College of MBM Mentor and Faculty Member Applies Expressive Arts Approach to Workplace: Introducing Terri Goslin-Jones, PhD
Recently Terri Goslin-Jones, PhD, a Saybrook University graduate, agreed to serve as a mentor for students in the College of Mind-Body Medicine. Terri’s main reason for becoming a mentor is to give back to other people, who are on a personal quest to nurture and develop their unique desire to change their part of the world.
Terri recounts her journey in finding Saybrook University: "On the surface, I fit into the conservative Midwestern, business environment where I worked as a leadership development consultant and executive coach. However, I had a desire to explore meaningful work, spirituality, and creativity. I searched for a doctoral program that offered alternative thinking, a willingness to explore the mystery of life, and help in answering my burning questions about human potential. This pursuit led me to Saybrook University."
In 2010, she received her doctorate in Psychology and while at Saybrook University, Terri also completed the two-year expressive arts certificate program. Creativity is at the heart of her work, as Terri believes that every person has a creative, unique spirit, and that creative energy is a vehicle for growth. In her dissertation, Terri wrote, "Work can be a sacred place where people are giving birth to their deepest passions and creative spirit."
Terri recently joined a Saybrook panel at the 2012 American Psychological Association’s (APA) Annual Meeting. The title of her presentation was, “Person-Centered Expressive Arts: A Journey to Creative Relationships.” The findings of her dissertation research and her Creative Living coaching process indicate that an expressive arts practice can foster relationships that provide a deeper connection and a sense of belonging. Her dissertation research participants described the use of expressive arts as a means to develop greater wholeness.
In her private practice Terri works with individuals and groups. Her business mission is to "Discover the Wonder of People at Work™.” Her consulting work includes several key areas: executive coaching, expressive arts-based learning, leadership development, life-coaching, and team building. Terri has found that work becomes more meaningful when creativity is nurtured in the workplace through the expression of a person's unique gifts, talents, and perspectives. Terri also works as an adjunct psychology professor at Maryville University and part-time faculty in the College of Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University.
Maureen Molinari, a PhD student in the College of Mind-Body Medicine, recently had an opportunity to join one of Terri's expressive arts workshops. Maureen reports that the focus of this workshop was to explore each participant’s vision for their doctoral program. Dr. Goslin-Jones used techniques such as creative journaling and vision boards to help students connect with their goals and desires. In preparation for an in-person session, Terri sets up a creativity table. The table may include magazines, inspirational cards, colored pencils, glitter, yarn, charms, natural objects, and crayons.
A session of creative journaling begins with a meditation and an intention. The intention could be specific or broad; it is the starting point. After the opening meditation people are invited to use movement, and become attuned with their emotions and their body. After a short period of dance or movement the workshop participants go to the art table and choose what speaks to them for their expressive arts project. Then the fun begins. Each workshop participant uses personal attunement, mindfulness, and art tools to tap into the unspoken parts of themselves. The unspoken parts of oneself emerge in the art project and provide the person with insights. Using creative processes provides a bridge between the left and right brain.
Creative journaling includes words, textures, colors and symbols; the idea is to let thoughts and feelings flow through by using creative expression. When the art journal page or pages are complete for the session, participants are invited to use spontaneous writing to transform the abstract information into a message. Then people pair up to describe their artwork. During the witnessing/sharing people are encouraged to share freely what the artwork means to them. The witnesses are invited to ask questions; however, they are discouraged from interpreting other's work. The artwork, writing, and verbal sharing give each person a chance to develop a deeper connection with his or her internal life. After the witnessing process is complete the group comes together and shares their unique creations. The session is concluded with a closing ritual. Although the session is finished, people are invited to continue to work on their journals or visioning boards at home. Creative insights frequently emerge even after the session ends.
To learn more about Terri Goslin-Jones visit her website, www.terrigoslin-jones.com