CCET: Belong, Create, Grow – Together

14 November 2023

PACFA’s College of Creative and Experiential Therapies (CCET) hosted a hybrid online / in-person event on Tuesday 16th August 2023. Volunteer PACFA members offered their spaces to host small gatherings in various actual locations around the country, and then logged in to the larger online gathering where many individuals also joined the virtual gathering.

About 100 people came along either in person or online to connect and engage in an arts-based inquiry into the question “Skills and experience in Creative and Experiential Therapies: What do we have, and what do we need?”. The intention of theinquiry was to help CCET Leadership Group to plan our professional development offerings over the coming year.

Participants were invited to consider any aspect of the question, including:

  • What valuable skills and knowledge do you have that you could share with others?
  • Are there any particular themes, content or skills you are especially keen to learn more about? 
  • Do you prefer online, in-person, hybrid PD events, or a mix of these options?
  • What would enable you to attend in-person events easily?  
  • When are your preferred days and times for PD events? 

All participants were allocated into smaller groups using break out rooms, and each room had a host who had been to a planning meeting about facilitating creative responses to the inquiry. At the end of the time for making arts-based responses and text-based reductions of their discussions, each group photographed what they had made and sent images through to the CCET Convenor. Carla compiled the art-based responses into a slide show during the short break, and the whole 100 people gathered together around our screens to view the collaborative feedback.

Following the gathering, the CCET LG re-viewed the responses during our September meeting, and discussed what had been communicated by our community of practitioners.

The following images and commentary demonstrate the findings of this shared inquiry into what we need.

Community and Connection

Image credit: Simon Vrantsis. Image shared with permission.

Multi-modal Experiencing

Image credit: Anonymous a. Image shared with permission.

Learning with energy and passion

Image credit: Anonymous d. Image shared with permission.

Findings and recommendations of the inquiry in planning future PD events

Community and Connection – Belong

Belonging to and participating in a supportive community of practice is important to us.

Image credit: Freya Pinney. Image shared with permission.

In collecting and re-viewing the responses that were generated by participants in the inquiry, it was clear that future Creative and Experiential Therapies professional development events should enable opportunities for connection and relationships between participants. The connection and relationships that we value so deeply extend out into the world. We honour the continuation of First Nations’ cultural healing practices that have occurred on these lands for millennia, and respect the importance of ongoing connection to country for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We value our own relationships with the living world as a source of nourishment and wellness, and acknowledge our responsibility to actively participate in caring for the environment. We find meaning and purpose through being connected with, and contributing to, the global community of practice, and our sense of deep respectful interconnection with the living universe that sustains and nurtures all life.

Multi-modal Experiencing – Create

We thrive by doing things together, using a broad range of modalities and materials to engage in hands-on, experiential action learning.

Image credit: Anonymous b. Image shared with permission.

Our community of practitioners are diverse and have many rich resources, skills and approaches to share with one another. We are connected by our commitment to using therapeutic creative and experiential approaches. Our professional development must reflect our diverse skills and interests, as well as opportunities for us to engage in processes of making and creating. It is by doing things together that we share the resources we have, to help each other continue developing as reflective and responsive professionals.

Learning with energy and passion – Grow

PACFA’s Creative and Experiential Therapies community are energised and inspired to grow and learn together.

Image credit: Anonymous e. Image shared with permission.

We have a heartfelt passion for our work, and this gives us a great sense of meaning and purpose. We, at times, feel misunderstood within mainstream systems. We understand that we are ongoingly developing language and discourses to adequately describe what we collectively do, frameworks or maps to guide our practice and communicate it to others, and the confidence to stand strongly in our professional identity. Developing common discourses, mapping the territories of our practice, and being able to confidently advocate for our profession are all important aspects of what we need to learn and know. Our professional development has the potential to be more than a vehicle for sharing our existing knowledges, and to become a space in which we generate, co-create and grow new knowings together.

Summary CCET PD: Belong, Create, Grow - Together

PACFA’S community of Creative and Experiential Therapists prize community, connection, diversity and multi-modality, and are energised by a shared passion for ongoing professional development, personal and collective growth.

Professional development events organised by PACFA’s College of Creative and Experiential Therapies will attend to the needs of our community.

We hold the intention that qualities of belonging, creating and growing together will continue to inform the ways we curate and structure professional development offerings for our community of practice as we move forward, with purpose and integrity, together.

Image credit: CCET’s hybrid gathering attendees in Ballarat. Image shared with permission.