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Participatory Workshops

These interactive sessions use conversations about the play SKIN to introduce exercises, information and tools that help people foster resilience, understand neuroplasticity, and use creative practice to support healing.

Relationships, Resiliency & Repairing the Culture

This interactive 3-hour workshop engages participants in imaginative conversations about events in SKIN to communicate core principles of: healthy relationships and consent; the neuropsychology of trauma and techniques for healing; and bystander intervention techniques that can empower people to reduce and prevent potential harm. All within a clearly communicated set of agreements for community safety, and explored through trauma-informed exercises that introduce skills that survivors and allies can start applying on the spot.

Topics include:

  • The neurophysiology of trauma, PTSD, resilience, and the potential for Post Traumatic Growth

  • Ways to use mindfulness meditation and movement to get calm and connected again.

  • Practical ways to understand shame, triggers, boundaries, and enthusiastic consent.

  • Recognizing key traits of healthy vs. abusive relationships.

  • How to appropriately apply bystander intervention strategies to potentially prevent assault or other violence, while also practicing caution and self-care.

  • Ways that implicit bias prevents many with privilege from seeing and assisting those with less privilege, and how this compounds their vulnerability to abuse.

  • Guidelines for allies to respond appropriately when a friend or acquaintance discloses an assault or abuse.

  • Identifying resources on- and off-campus that may provide support.


Neuroplasticity & The Arts

This 3-hour workshop offers a foundational understanding of the ways any trauma is believed to impact the brain, body, and self, then uses participants’ shared experiences viewing SKIN as a jumping off point to introduce theories of the ways that art-making and -viewing may be used to aid healing. Concrete examples are found in the therapeutic pedagogy at work in SKIN, as well as in participants’ other positive, powerful artistic experiences. Trauma-informed participatory exercises engage the imagination and the senses to intrigue, inform, and inspire students to activate their own creativity as a mode of healing.

Topics include:

  • The neurophysiology of trauma, PTSD, resilience, and the potential for Post Traumatic Growth.

  • Neuroscientific, psychological, and philosophical perspectives on creativity, imagination, and healing.

  • The role of embodiment in creativity, and ways that movement practices can facilitate not just embodied well-being but neuroplasticity.

  • Research and theories that help explain the reasons that creative practice aids healing.

  • Inspirational participatory exercises which engage the senses as well as memory and the imagination, to translate these theories into practice.

  • Identifying resources on- and off-campus that may provide support. 

You can listen to Hope’s talk on the Pedagogy of SKIN, presented at the annual conference of the Alliance for Arts in Research Universities, in this #HealMeToo Podcast Extra.


Writing & Sharing Your Story

This 3-hour session will use SKIN as a model to share skills and techniques for writing autobiographically or fictively from life. We’ll explore ways writing our stories can give us tools for personal and cultural healing which continue in navigating the growth opportunities that come while sharing what you’ve written—whether that’s reading it for a friend or a class, posting it, or performing it for an audience. Participants will leave feeling empowered to use the arts more consciously and conscientiously as a channel for personal and cultural healing.

Topics include:

  • A script analysis of SKIN to communicate the essentials of story structure and offer tools for effective structure in any media.

  • A grounding in the neuropsychology of trauma as well as creativity, writing, and performance.

  • Examples from SKIN that demonstrate how one’s understanding of past events may be deepened by writing, and the possibility that writing fiction based on life may provoke even more transformative opportunities for growth than autobiography sometimes might.

  • Writing exercises that help participants immediately apply tools for effective story structure and explore the ways that structure challenges artists to tell ever-deeper, truer, more transformative stories.

  • The therapeutic pedagogy of SKIN will provoke dialogue about the intentions and methods at play in various artistic strategies, foregrounding questions of artist and audience triggers and safety.