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2019 Mirrors Article

Community Outreach Committee News

 

By Pamela McCrory, Terry Marks-Tarlow, and Ariel Cohen

 

 

 

The Community Outreach Committee (COC) was formed in 2008. Its mission is to develop and strengthen relationships between LACPA and relevant community organizations and individuals. Our commitment to inclusiveness, diversity, and the promotion of understanding of mental health issues and the profession of psychology guide our efforts. Over the years LACPA’s community outreach efforts include education about the impact of stress on the body and mind; and stress effects on students subjected to high-stakes testing and educational pressure.  Each event was mounted with much professional effort, well organized and important—but disappointing because they were not well attended. 

 

In 2011 President elect Pamela McCrory and COC chair Terry Marks-Tarlow created a proposal to integrate their passion for psychology, creativity and arts—Mirrors of the Mind was born! The annual event showcases clinician and student created multimedia arts, poetry and theater. It has thrived as a unique celebration of psychology, creativity, culture and community, with growing participation, swelling attendance, and has earned national recognition. We believe creativity is an essential aspect of our humanity which contributes to our professional and personal development. The arts provide a wonderful platform to engage community and expand awareness of mental health and our profession. Art expands consciousness in multiple directions. It stretches the imagination; it allows us to play with new possibilities; it helps to re-envision the past in the context of a different present. When we psychotherapists dabble in the arts, we cross-fertilize our minds. Photography sharpens perspective plus an eye for detail. Painting affords the refuge of imaginary worlds. Sculpture grounds our hands in the earth. Drawing helps illustrate psychological concepts in new ways. Dance affords a sense of flow plus synesthetic union between motion and movement.

 

We have just completed year seven of this juried exhibition, which included nearly 90 visual artists and well over 400 people attending the opening reception. We are convinced the event touches some nerve in the community. Art speaks a universal language that levels out all degrees, whether Masters level, social workers, clinical psychologists or MD psychiatrists.

 

In 2019 we have expanded our arts offering to the community by presenting Theater of the Mind, an exciting evening of theater, music, and dance—all carefully curated with an eye towards psychological healing and growth in an intimate theater setting. This event was a collaboration between Ariel Cohen, chair of the Community Outreach Committee of the San Fernando Valley Chapter of CAMFT alongside Paula Thomson of CSUN, an incredible psychologist/teacher/choreographer.

 

Community Outreach is a thriving and hard-working committee of talented clinicians, professors and graduate students, committed to building community and passionate about the power of the arts to inspire, educate and create community. If you are interested in joining our committee or in helping out with future Mirrors of the Mind or Theater of the Mind events, please contact Terry Marks-Tarlow by email: markstarlow@hotmail.com or by phone: 310.458.3418. 

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