Cork Art Therapy Summer School celebrates 30th Anniversary

If your sense of inspiration needs more charge, if your self-belief needs more strength, if you feel a struggle turning your potential into actuality, the Cork Art Therapy Summer School could be for you says course co-ordinator Marianne Adams

People are often nervous, even anxious at the beginning of this five-day event, concerned that they might not be good enough, that their creativity may be found lacking. But as the week unfolds, nerves settle, excitement takes hold and the transformation starts. People begin to experience and believe in themselves more deeply, in a palpable and clearly visible way. Sharing this adventure with likeminded participants, and to be well held in doing so, is just priceless.

We are all inherently and profoundly creative, although from childhood onwards our connection to this absolute truth can be battered and bruised by life and the restricted perception of those around us. Experiences of rejection, neglect, judgement, trauma and shame will contract our self-belief and therefore the flow of creativity through us. No matter our background, no matter how vast or tiny our art making history, the Art Therapy Summer School will provided the support, encouragement, safety and validation that we all need to begin gently exploring our sense of who we are and who we can be.

Art making within a therapeutic setting unfetters our creativity, our confidence, our vision of what’s possible, and the art making that begins to flow from us also provides a portal to a source of knowing that runs far deeper than our usual patterns of thinking. Art Therapy not only helps us ‘think outside the box’ it actually expands and infuses the box itself. Just as a tree absorbs the sun, rain and wind to deepen its roots, allowing the flow of life to course through its core from the earth upwards, generating fruit, reaching out into the world and up to the heavens – the Summer School, through it’s carefully crafted programme of workshops and lectures, its seasoned capacity to care, nurture and fertilise, will strengthen your inner anchorage, re-vitalise your creativity and allow you to embrace life more fully.

These are challenging times; investing in ourselves will be crucial to our ability to stay rooted and respond creatively to these challenges. Be warned, the Summer School is intense – it is also richly rewarding both personally and professionally.

In our effusive feedback from last year, people spoke of ‘joy’ of ‘transformative moments’, of not realising ‘a group could feel so safe’, describing their experience as ‘amazing’, ‘empowering and uplifting’, ‘unforgettable’, ‘a beautiful gift of healing’, ‘the gift of creativity that was taken from me in childhood’. This one email, whose permission I have to share, as above, was considered and descriptive, giving an even fuller window into the experience: 

“Dear Marianne,

It has been nearly a month since I attended the Cork Art Therapy Summer School and I have been quite blown away by its impact on me.

I was really quite nervous about the prospect of going back to adult education – how wrong I was, very quickly realising that judgement was never on the agenda, I had not expected to be looked after sooooo well. 

I was exceptionally lucky to share five days with such a beautiful cross section of ages and human beings, that in itself was nourishing and rewarding. The pace, quality, integrity and delivery of every moment of the course was truly wondrous. Such a treat not to have to make a decision about what you were going to eat as well, as the catering was fabulous, and they so welcomed us after our morning sessions.

The workshop exercises and lectures took us through a journey of emotions that gently helped us process our inner selves whilst being skilfully held and guided at all times. I loved the playful nature of allowing us time, space and permission to just express whatever.

I learned so much and really enjoyed my time in this building, which seems to ooze creativity, and savoured the opportunity to explore with different art materials.

Although the privacy of each group was strongly protected it didn’t stop the vibrant discussion times afterwards, ensuring a deep sleep and eager anticipation for the following day. 

Like being held in a soft well-fitted glove, each of the five days provided an enriching, insightful experience enabling me to return home with a stronger yet lighter centre.

I cannot thank you or your staff enough for facilitating such a well-balanced course, which as I’m sure you can tell, has ignited quite a thirst in me to do more.”

Last year’s event sold out so be sure to book early. If you have any questions at all, please do let me know. I love this work and this event, I hope you can tell!”

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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