U of A Professor Kristi Perryman Wins Research Award at Creativity in Counseling Conference

Photo Submitted

Kristi Perryman, an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas, recently received a research award at the Association for Creativity in Counseling Conference for her work in trauma therapy.

Paul Blisard, clinical faculty at the U of A, as well as Rochelle Moss, a colleague from Henderson State University, co-authored the article.

The three — along with adjunct professor Cameron Houin, student Brittany Massengale and recent graduate Kendra Shoge — attended the national conference. The U of A  counselor education program offers a master's degree in counseling and a doctorate in counselor education.

The ACC Research Award recognizes an influential research project about creative, diverse, and relational approaches to counseling. The article, "Using Creative Arts in Trauma Therapy: The Neuroscience of Healing," was originally published in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling.

"Dr. Kristi Perryman served as my mentor during my doctoral studies and continues to model for me how to be an innovative researcher and counselor educator," Houin said. "She teaches the power of creative arts therapy in trauma work and how to utilize current neuroscience research, which has enabled myself and others to enhance our work as a clinicians.

"She is not only helping further our field but positively impacts our students' growth and development daily. I can think of no better recipient for this award."

Perryman's article notes that creative arts strategies are beneficial when working with clients who have unresolved trauma and offers various types of techniques depending on the type of trauma experienced. The advances in neuroscience and neurocounseling are helping mental health clinicians develop more specific and effective methods, as researchers understand more accurately how trauma affects the brain. Having a basic understanding of the physiology of the brain is helpful for counselors so they can apply the best strategies to promote healing.

Researchers say creative arts offer a unique benefit in promoting communication between the right hemisphere, where images and negative unconscious emotions are stored, and the left hemisphere, which houses logic and language.

The article notes that relaxation, along with creative arts strategies and body movement, offers a safe way for the trauma to be recalled and reconsolidated into a less fearful memory. Research indicates that traumatic events most frequently experienced by women are childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault. For men, the trauma is more likely associated with experiencing combat disaster, physical assault, an accident or witnessing an injury or death.

"We hope to continue working with other innovative clinicians, educators and leaders to study the neurological and emotional impact of using creative strategies with those who have experienced trauma," Perryman said.

Perryman and Blisard also presented on the topic of "Ethical Considerations for the use of Creative Techniques in Counseling and Supervision" at the conference.


Shannon G. Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, magsam@uark.edu


Arkansas Alumni Association Announces New Board Members

The Class of 2023 for the Arkansas Alumni Association’s National Board of Directors began work on July 1.

Arkansas Union to Re-Open in July

The Arkansas Union will reopen its entire facility beginning Monday, July 6. Hill Coffee Company will also re-open on Monday, July 6, with a limited menu. Club Red Union remains open 8 a.m.to 2 p.m. weekdays.

School of Art High School Summer Workshop Presents Virtual Exhibition 'Together Apart'

The U of A School of Art recently hosted the second annual summer workshop for high school students that concluded with an online exhibition, 'Together Apart.'

Civil Engineering Graduate Student Awarded American Water Works Association Scholarship

Civil engineering doctoral student Samuel Hodges has earned the American Water Scholarship to further his research into sample gathering technology for use in drinking water.

GPSC Shifts Funds to the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry

The Graduate-Professional Student Congress donated nearly $1,000 worth of food and other needed products to the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Campus Food Pantry.

News Daily