Friday, July 5, 2013

We Welcome You With Open Arms

Welcome to the newly energized social justice art therapy blog! I am your host, Sara S. Giba, MA, LMHCA, MHP, coming to you live (depending on when you read this) from Seattle, WA, home of the 44th Annual AATA Conference. And what a conference it was! But before I tell you some splendid news that came out of that conference (see following post), let me introduce myself and my new friend Lonni Ann Fredman.

Now, many of you may remember that if it hadn't been for Lonni Ann (see post #1), perhaps the Social Justice Caucus might not exist right now. And though it had a rocky start, we are hoping that together, as a community, we can become a force of change.

Lonni Ann was asked by Janis Timm-Bottos and I was asked by Pat Allen some months ago if we would be interested in taking over the “chairing” duties of the caucus. Lonni Ann and I have debated the term “chair” for this group, simply because it runs the risk of denoting a sense of hierarchy in a way, which we feel is antithetical to social justice. For now, I think I’ll continue to use air quotes. ;) Let’s move past the digression. 

Lonni Ann and I had a tele-meeting with Criag Siegel, the outgoing liaison to the SJC, exchanged months of e-mails and finally met over a lovely breakfast during the conference. As I said, we have some great news! But let’s get back to those introductions, shall we?

Lonni Ann Fredman, MA, LPAT, ATR-BC, is a graduate of the UNM archetypal art therapy program and has been working for sixteen years at a non-profit agency serving families at risk in the metropolitan Albuquerque area and beyond. Lonni Ann has presented at several AATA conferences on utilizing the archetypal art therapy process with children and their parents as well as co-facilitated with Janis Timm-Bottos a couple of AATA presentations on community open art studio-related topics. Lonni Ann is also interested in connections between archetypal art therapy and David Bohm’s dialogue process. Over the last several years Lonni Ann has co-facilitated workshops at the annual New Mexico Counseling Association conferences on incorporating art into the dialogue process as well as more recently brought art media to some of the monthly dialogue meetings hosted by the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice. Lonni Ann has displayed her prize-winning Painted Found Wood Art Forms locally and nationally.

Sara S. Giba, MA, LMHCA, MHP, is a California native who has been living in WA state for 25 years, the latter 15 in Seattle. The book Strange Angels by Kathe Koja was the driving force behind her desire to become an art therapist. She has earned an AA in Liberal Arts (Spokane Falls Community College), a BA in Creative Writing, a BA in Psychology (both from University of WA) and an MA in Psychology with a specialization in Art Therapy (Antioch University). Sara has a strong background in performance poetry that includes multimedia work, and she uses short films and poetic videos to convey issues of social justice using Youtube as a forum. She’s recently filmed a documentary on using art therapy for identity work with transgender identified clients and presented in Sacramento's AATA conference regarding the same population. She works for a Native American community in Northwestern Washington. She has an MHP specialization in Developmental Disabilities for her work with this population for 8 ½ years. Her counseling affinities are Jungian, Transpersonal, Mindfulness and Rogerian, to name a few, the latter of which she describes as a “sensibility rather than a theoretical orientation. You either have it or you don’t.”


Now that you’re up to speed on Lonni Ann and myself, please fast forward to the next blog post for twice aforementioned exciting news. 

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