Entries by Raina Cowan

State of Heart

Each February for approximately the past decade, I have created my own “heart” image to try to express the current emotional state of my heart. For years working in community mental health settings, I facilitated a weekly Women’s Art Therapy group. Every year around Valentine’s Day, I invited group members to make an image about […]

Resources for Infertility and/or Pregnancy Loss

Infertility/Pregnancy Loss is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The inability to conceive and/or produce longed for children can be utterly devastating. It can test even the most resilient of people, the strongest relationships and shatter those on unstable footing at the start. For those who have not experienced significant losses prior to infertility, […]

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HeArts for Baby Carriage ON EXHIBIT!

If you are in or near Chicago/Evanston, please check out the brave group art exhibit and special events: Challenging Conception: the Art of Infertility in Chicago/Evanston, 10/13/18 from 6 – 9 pm at The Open Studio Project, 903 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60202. I have 4 pieces in this show (which runs through November), one of […]

Community Challenge Project: Hearts for Baby Carriage

HeArts for Baby Carriage: Heartache/Heartbreak Thank you for your interest in the HeArts for Baby Carriage project. The intention is to fill my antique baby carriage with hundreds of small sewn stuffed hearts. The hearts are tokens of remembrance: symbolizing the grief and loss (heartache and heartbreak) that people (especially women) experience when faced with […]

Reasons Why Schools Need Expressive Therapists

I recently finished watching Season 1 of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” based on the book of the same name by Jay Asher. Season 2 is available on Netflix starting today. The show candidly tackles subjects such as bullying, cyber bullying, slut-shaming, consent, sexual assault, “bro-culture” and of course, suicide. Since the show aired, […]

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Mama-thon: the marathon of Motherhood

“Mama” & “Is she yours?” These are the two phrases that are the most shocking to me since I became a mom over 5 years ago. That anybody would call me “Mama” or “Mommy” still sometimes catches me off guard after years of infertility and multiple miscarriages, followed by the adoption of our amazing daughter. […]

Agent of Change

As a counselor and art therapist I consider myself an “agent of change”. I see my role as assisting my clients in becoming their own agents of change (assuming most people seek Counseling because there are aspects of themselves or their relationships or lives that they would like to change or “improve” or just be “different” […]

The Creative Process: Manifestation

To manifest is to make something visible. In essence, creating is making something known that was not before. Art making is self-actualizing. Through the act of making things, we define aspects of ourselves. By cooking a wonderful dinner for example, we foster the idea of ourselves as capable of cooking a tasty, nutritious meal. Similarly, […]

The Creative Process: Exploration

Exploration is the stage of the creative process that requires the most courage. Some even skip incubation and preparation and surrender themselves to exploring. In art therapy, the therapist often prepares the space and the materials so that the client may start exploring immediately. Some artists also keep fuss-free materials at the ready in order […]