(510) 859-4718 customersupport@namw.org

NAMW September Member Teleseminar

Joan Stanford

September 22, 2017

11 AM PDT   12 PM MDT  1 PM CDT  2 PM EDT

We all have experienced that deflating moment when we question, “Why am I writing this?” or “Who needs another memoir?” In the midst of relating a poignant experience we are suddenly at a loss for words, our voice sounds flat and the delete button is over used. This critical place often paralyzes our process or worse, causes abandonment of the entire project.

The antidote is switching gears, shifting to another creative stream that flows naturally taking the pressure off. I recommend intuitive collage when we need to get out of our own way.

As an expressive arts therapist I know the power of visual imagery to evoke story. Memoirs are, after all, well-told stories of Life. Every life is a story. While themes are universal the details are particular. When we create a collage we chose particular images (or they chose us) that stimulate interest: we do not always know why we are attracted, repelled or intrigued but we need to trust our choices. Our intuition is leading us somewhere.

The idea is to let go of control and play. Reflecting on the completed collage, letting the images speak, can jumpstart our stuck process. Many breakthroughs have been discovered in dreams after laborious work during the day. When our left-brain goes off-line, our right brain can have a chance to help.

When I wrote my book I did not consider it a memoir, although it related a pivotal point in my life when I discovered expressive art making for insight and healing. Art making and telling our story is empowering. We have been brain washed into believing only a talented few are able to make art and write although creating comes with being human.

In my teleseminar I will discuss how to use collage as a tool to assist the writing process.

You will:

  • Learn the value of play and how to give yourself permission to play
  • Discover techniques to silence the critic
  • Learn how to use images to evoke story
  • See how visual imagery can enhance your scenes by providing sensual details
  • Discover the benefits of employing both right and left brain functions to access a deeper, more holistic understanding of your topics
  • Create an idea box with torn images
  • Discover how collage assists in suggesting chapter or section titles (more poetic)
  • Access underlying story lines and deepening story lines
  • Be able to mine your life narrative for hidden gems



Joan is a board-certified art therapist and full-time innkeeper who has been facilitating creativity groups for over twenty years encouraging people of all ages, especially non-artists, to expand their awareness through playing with art materials. She has been recognized with the Soroptimist “Making a Difference For Women” award for an art-based curriculum she co-created and taught in local schools. Her poems have been published and her art exhibited. She lives in Mendocino, California with her husband, and offers imagination playshops and creativity retreats at their inn and wellness center— The Stanford Inn by the sea and the Mendocino Center for Living Well.








Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from NAMW.

You have Successfully Subscribed!