Alamandria Arts Therapy Sessions with Mark
What is Alamandria Arts Therapy?
An arts therapy session with Mark may employ any of a number of modalities such as drawing, painting, writing, sculpture, movement, visualisations and meditation, depending on the needs of the client. It is important to note, however, that one does not need any artistic skill or experience to benefit from these sessions. Complicated and confusing emotions, often so hard to express in thoughts and words, can be made conscious and illuminated through creative artistic approaches. Fears, stresses and anxieties, so prevalent in today’s world, can be successfully ameliorated through carefully guided creative processes. Mark is interested in transformative pathways in healing and self-awareness, and the source of a client’s desire and will to implement change.
Art therapy can be used in:
Building problem-solving skills
Resolving inner turmoil and conflicts
Relaxing and calming nerves
Expressing feelings and experiences
Developing ways to cope
Working towards wellbeing
Staying motivated during the recovery process
Developing personal insight
MAAT. Clinical (First Class Honours). MDes. (Distinction) Reg. Arts Therapist ANZCATA
Mark has experience working with youth at risk and clients suffering from stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, marital issues, and mental trauma. He also has considerable experience running one-on-one art therapy sessions, and a mindfulness and wellbeing programme for inmates at Te Ware Manaakitanga, therapy unit at Rimutaka Prison. He runs workshops each year for students of Arts Therapy at Whitecliffe College.
Colour as an aid to healing, and also as a doorway into meditation, is of great interest and an area of research for Mark. He is part of an international meditation initiative and is co-founder of Alamandria: The Art of Self-Mastery, Mindfulness and Meditation, facilitating retreats and workshops throughout the country, for individuals, groups and the workplace. Mark is a practicing meditant of many years and an experienced Tai Chi Wu style practitioner. He is a painter (Link to page), poet and writer, and has his therapy practice at Toi Poneke Arts Centre in Wellington City.
Mark has great respect for the biographical path each person forges in life, often under the weight of great personal hardship and suffering, and has often witnessed phenomenal endurance, transformation and transcendence through such adversities. “My clients are so often my teachers, and it is a privilege to accompany them on their path of recovery and self-knowledge.”
Mark has worked alongside our therapy team, assisting with the rehabilitation of high risk violent offenders, for approximately five years. In this time, Mark has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to engage our most challenging clients and use mindfulness-based practices and artistic mediums to help these clients gain insight into their internal processes. There have been occasions in which this work was the turning point for men who wanted to give up on their journey of change, and a catalyst to their willingness to explore and address unhelpful patterns of cognitions and emotions within our psychological treatment sessions.
Principal Psychologist | Te Whare Manaakitanga | Rimutaka Prison
Having now worked in the prison for five years there is one thing that still continues to amaze me, and that is how few words the men here have to identify and talk about how they are feeling. When I think about this, I think about how much as a society we have let people down, and a strong need to better equip people to be able to successfully navigate the challenges that life throws our way. We as a psychological treatment team provide talk therapy to the men here, however there are so many other ways to express yourself which we do not teach. This is where Mark’s work is an amazing gift to our unit and to the men in prison, who often struggle to understand themselves, and to express themselves verbally. As a team, we have loved when Mark arrives to our unit with his caring nature and passion to share. He has always been highly professional (both in his conduct and the content he teaches), organised, and flexible in working around the team and the individual men he is working with. It has always been a pleasure working alongside Mark and we hope that he is able to share his work more with others in the future.
Clinical Psychologist | Te Whare Manaakitanga | Rimutaka Prison