Spotlight on Gracie Bueno - Education and Art Show Chair
Gracie R Bueno is a bilingual art therapist in the Denver-Metro area. She has implemented trauma-informed art therapy to both Spanish bilingual and Spanish monolingual clients for over 3 years. She shared that when working with Spanish-speakers she incorporates a narrative approach when working with the creative process. She goes on to explain that in these settings the client tends to embody the art as the narrative unfolds and this process becomes a witnessing by the client of their embodied narrative and internal emotional state. She describes how this looks different when working with English-speakers; specifically that the latter setting lends itself to a triad where a client places distance from the art created and is then able to reflect on their process. Although the settings may take opposing routes, both are trauma-informed and focus on safety within the art as a container. The narrative-based approach incorporates safety throughout the creative process where the latter establishes safety prior to exploring the creative process. When working with Spanish-speaking clients, Gracie shares that in her experience Spanish-speakers tend to choose tactile materials, fabric, image collage, and sculpture. One piece that Gracie highlighted is that when clients of color walk in her door there is already an established sense of safety to see a therapist that looks similarly in color; thereby 'wordlessly' establishing a sense of rapport between therapist and client.