Monday, October 8, 2012

great workshop!

Thanks to all who came to the 
Discover Your Creative Power Workshop

We had a great time playing, exploring, discovering, and sharing. 

Join us for the next workshop
Saturday, November 10
12:30 - 2:00
Aslan Institute
4141 Old Sibley Memorial Highway
Eagan, MN

Here are a few more images of the soulful creations made:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

a lesson from my lawn

It's hard to believe that grass and grubs can hold a life lesson, but here's one...

I was gardening the other day...well, actually, I was pulling out dead grass from my entire front side yard. Unbeknownst to me, the grubs decided to hold their annual convention in my lawn. Just days earlier, everyting was lush and green.  It wasn't until the damage was done that I learned of the in"feast"ation.  As I was pulling up the grass, the old saying, "What's eating you?" struck me.  It made me laugh seeing the connection between our psyche and the grubs in my grass. 

We all know how to put on a pretty exterior and try to cover-up what's really going on inside. This works for a while, but eventually, the damage done by the grubs in our psyche make their appearance and the cover is up. The next time something is "eating you,"  stop and look at the grubs.  Grub control for the psyche comes in many forms.  It may be having the conversation with the person that is "bugging" you, it may be a walk or a run is all that's needed to clear your head.  If it's something deeper than that, I encourage you to seek professional help.  Truly, it's best to clear out the grubs before the grass turns brown and all that you're left with is dirt and weeds.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oooo, this feels strange

I had a funny, great experience today making a scribble drawing with a 13 year old.  We drew together using our non-dominant hand.  Her comments were, "Oooo, this feels strange." "This hard to do." "This is really awkward." "Oh, I forgot we were using our other hand and I just did it the easy way."  What struck me was, those comments are pretty darn universal to any kind of change. If it's hard to change something a simple as how you hold a crayon, it really puts perspective on how hard it is to change years of behavior.

(For anyone who may be concerned, this was not a client. Confidentiality was not breached in telling this story.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

upcoming workshops

Discover Your Creative Power

Thanks to all of you who attended the September 1 workshop.  
It was great!!

Upcoming workshops will be:  
Saturday, September 29 
9:30 - 11:30
Saturday, December 15
12:30 - 2:30

This workshop explores the playful creative that is in all of us.  It's an opportunity to experience your own  personal art-making experience in a non-threatening, non-judgmental environment.  Previous art experience is not necessary.  The format of the workshop allows you to freely explore your inner callings and uncover your unique creative voice.   Workshops are $25.00 / class and are held at Aslan Institute.

For more information or to register, email:

Enhancing the Family through Art Therapy

Three different workshops that will focus on the strengths of the 
family and encourage growth.

Attend one or all three

Wednesday, November 7
6:30 - 8:00
Wednesday, November 14
6:30 - 8:00
Wednesday, November 28
6:30 - 8:00

Using a different medium each session, we will explore family dynamics, how the family works together collaboratively, and honor each individual in the family.  These workshops are  $45 / family / session and are held at Aslan Institute.

For more information or to register, email:

Friday, August 31, 2012

hansel and gretel - part 1

 Is there more to the story of Hansel and Gretel? 
Or, is it just a story about a mean, evil stepmother who
sends her two stepchildren out into the woods to
fend for themselves?

I'm starting down the road toward my master's project and my curiosity is leading me to fairy tales, metaphor and personal transformation.  I'd like to share my musings and discoveries.  Please feel free, in fact, I encourage you, to write your reactions, thoughts, insights (please be respectful - I can take criticism, but not in the form of put-down, judgment, or through the use of inappropriate language).
So, here goes.

I see the story of Hansel and Gretel as the edge between adolescence and young adult-hood.  It's a story of when it's time to "grow-up" and take steps on your own. 

If a fairy tale is a story containing symbols and the symbols are pieces of our personal psyche (as Carl Jung suggested), then how does this particular one play out. Let's start with the basic characters:  Father, Mother (even though she's absent from the story, she's there by fact that there are two children), Stepmother, Hansel, Gretel. Now, let's assign them their purpose in the story:
Father = provider
Mother = nurturer

Hansel = faith, hope, trust
Gretel = fear
Hansel + Gretel = the combined energy of masculine and feminine that we all, individually, hold

Step-mother = learning to self-nurture.  I'll explain this thought.
At some point in all of our lives, we need to take the lessons learned from our mother's and begin to apply them to ourselves, for ourselves. It's a difficult step to take, one that is not always easily assumed.  It's much easier to stay the child and be taken care of then to take the next step and nurture ourselves.  So, the idea of "evil stepmother" comes into play.  In a child's mind the mother wouldn't hurt or harm them, but the stepmother would send them out to learn how to take care of themselves.  In a sense, we become the step-mother in our efforts of trying to nurture ourselves as our mother would. 

The other character symbols at the beginning of the story are, The Great Forest and the Cottage.   Jung suggested that the great forest is the deep dark yearnings of our soul, the going inward to the dark places, our spirit.  The cottage represents the body.

So, that's it for now.  Something to start thinking about.  In my next blog, I will start applying these ideas to the story and we can see how it all plays out.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

art therapy is a bridge

I love this image. To me, it clearly depicts what art therapy is. 

It's the bridge.  

Art therapy is the action that connects the left and the right hemispheres of our brain.  It allows us to move from the left side of busy doing, organizing and compartmentalizing to the creativity and freedom of right side. It also helps us to take the freedom and imagination of the right side, bring it back to the left, and turn an idea into a tangible  thing.

Art therapy is a tool that helps us to use our whole brain.  It's a great way to get "unstuck" from one side and move to the other side.  In my opinion, to move freely, back and forth between the right and left hemisphere, is to live fully.  Thought into action.

But, you don't have to take my word for it.  
Experience this for yourself.  
Come join the 
Discover Your Creative Power Open Art Studio 
Saturday, September 1 from 9:30 - 11:00
at Aslan Institute.

All materials are provided. Just bring your sense of adventure and discovery.
Cost:  $25 includes everything

To register, contact Connie Cohen at or call 612-483-1673

Pull yourself out of the cubbies of gray matter and cross the bridge.

Aslan Institute
4141 Old Sibley Memorial Highway
Eagan, 55122

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

better than chicken soup

Art therapy is just plain good for your soul.  In fact, I think is much better than chicken soup (and I'm a big fan of chicken soup).  It's an easy way to re-connect with yourself.  It can be as simple as just making art. Or, you can take it to a deeper, more insightful level. The magic of art will work  wherever it is that you want to go with it.

In our busy lives, we rarely take time to do something special for ourselves. The Open Studio Workshop is for you to take care of you.  Do it to rejuvenate and to see another side of yourself. Do it because you think you can't (because you really can).  Do it just because.

Come join in the fun and exploration on September 1, 2012 at The Aslan Institute from 9:30 - 11:00
(Directions to Aslan Institute are posted below)

For more information or to register, 
contact me at: or 612-483-1673

Here are a few images of things created in previous Open Studio's:

Directions to Aslan Institute 

4141 Old Sibley Memorial Highway
Eagan, Minnesota, 55122

Cedar Ave / Hwy 77 South
Past Mall of America and over the river
Take the Diffley Road exit, turning right on Diffley.
Drive about a block and turn right onto Old Sibley Memorial Highway
Take the first left towards the radio towers and Aslan Institute will be on you left hand side.