Arts and Healing at San Francisco State University

welcome to the 2008 course

Your page:  Class contributions, email me
What to do between sessions of this class
About the project for grades due December 13, 2008

website links

Creative Healing book online .


What Happened in each class:  a review

Session one: introduction
Session two: physiology
Session three: history
Session four: Becoming a healing artist
Session five: Dance and healing
Session six: Joining visual arts, dance, and words to heal
Session seven:  words and healings, restory your life
Session eight: Music as healing, chants, ritual, prayer

email to Michael Samuels

Twelve session outline syllabus:

Art As Healing will meet on three weekends: Sept 6-7,
Oct 18-19, and Dec 13-14

1.  Saturday morning, Introduction:  An overview of the field, The
Transformative power of art, How artists and musicians use art to heal
themselves, how art and music are used to heal people who are ill in hospitals
now, how art and music free our healing energies.  The field of art and healing
worldwide.  How art and healing fit into holistic medicine.

2. Saturday afternoon, How art heals: Scientific research studies, physiology,
the autonomic nervous system, the immune system, the mind body models of
healing, resonating the body, mind, and spirit, freeing healing energy,
changing attitude and giving hope, freeing the spirit to heal, healing the
earth.  Guided imagery and art and healing.

3. Sunday morning, The history of art and healing:  Art as a transformational
force, how art and healing were one, the hunter gatherer, the shaman, how the
ancient peoples used art to heal, the ancient agricultural peoples, Christian
healing art and music, Buddhist healing art and music, our traditions of art as
effecting the world rediscovered.

4. Sunday afternoon, How people use art to heal: Painting, sculpture, music,
dance, poetry, storytelling, we are all artists.  Making a studio, sacred space
and time. An overview of how to use art to heal and how to teach art and
healing to others.  Intention, the witness, release the inner critic.

5. Saturday morning, Painting and Sculpture and healing: Drawing images from
within, seeing the illness and its healing forces, how to use shapes and colors
to heal, mandalas for healing, fabric arts, healing quilts, murals, going to
art shows as healing, examples of art that heals, hanging art when you are ill.

6. Saturday afternoon, Music and healing: combining music with guided imagery,
drumming, examples of healing music from around the world, going to concerts,
listening to music, using tapes when you are ill, playing music, singing,
chanting, toning.

7. Sunday morning, Dance and healing: Moving and healing, moving in bed,
dancing the spirits, going to dance performances, finding your own healing

8. Sunday afternoon, Poetry and storytelling as healing:  Bringing out our
healing stories, freeing our emotions,  telling our story, finding our healing
voice, going to theater as healing, writing poetry and Journaling as healing.

9. Saturday morning, How healers use art and music today: Hospital programs in
art and music, art and music at the bedside, the artist in residence in medical
centers, performances in art and music for people who are ill, museums and
concerts as healing.  How artists use art to heal themselves, the artist's
stories, artists healing themselves with art, music and dance.  How artists use art to heal others, artists healing other people.

10. Saturday afternoon, How artists use art to heal the earth.  Artists healing
their community, artists healing the earth. Neighborhood art, eco art, universal spiritual art.

11. Sunday morning, The artist as a healer, a new figure in art and in
healthcare.  The spiritual in art and healing. Transcendence. How
the spirit heals with art.

12. Sunday afternoon, Conclusion:  Art and healing are one, the creative
spiral, the future of art and healing, making yourself into a healing artist,
changing your life.

This course is about getting in touch with the creative spirit
within yourself; it is also about bringing the transformational
power of art into health-care and the community. We are discovering that various
forms of art, music, dance, and poetry have profound healing effects
- that soulful self-expression can help heal yourself, others, and the earth.

The course will describe the physiology and history of art and
healing and explore how to use the various expressive arts (writing,
movement, art/image, silence and sound) in the healing process.
The course will review case studies and examples from the doctors,
nurses, therapists and hospitals that are incorporating music and
art into patient care and explore options for such care in our own
community.  It will also explore how artists use art to heal relationships, neighborhoods, and ecosystems.

