Creative Team Building with Staff Through Mandala Making
Objectives: Participants will learn how art therapists can achieve individual or group goals through the use of art materials and processes. They will also learn how organizational goals can be incorporated into relevant art making experiences. The presentation begins with a brief overview of art therapy and the history of mandala making in community building. We will then review the mandala-making staff workshops. The discussion will close with an exploration of how this process may be applied to other work environments.
Methods: These workshops were originally offered to our long-term care staff on eight different occasions during, "Planetree Month" in May of 2011, a month dedicated to staff self-care. The “Planetree Month” planning committee asked the art therapist to develop a team-building exercise that would be fun, creative and completed within 45 minutes. The committee also hoped that the workshop participants, who had little or no artistic experience or skill, would make a collective art work (within the time constraints,) that would be a source of pride for the participants and be good enough to be installed on the walls of the centre as a testament to the teamwork achieved.
Results: The goals of the workshop were accomplished through the careful design of this workshop. More than 200 staff members participated, embraced the process and completed eight mandalas which are now permanently displayed on the walls of Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre. Creativity can bring out the best in people, creating synergy and positive community growth.
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