Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mining for Play Therapy Gold (the pics version)

What have I been doing lately?

Mining for play therapy gold in Sacramento
theme for 2011 APT conference
(iphone photo by me)

at the 2011 APT conference
photo by ?

I presented on Creativity for Play Therapists.
that's me standing
(iphone photo by Tammi Van Hollander)

I went to several meetings.
Conference Program Committee with Tami Langen & Kathy Lebby
(surprise photo by Mistie Barnes)

I went to play therapy trainings including those by Terry Kottman, Jeff Ashby, David Crenshaw, Athena Drewes, Eric Green, LeAnne Steen, and Hilda Glazer.
Eric Green & David Crenshaw
(photo by ?)

Most of all, I networked, ate, and drank with play therapy friends, new and old.
me with Angela Cavett & Liana Lowenstein
(photo by ?)
me, Cherie Spehar, Lori Myers, Anne Stewart, David,
Angela, Ana Tillman, Tammi Van Hollander
with the APT dude
(taken by ?)

David Crenshaw started a private play therapy group on Facebook.
We met for a big toast (thank you Liana).  I love that he is laughing in this pic.

Stay tuned.  I plan to share my reflections on the conference in an upcoming post.

Monday, October 10, 2011

An Autumn Kentucky "Poem Note"

I was introduced to the concept of a "poem note" by Liz Lamoreux during the Midwest Inner Excavation Retreat this past May.  Over the weekend I taught my Creative Play Therapy Interventions course in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, again.  (Four hours from home.  A beautiful drive to eastern Kentucky and listening to podcasts on my phone = not so bad.)  This was the first time I ever did this activity with a class, and I couldn't help but participate.  Using a shadow self-portrait I took while we went on a walking meditation and photo walk, I present you my little poem note.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Must See Video about Gratitude

I believe the video speaks for itself.
I just love stuff like this.

Special thanks to Emelisa Mudle who posted it on her facebook page, Healing with Art.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Special Story of the Girl Effect

Lombeh (l) at the June 2011 Appalachian Play Therapy Center conference
Lombeh Brown will be graduating in December from Lindsey Wilson College with her master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development.  I have known Lombeh since her sophomore year at Lindsey when I became her academic advisor and taught one of her classes.  In December of 2009, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Human Services and Counseling.  Lombeh is from Liberia.  This is her story.

In the Liberian culture, more specifically the Via ethnic group, women are not given the opportunity to be educated as men.  It is the cultural expectation of this ethnic group that once a girl reaches puberty she is to be initiated into the Sande society. The Sande society is an association found for the sole purpose of teaching girls how to become effective housewives.  During the initiation process, female circumcision takes place in order to preserve the girls for their future husbands.  Luckily for Lombeh, her parents did not believe in those views although her mother had been initiated into the society.  They taught her and her two younger brothers the importance of achieving an education.  Even though she and her siblings grew up in a civil war torn country, it “did not give us the excuse not to pursue our dreams,” she says.

Lombeh was raised by Christian parents.  Her father has some college education and her mother, now deceased, had a high school education.  Her mother was taught by freed American slaves who returned to their homeland of Liberia.  Her father was taught by a woman named Margery Henderson who was on a church mission at the time.

During the civil war, Lombeh and her family left their home and traveled from village to village on foot.  They had very little food and no safe drinking water.  Because they were on the run they only carried salt and rice with them.  They slept in the woods, sometimes in simple huts.  Lombeh’s mother died while Lombeh was in her teens from illness that was compounded by the stress of the civil war and malnutrition.

Lombeh explained that schools run by the government were poor.  The teachers were not paid and it was not uncommon to have 200 students in a classroom.  If you did not arrive early enough, you had to stand because there were not enough places to sit.  Schools run by missionaries were better.