Michael Samuels, M.D.
is the founder and director of Art As A Healing force, a project
started in 1990 and devoted to integrating the arts and healing.
He lectures nationwide to physicians, nurses, artists and patients
on how to use art in healing.  He is  the author of  seventeen
books including the best selling Well Body Book, Well Baby Book,
Well Pregnancy Book, and Seeing With the Mind's Eye. He is author
with Mary Rockwood Lane of Creative Healing, How Anyone Can Use
Art, Writing, Music, and Dance to Heal Body and Soul and Spirit Body Healing. He also has a private practice using art and guided imagery with cancer
patients and others with life threatening illness. He is on the board of Commonweal, Tamalpa, and The Center for Art and Healing, Research and Education, Arts In Medicine, University of Florida.  He is currently implementing art and healing programs in hospitals across the country.

Institute for Holistic Healing Studies
    Deptartment of Health Education
    San Francisco State University
    1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132

    Email:        Tel: 415.338.1210
    Fax: 415.338.0573           IHHS Office: HSS Building, Room 329

 HH 660 Arts and Healing
                                                  3 units

   Studies and applications of the transformational power of art. The
history of art and healing and the physiology of the healing process.
Examples and case studies of health-care professionals, artists and
hospitals that are incorporating music and art into patient care.
Exploration of the various expressive arts (writing, movement,
art/image, silence and sound) for personal, relational, institutional and
ecological healing. Creating community art, ritual and collective healing.

Art as Healing

Fall 2008, Instructor: Michael Samuels, M.D.

Course Summary

This course will give students an overview of the entire field of art and
healing.  It will describe the physiology and history of art and healing, tell
how to use art, writing, music and dance to heal, give examples of programs
that use art to heal and give examples of artists healing themselves, others,
and the earth.  It will emphasize how art and healing is part of holistic
healing and will speak about spirituality and art and healing. The course will
have guided imagery exercises and experiences throughout.

The course will involve the student deeply in the world of art and healing.
Students will do a project on art and healing and actually use art to heal
themselves, others or the earth.  This will be one of the first courses on art
and healing in the nation.  It will prepare the student to become an artist
healer.  It will interest anyone who is an artist or healer or wants to become
an artist healer. It is innovative and revolutionary.  Art and healing is different from art therapy and expressive arts in that is does not require a license or special degree.  It only requires that the person be passionate, work from the heart, and love.


Your grades will be based on:
A journal about your involvement in art and healing
A paper about your favorite part of art and healing
A project on art and healing to heal yourself, others, or the

Required book

Creative Healing, Michael Samuels, M.D., and Mary Rockwood Lane, Ph D., Harper
San Francisco, 1998.
And later, Spirit Body Healing, Michael Samuels and Mary Rockwood Lane, Wiley, Oct 2000.

We will have guest teachers each session who are experts in their fields.  They
will demonstrate how they use art to heal.  We will have an internship opportunity at a hospital and/or neighborhood art project.

This is a new course taught for the first time.  The opportunities are immense, the outcome will be a surprise.

Learning objectives:

Students will learn:

Frame their own view of a patient's inner journey of healing
Experience the imagery of artists and patients as they heal
Understand the physiology and history of art and healing
Understand how art can be used with patients
Understand how an artist can use art to heal themselves, others and the earth
Understand how the creative process heals
Understand how  they themselves can be a healing artist and heal themselves,
others, and the earth.
Become art healers or healing artists

The field of art and healing

There is an exciting new movement being born today in healing and art.  Art and
healing are joining and becoming one.  The healer is discovering that art,
music, dance and poetry have profound healing effects. Doctors, nurses, and
therapists are now working with artists and musicians to heal people of all
ages with many conditions including cancer and  AIDS.  Healers have found that
art and music, combined with traditional medicine are powerful healing tools.
At the same time, artists and musicians have found that art and music heals
themselves and others around them.  The artists and musicians who have healed
themselves of illness are changing the art and music they perform to become
healing art..

