Working in the dark, Finding the light

Event Date: January 20, 2015

Event Info

Date: Jan 20, 2015 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Location: The Ecumenical Center – 8310 Ewing Halsell Dr.

Brown Bag Lunch – BYOL
Iced tea provided

Cost: $25

Includes 2 CEUs

CEUs available for LPC, LMFT, RPT and Social Workers. APT Approved Provider 08-217.


“By making things visible, they become real. A visible thing is concrete and makes sense. We thus use the fact that something can be seen to call it into existence and give it meaning…When something is not visible, it is not here, not available for us to experience. We thus use lack of visibility to explain something that does not make sense.” Retrieved from: on 1/6/2015

The paired metaphors of light and darkness get to the very heart of the therapeutic process no matter what clinical techniques are being employed. Verbal techniques use the language of metaphor often to express what cannot be scientifically measured. They say things like, “I just can’t see what you mean.” Or “I’m worried because he is in such a dark place.” In play therapy, all forms of light and dark come and go: the sun, rain, lanterns, caves, being buried, being uncovered, burning, being burnt, being lit, being snuffed out. Finally, in art therapy, the metaphor itself becomes very concrete. A client draws something, and that which was once unseen can be seen.

In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to understand the complexity of the light and dark metaphor so as to better use it in their work. We will be making art as well, both for our own process as therapists, and for our ongoing clinical work as verbal, art, and play therapists.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will become familiar with the metaphor of light and dark as it relates to the healing process of clinical art, play, verbal therapy.
  2. Participants will engage in art making tasks designed to heighten their awareness of how the metaphor of light and dark can enhance their clinical work as art, play and verbal therapists.
  3. Participants will share their personal insights as to how the metaphor of light and darkness can improve their work with clients in clinical art, play and verbal therapy.


Vicki Williams-Patterson

Vicki Williams-Patterson has worked as an art therapist since 1983. Her graduate education at Hahnemann University was strongly rooted in developmental psychology and psychodynamic theory, and she has continued with that orientation. Since 1990, she has been conducting seminars on the therapeutic uses of art in the counseling process at local, regional and national conferences. Since receiving her graduate degree in Art Therapy, she has engaged in advanced professional training in the areas of trauma recovery, Jungian psychology, and Sand Tray Process. In November 2009 she received the American Art Therapy Association’s Annual Award for Clinical Services.

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