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Conference Presentations & Workshops

Ginna Clark PsyD LPCC ATR-BC

1344 C Pacheco Street

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

803.682.2841 (c) 

August 2017                          Falling in Love with Love and Flirting with Potentialities, Workshop

                                                 Transformation and Healing Conference, Santa Fe, NM


“Life,” writes Carotenuto (1989), “conspires to arouse us”. As such, much of our work in psychotherapy involves wrestling with the most intense and often overwhelming human experiences: love and suffering. Love can give meaning to an entire lifetime and it can also be the source of our most agonizing despair. Falling in love can often be experienced as something akin to possession, inspiring a force or energy that has little regard for normalcy, predictability, or even sanity. This workshop explores the obsessive, addictive and transformative properties of love and explores variations of the falling in love experience--between mother and child, guru and devotee, lover and beloved, addict and substance.


October 2016                         Addressing Sexuality and Desire Across the Lifespan: A Multimodal Expressive Arts                                             Approach, Advanced Practice Full Day Course

                                                  Expressive Arts Summit, New York, NY


Of all the topics that clients and therapists find uncomfortable to talk about in the confines of the treatment room, sexuality is probably one of the most challenging. This 6-hour master class will feature ways in which expressive arts therapies can be used to help therapists and their clients address this. Together, we will engage in art making, reflective writing, experiential exercises, and dialogue for facilitating effective work with these issues in counseling and psychotherapy. Participants will learn a variety of prompts and directives that can be used to help adolescents and adults explore facets of their sexuality in a variety of clinical treatment situations, and promote participants’ awareness of their own attitudes and values regarding sexuality and its impact on treatment.

August 2015                           Queering Ethics: On Straight Lines and DeviationsWorkshop

                                                  Transformation and Healing Conference, Santa Fe, NM



Freud was among the first to put quotation marks around “normal” when referring to matters of sexuality. He placed sexuality—desires, drives, wishes, and fantasies--at the heart of the unconscious and, in so doing, called into question the  clean division between normal and pathological. Similarly, queer theory, a set of ideas that emerged in the late 1990s, unsettles clear distinctions and deconstructs "normative" (or straight) ideology. While queer theory is grounded in the study of gender and sexuality, it more generally challenges categories and ideas that we often think of as fixed and rigid. In so doing, it redirects our attention to deviations. It asks us to “disorient” in order to figure out where we stand, what positions we implicitly take, and the lines of thought that direct us.  In this workshop, we will use the lens of queer theory to take a look at how queerness disrupts and reorders embedded assumptions in psychotherapy, especially in working with sexual issues.


June 2015                               Addressing Sexuality in Clinical Practice: Listening and Responding to Sexual                                                     Worries, Advanced Practice Full-day Course

                                                American Art Therapy Conference, Minneapolis, MN


Despite the importance of sexuality in our lives, talking about sex can be one of the most challenging areas of clinical practice for therapists. Hook and Andrews (2005) found that worries and problems related to sexuality were among the most common difficulties not disclosed to therapists. Our own histories, fears, hang-ups, familial messages, and embarrassment can make both client and therapist hesitant to address sexuality in therapy. An important skill for therapists to develop is to find ways to encourage and invite the discussion of sexuality into the therapeutic dialogue. We, as reflective practitioners, need to explore our own attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and assumptions about sexuality that might inadvertently limit or shut down sex-positive exploration. We also need to find ways to help support and encourage our clients to feel comfortable sharing sexual concerns.


In this course, we will explore the societal realities that make talking about sexuality difficult for the therapist and client. We will do exercises to help participants become aware of their own comfort/discomfort and to expand their ability to venture into new clinical terrain. We will then identify ways to help client’s feel safe speaking about their sexual concerns, worries, and problems (Levine, Risen & Althof, 2010). We will look at sexuality as a normal developmental process over the lifespan (Daniluk, 1998; Rossi, 1999). In doing so, our goal is to help therapists feel more capable and competent in helping clients develop a fuller, richer, and less shameful sexual life.


