A non profit organization, dedicated to providing resources and educational workshops to mental health professionals in Northern nevada


Mental Health Peer Connections

Creativity in Our Work

Friday, April 21, 2017

When:      8:30am to 3:30pm

Where:  495 Apple Street, Suite 225, Reno NV 89502

The workshop is for therapists who want to deepen or reclaim creativity to use in their clinical work or to support their clients in increasing their creative decision-making. The workshop uses process painting (painting with a focus on authentic, personal, idiographic self-expression rather than on final product). Participants will have the opportunity to experience being in the creative process using the art-making process – with its risks, rewards, emotions, and insights. This experiential process will be used to make clinical connections to theory, concepts, and techniques of existential therapy.

 Clinicians will set intentions relating to particular topics they would like to explore personally (a new perspective on a challenging case, using more genuine or authenticity in one’s work, exploring difficult countertransference, or a more general task –gaining knowledge of the steps in the creative process and how to apply these steps in work with clients, understanding blocks/fatigue/mistakes in our work, developing more self-compassion for oneself in this work, etc.).

  In addition to individual intentions for exploration, clinicians will work as a group to identify connections between the experience of creative process to their work as clinicians and to their client’s journeys. Theoretically, existential therapy concepts and processes will be used to connect the activities directly and clearly to clinical work.

 Clinicians will collectively gain information about creativity, steps in the creative process, existential therapy concepts/processes/techniques, as well as potentially personal insight into how they may use creativity in their work in general. The personal insight may pertain to a new perspective on a specific troubling case or new ideas to work with their clients who struggle with divergent thinking, shame/inner criticism, loss of vibrancy/creativity in living due to no risk taking in their choices, etc.


Develop familiarity with the conditions needed to support creativity in life for clients. Objectives include knowledge and application of the following for work with clients: 1) steps in the creative process and how these apply to life 2) process of finding creative and authentic solutions to life’s dilemmas 3) appreciation and use of mistakes, 4) acceptance of limits and value of making choices within those limits, 4) making personal meaning in ones’ life.

Understand existential therapy concepts–including phenomenological experience, meaning-making, the importance of emotion as motivation, existential dilemmas such as freedom and choice, risk and safety, vulnerability and protection, authenticity and belonging.

Integrate personal challenges and strengths in a creative process to use to reduce burn-out/practitioner decay as well as increase divergent thinking about difficult cases. Potentially access new, playful, spontaneous, and relaxed ways of being to support self-care and self-compassion.


  • Painting exercises to explore creativity process as separate from outcome and final product.

  • Group discussions to support collaborative learning of existential therapy principles and their application

  • Individual support (if desired) during the painting process.

  • Group discussion to integrate these experiences into our work as therapists with attention to theory and practical application.

6 CEUs

Approval number pending from the State of Nevada Board of Examiners for Marriage and Family Therapists and Certified Professional Counselors.