canvas “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”  – Plato The idea for this post came to me a few days ago, when I was thinking about some of the suggestions I have given my clients who are struggling with depression...
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The Invitation (A Poem)

Photo: Sara Roizen 2011 A friend shared this poem with me over the weekend. I was very moved by it, as it seems to go to the heart of what healing work and process is all about. Read the words and explore what this poem might mean for you personally. Please feel free to comment,...
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My Magazine Article! Adoptee Artists

cover of the Adoption Constellation Magazine I was one of three featured adoptee artists in the latest issue of The Adoption Constellation Magazine. This magazine explores the diverse voices of the adoption triad and encourages an ongoing dialogue about topics related to the adoption experience.  Below I have shared my essay on how my own...
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A Few (more) Works on Paper!

 I’ve been very engaged in drawing over the past few weeks. I recently posted about my latest favorite drawing materials combo here: A Few Works on Paper  These are a three recent drawings from the past few days. They were also done with prismacolor art stix and colored pencils on black paper. More to come…...
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Playing Small

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God....
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A Few Works on Paper

My latest drawing obsession material! I am currently pretty crazy about Prismacolor “art stix.” They look like hard pastels, but they are actually woodless colored pencils. They are a bit pricey, (you’re paying for amazing quality) but this evening I marched into our local Michael’s store with a 50% coupon in hand. (Hint: always print...
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A Short Story: Working With Resistance

Two weeks ago during one of my art therapy groups I had a pretty tough crowd. To preface it, the clients in this group are all living in emergency transitional housing and facing many challenges such as addiction and past traumas. However, this group was particularly rough.  First, it was a struggle to get the...
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Mind Full, or Mindful?

I love this image… I’ve made it my wallpaper on my computer at work:) It’s a great illustration of what it means to practice mindfulness, and also an example of a picture being worth a thousand words!...
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Art Therapy and Anger

  “Seeing Red” ~ Sara Roizen  “Anyone can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not within everyone’s power and that is not easy.”  – Aristotle The other day one...
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The Mind is Like the Ocean

Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor I recently attended a 2 day workshop called The Wise Heart and the Mindful Brain. The workshop was led by Jack Kornfield and Dan Siegel. It was an incredible 2 day event and was attended by about 750 people – the majority of us in the healthcare and therapy field....
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Open Studio Art Therapy

I currently run a weekly open art therapy studio group at the organization where I work. Many people (and clients here) have never heard of the phrase “open art therapy studio.” Generally, there tends to be some confusion about what makes this type of therapy group different from other groups, and what the “open” part...
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Breathing Space

Photo: Adam Farber I have been doing a 4 week long online mindfulness course. I would recommend this course for anyone who is looking for a simple way to bring more mindfulness into your everyday life. The course can be found here:   Be Mindful Online The course combines elements of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)...
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Podcasts to Check Out

I recently discovered 3 wonderful podcasts that I wanted to share with readers. There are so many free podcasts to choose from that at times it can be overwhelming! However, I feel that these particular podcasts are incredibly well done, articulate, interesting, and illuminating. Shrink Rap Radio Shrink Rap Radio Tagline: “All the psychology you...
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