October 2014                        Objects of Desire and Desiring Subjects: On Sexuality in Psychotherapy,

                                                 Community Lecture

                                                 New Earth Institute, Santa Fe, NM



Every psychotherapy process begins with desire. Our conscious and unconscious longings inform therapy from start to finish. By exploring diverse case examples, contemporary psychoanalytic theory, and experimental research, this lecture offers a reinterpretation of psychotherapy as a process of awakening or cultivating desire. We will consider how the objects of our desire inform and shape our psychological lives, how the erotic is present in the relationships that transform, break, and enliven us, how our sexuality is often where our deepest hopes and dreads are animated, and how we can create a therapeutic space that allows for the elaboration and integration of erotic desire without invasive overstimulation or silent humiliation. 


August 2014                         Sexual Fantasies and the Erotic ImaginationWorkshop

                                                Transformation and Healing Conference, Santa Fe, NM



The erotic imagination is capable of creating an endless variety of images, stories, and scenarios to fuel our fantasy lives. Using elements from our past and present, from culture and childhood, from biology and psychology, it produces fantasies that comprise much of our internal erotic lives. Because sexual excitement is exquisitely sensitive to and expressive of the inner workings of psyche, exploring fantasies can be a means of getting to know some of the most important parts of our selves. In this workshop, we will explore the ways in which sexual fantasies help us transcend the past, manage shame, counteract threat, disconfirm painful beliefs, and more fully embrace pleasure 


July 2013                               The Art of Money: Ethics and Earnings in Psychotherapy

                                                Advanced Practice Full-Day Course

                                                American Art Therapy Conference, San Antonio, TX



Money is a powerful societal symbol, one of the most important currencies with which we trade and exchange on a daily basis. It informs and often dictates most decisions we make and is a strong determinant in what we move toward and invite into our life. Perhaps more than ever it’s becoming increasingly important for clinicians to know themselves in the realm of money making and money matters (Trachtman, 2011; Grodzki, 2000). This is true not only in learning how to creatively manage the sometimes troubling internal tension between care/concern for clients and our own financial needs as clinicians, but also in helping clients develop a language for exploring value and currency in their own lives (Dimen, 1994).


In this workshop participants will have the opportunity to explore their own relationship with money and the themes therein. A brief history of the fee in psychotherapy will be presented. Cultural and professional taboos in talking about money will be explored, as well as gender differences in establishing and collecting fees. Exploring money matters with clients, the psychodynamics of money, and transference/countertransference issues will also be discussed. Together we’ll examine the work of several artists who are aesthetically exploring money by enlarging, exposing, painting on, and collaging over some important current themes. Participants will have the opportunity to explore their personal relationship to money and money matters in an “altered bill” project. 


June 2012                              Picturing Desire: Sexuality in Art Therapy

                                                 Advanced Practice Full-Day Course

                                                 American Art Therapy Conference, Seattle, WA



Despite being inundated with sexual material in the media and popular culture, clients report that sexual issues are among the most difficult to talk about in therapy. That said, it’s estimated that 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men in the U.S. suffer from some type of sexual dysfunction (Laumann, Paik & Rosen, 1999) that includes a wide variety of issues including a lack of desire, arousal problems, inability to achieve orgasm, physical pain during sex, and anxiety about sexual performance. Other issues that present in therapist’s offices around the country include sexual orientation issues, adolescent sexuality and development, non-traditional coupling and queer sexualities, as well as the intersection of religiosity and parental scripts on solo-sexual practices, promiscuity, and sexual exploration.This workshop attempts to explore these very issues in an art therapy context, where image and metaphor can be used to communicate difficult and often shame-riddled clinical material. Beginning with a brief history of sexuality in art therapy, this workshop uses clinical vignettes and artwork to explore diverse sexual issues, as well as the implications for supervision and education in art therapy. Detailed clinical material will be discussed, as well as the advantages of image-based interventions. 


