Now Who’s Crazy Now?

Who would you ask for help if you were going to Spain? Someone who’s studied maps and guidebooks, but has never been to Spain or someone who’s been there and sketched out a map or written a guide after getting … Continue reading

Talking back to “Psychiatry’s Bible”

More on the Walrus coverage of mental health issues.  The current (May 2013) issue of Walrus includes an article by psychiatrist Dr. Kwame McKenzie on “Psychiatry’s Bible: What’s Wrong with the New DSM-V.” The original article can be found in the … Continue reading

Talking Back to “The New Normal”

The March 2013 Walrus magazine featured “The New Normal:  The Mainstreaming of Mental Health” an article describing current psychiatric care and research as embodied in the new buildings and grounds at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) on Queen … Continue reading

Transformation By Fire

It is said that home is where the heart is. But violence wounds our hearts, leaving us emotionally physically, and spiritually homeless, even when there is a roof over our heads. Our battles rage on . . . . Come … Continue reading

Gardiner Expressive Arts Group

Gardiner Expressive Arts blog May 9, 2012. Sculpture exhibited in 2011.

Screen capture from Gardiner Expressive Arts blog May 9, 2012. Sculpture exhibited in 2011. Out of the mud, the lotus blooms: Women who have experienced violence transform trauma through clay. Intrigued by this title, I attended the 2010 workshop offered … Continue reading

Emotional pain

In my last post, I mentioned Susan Schellenberg as having experienced mental illness, but I prefer to talk of “emotional pain.”  I use “emotional pain” to refer to psychological difficulties that Cause substantial distress. Interfere with ability to achieve important … Continue reading

Shedding Skins

The Shedding Skins paintings show dream images, a nun riding a pinto through the desert, a ghostly Beethoven contemplating a small vibrant green tree, a fragile, though armoured Joan of Arc astride her powerful horse,. The text tells a story … Continue reading

Rendezvous With Madness: Kauwboy (Little Bird)

As the lights come up after Kauwboy (Little Bird), opening film for the Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival, the audience is so moved, it’s hard to talk. Little Bird is an internationally acclaimed Dutch film that tells of Jojo, a … Continue reading

Dancing in the Streets

Dancing in the Streets art performance in Toronto

I’m holding a hand-drawn map and standing with eight or so other audience members, also holding maps, in front of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. We are waiting for a performance of Dancing in the Streets. “10, 9, … Continue reading

Introduction

Bare Witness - Here We Are

Why does art have anything to do with mental illness? I have worked for years as a clinical psychologist in Toronto.  I was respectful, but not particularly interested in how art contributed to healing until artist Susan Schellenberg asked me … Continue reading