In 2004, Lombeh’s father contacted Margery Henderson, the woman who had taught him thirty years earlier, to see if she could help find a way for his daughter to go to college in the United States.  Mrs. Henderson is friends with Ms. Sue Stivers, a Trustee board member of Lindsey Wilson College.  Together they found a way to make it happen.  Years later Lombeh’s brother Burgess was also able to join her in college.  This current fall semester he is interning in Washington, DC in the office of Congressman Whitfield from Kentucky.  He hopes to attend law school someday.

Lombeh has served as a graduate assistant since January 2010.  She has helped me plan and execute two play therapy conferences for the Appalachian Play Therapy Center.  I have served as her clinical supervisor.  It has been such an honor to witness her growth and development over the years.  She used to be a shy, quiet young woman.  Now she is so much stronger and self-confident.  She has very good counseling skills.  She has a big heart.

Lombeh before her undergraduate commencement.
She does not have immediate plans to return to Liberia but she mostly likely will someday.  She would like to stay in the United States and complete her clinical hours for licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.  I can see her working for the Peace Corps or UNICEF.  Whatever she decides to do she will be successful.  Education has changed her life and she will go on to change others’ lives.  She is quite an inspiration!

Lombeh’s story is exactly what The Girl Effect endeavors to do in developing countries.

To read more about their story click here.
To order a book about Margery and Lombeh’s story click here.

You Must See This!

If you've been reading my blog regularly you noticed that I didn't post a special story as I had intended.  I still plan to do that, perhaps even later today.  This week we've had our reaccreditation site visit for our graduate program in Counseling at Lindsey Wilson College, of which my husband is the director.  It has been quite a week!  (Actually quite a last couple of years but that's another story.)  Yesterday morning the site visit team gave us their feedback.  We had no recommendations and no requirements.  We have met/are meeting all the standards.  This is very rare, especially for a program the size of ours with about 400 graduate students in 25+ sites (I've lost count)!  (And no, we're not an on-line program.  We bring each and every one of our courses to these sites.)  Of course they had some suggestions.  They always have suggestions because any program can always get better.  We will find out the results of whether or not we are reaccredited and for long sometime in January when the accrediting board meets.

While I was out celebrating, personally having my husband back, along with my kids I just happened to look at my twitter feed.  It was full of tweets about the death of Steve Jobs.  Someone posted a link to the video belong.  If you think you are the last person to see this, you're not.  I hadn't.  Even if you have seen it, watch it again.  It's that good.  And while the death of Steve Jobs is quite sad, its timing as it reminds me what he stood for, couldn't have been better in my life right now.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Girl Effect--Part One

Today I am participating in the Girl Effect Blogging Campaign.  As an educator, a female, a mother of a daughter, and as a human being the issue of girls in the developing world impacts me.

In this first post I present some background and stats directly from the Girl Effect website.  Later today I will share the personal story of one of my students.  If you don't have the time to read through this post PLEASE at least go to the website and view the opening video.  It's very powerful.  (I tried posting it here but for having difficulty getting the html code to work.)
·         Approximately one-quarter of girls in developing countries are not in school.
·         Out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls.
·         When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
·         An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.
·         Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers.
·         When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.

There are 250 million adolescent girls living in poverty in the developing world. That’s a quarter of a billion girls aged 10-19 living on less than $2 USD a day – and a massive amount of potential to change the world.

When girls’ lives are limited, everyone loses. Families, communities and entire economies are all stunted when half their human potential is squandered. The world is missing out on a tremendous opportunity for change.

This is where the Girl Effect comes in – the power, promise, and potential of adolescent girls as the change agents to end global poverty.

Girls are the mother of every child born into poverty, but as a HIV-free and educated mother, an active citizen and an ambitious entrepreneur or prepared employee, she can break the cycle of poverty. It’s a ripple effect. With the right resources in place, she’ll marry and have children at a later age. She’ll be better educated, healthier and safer. She’ll invest 90% of what she earns back into her family. And every single benefit that comes to her will be passed on to the next generation.

The Girl Effect is a concept; a movement. It is not about raising the profile of an organization or even raising money for a particular program. It’s about raising girls’ voices – it’s that simple.

Check back later today where I'll post a powerful, personal story.