July 2012                                Relational Aesthetics in Art Therapy

                                                  Advanced Practice Full-Day Course

                                                  American Art Therapy Conference, Savannah, GA



If the art is what heals, if the creative process itself is inherently curative, what, indeed, is the therapist for? If the art making is privileged as the “action” of treatment, does art therapy require less of the therapist? Or, as I will posit in this course, does it require more? And if so, how? The early pioneers of art therapy have long since established that the relationship the client develops to the art and the relationship the client develops with the therapist operate in tandem (Kramer, 1987; Naumberg, 1966; Robbins, 2000). What is perhaps undertheorized and less privileged is the notion that as much as the therapeutic relationship can enhance and inform the art making, it can also weaken and undercut its curative potential as well.


This course will begin by taking an in-depth look at qualitative data on client’s actual experiences in, and reflections of, the therapeutic relationship in art therapy. In a didactic and experiential format, this data will be contextualized using attachment and developmental theory, neuroscience, and contemporary psychoanalytic thought. Particular emphasis will be paid to (1) the ethical implications of working relationally, (2) using relational/interpersonal data as an “assessment” tool to glean more information about the client, as well as the (3) implications of clinical enactments on multiculturalism and diversity. Ultimately, this course is designed to replace our often clichéd ideas about the therapeutic relationship with a more detailed picture of the nuances and subtleties that emerge when we “stick to the image” (Berry, 1982, p.57) of the clinical encounter. In this way, participants will be encouraged to look beyond their initial formulations and begin to “particularize” the image of relationship much like we do when presented with a piece of art (Hillman, 1979; Wix, 1997). 


Conference Presentations


Clark, G.H. (2017, November). More than a cursory glance: Particularizing pornography and finding meaning.

             Paper presented to the American Art Therapy Association, Albuquerque, NM and the Institute of Contemporary                      Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, CA.


Clark, G.H. (2017, July). Re-thinking Perversion. Plenary address presented to the International Association of Relational              Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Sydney, Australia.


Clark, G.H. (2016, August). More than skin deep: Queering pornography and matters of the flesh. Paper presented               to the International Federation of Psychoanalytic Educators, Pasadena, CA. 


Clark, G.H. (2015, November). Yes-saying, no-saying, and the places in-Between: An exploration of sexual                     consent and contemporary psychoanalysis. Paper presented to Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los             Angeles, CA.


Clark, G.H. (2012, July). Sexuality in art therapy: Supervision, education, and clinical work. Paper presented to            American Art Therapy Association, Savannah, GA. (


Clark, G.H. (2011, July). Monogamy unsettled, love undone: A contemporary ethos of eros. Paper

            presented as part of a panel on Sexuality and Aggression in Contemporary Context to the International

            Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Madrid, Spain.


Clark, G.H. (2008, November). Rendering relationship: An exploration of the client’s experience. Paper

             presented to American Art Therapy Association, Cleveland, OH.


Clark, G.H. (2008, November). Between client, therapist, and image: The making of relationships.

             Paper presented to American Art Therapy Association, Cleveland, OH.


Clark, G.H. (2007, November). The relationship between psychological strength, emotional

             intelligence, and the creative arts. Poster presented at the American Art Therapy Association, Albuquerque,                     NM.


Clark, G.H. & Fagan, K.H. (2007, November). Witnessing Grief. Performance piece presented at the

                American Art Therapy Association, Albuquerque, NM.

Clark, G.H. & Swickert-Hittner, R. (2006, April). A survey of sexual behavior of adolescents in the

              United States from 1991 to 2003. Poster presented at the Western Psychological Association, Palm Springs,                        CA.


Ross, L.T., Furr, A., and Clark, G.H. (2006, March). Sexual assault, drinking, and eating disorders

              among college women. Poster presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association, Atlanta, GA.


Clark, G.H. & Spicer, C.V. (2005, April).The relationship between personality and prejudice.  Poster

            presented at the South Carolina Psychological Association, Charleston, SC.


Manuscripts in Publication

Ross, L.T.,  Kurth, C.L., Krahn, D.D., & Gomberg. E.S.L., Clark, G.H., & Furr, A.E. 

            Nonconsensual sexual experiences and alcohol consumption among college women. 

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