In today’s society, we are faced by sudden and quick changes. The experience of collective instability has led to innovation and experimentation of different models of intervention in our work. Loneliness, isolation, fear and the sense of estrangement, the need to be listened to, increased by the lack of closeness and co-regulation, are some of the issues experienced during the pandemic, that involved everyone but especially the vulnerable people we work with. We have learned to live with the rhythm of the alternation of working in person, with working on virtual platforms. We have committed ourselves with dedication and passion, remaining stable in the recognition of the problems that have arisen, feeling involved and connected to each other, aware of the importance of building inclusive and dynamic solutions, without losing faith in future physical encounters. Our relationship with creativity enables us to move away and get closer, without losing sight of the vitality of our methodological approaches .

The new means of communication have changed the intersubjective field,  and the direct experience of bodies in physical space has been replaced by the two-dimensional vision of the screen. What happened to the concrete and tangible experience? Expressive therapies are based on the encounter between bodies and materials. The impossibility of meeting in person has created great challenges often faced with creativity and courage, actively demonstrating that  a relationship can be formed even at great geographical distances, and that transformative interaction can take place through a screen. We want to discuss how we have changed our practice ,  adapted and transformed it,  without losing its authenticity; how we have experienced the body of the other without a shared physical space, but foremost what we have learned that will modify how we work forever.

This conference aims to collect the reports of professionals who have used their skills, their artistic sensitivity and subjectivity, to cope with an era of change that are still in progress.

We invite you to present your experience at our international conference that celebrates the 40th anniversary of the foundation of Art Therapy Italiana, opening a dialogue about our practice, on the theoretical and methodological principles that support it, in order to strengthen a community based on the respect for the interconnections human-nature-environment that constitute the fragile balance of an eco-system that needs to be protected, reconsidered and revived.

The conference has an hybrid format: it takes place in the city of Bologna, Italy, and online.

Three thematic and application areas emerged from our reflections:

  • Fracture/transformation
    Clinical setting: application of interventions, protocols and research in the treatment of physical and mental discomfort.
  • Inclusion
    Social area: social forms of intervention “outside the setting”. Art therapy, dance movement therapy and expressive psychotherapy including performative experimentation, self-expression and dynamic support in social contexts, schools, hospitals, retirement homes, communities.
  • Connection
    Multidisciplinary: exchange and creative work with other fields of Art therapy, dance movement therapy and expressive psychotherapy in dialogue with other forms of practice and research in the field of ecology, scientific disciplines, multimedia arts, philosophy and personal  inner research.