Because of this merging of art and healing, hospitals all over the world are
incorporating music and art into patient care.  The most sophisticated
university medical centers are now creating art in medicine programs which
invite artists and musicians to work with patients and literally change the
hospital environment.  These programs have the artists and musicians go into
the patient's room or perform in atrium spaces.  The patients watch and
experience the exhilaration of a symphony or the beauty of an exhibition or
they paint, play music, or dance themselves with the artists.  Art and music
crack the sterile space of fear the patients live in and they open it to the
joys of the human spirit.  The spirit freed then helps the body heal.
Replacing fear with hope is the essence of modern mind body medicine.

Programs at University of Florida, Gainesville, Duke at Durham, and University
of California, San Francisco, all have incorporated sophisticated art programs
in the medical center for both their patients and their staff.  The Art in
Medicine program at University of Florida, Gainesville, now has three artists
in residence, a poet, a painter and a dancer.  These artists and over twenty
others, enter the rooms of patients with cancer and other illnesses every day
and make art with them.  The artists play music, dance, draw and sculpt.  They
write poetry, tell stories and even dress as clowns.  Patients watch, tell the
artist what they want them to do, or make art along side of the artist.

Performances of music, dance, poetry, or theater, are put on in the hospital
lobby .  Patients are brought from their rooms, families and staff stop as they
go to lunch, the music drifts through the sterile corridors and draws more
people towards its transformational power.  Patients and staff alike leave
relaxed and uplifted, they are changed and healed.  Patients at University of
Florida who are visited by the Art in Medicine artists say their whole
experience of being ill is changed.  They are more hopeful, happier, feel
better and have less pain.  This process takes place whether the patients or
their families watch the artists or make art themselves.  Even if they watch,
they still are an audience who participates with their heart.  If they are too
sick to paint they can see themselves being painted or can tell the artist what
to draw, a favorite scene, an animal, their child.  There are studies in
progress now about whether patients will heal faster or live longer.  It has
been shown that patients who feel better about themselves and are more hopeful
live linger with cancer.  Art and music certainly put a person in a state of
joy and hope.

Likewise healing art heals the artist and art.  The new movement of healing art
is producing  art and music in all mediums that is spiritually uplifting for
the artist and the audience.  Sculpture, painting, music, dance, poetry and
theater all now have healing art in their midst.  Until healing art, art had
lost its meaning for the both the artist and the culture.  Art hung on the
walls to decorate or increase in value.  Going to museums or galleries was
confusing and often meaningless for the viewer.  Art and healing bring art back
to having a purpose and  gives artists a reason to be and a role in society
that is meaningful.  Art and healing make the art have value to people's lives
again.  The art of Christine Corbat is deeply moving to her and her patients.
Hollis Sigler is a breast cancer survivor who was a well known painter before
she became ill.  She was a leader in the feminist art movement, painting
domestic scenes about her own life as a woman.  After her diagnosis she painted
a series of paintings that chronicles her inner life with breast cancer. Her
work expressed her thoughts about her illness and her anger at the way society
views woman with breast cancer.  Her paintings evoke a sense of vulnerability,
isolation, and sometimes waning hope.  The exhibition of her works has toured
hospitals nationwide and has been shown at the United States Congress.  It has
been moving and Transformative to women with or without cancer.  Woman with
breast cancer realize that they are not alone in having deep images of their

Brief Biography- Dr. Michael Samuels

Michael Samuels, M.D. is the founder and director of Art As A Healing Force, a
project started in 1990 devoted to making art and healing one.  He lectures
nationwide to physicians, nurses, artists, and patients on how to use art in
healing.  He has organized many nationwide conferences on art and healing and
visits and participates in projects in hospitals where art and music are used
with patients.  He is the author of fifteen books including the best selling
Well Body Book, Well Baby Book, Well Pregnancy Book, and Seeing With the Mind's
Eye.  He is the author with Mary Rockwood Lane of Creative Healing, How anyone
can use art, writing, music, and dance to heal body and soul.  Currently he has
a private practice that uses art and guided imagery with cancer patients and
people with life threatening illness.

Brief resume

Michael Samuels, M.D.
Star Route
Bolinas, Ca.
415 868 0533
Florida 904 9356593
352 219 4449

Born New York City, 1942
Brown University, 1960-1963
New York University College of Medicine, M.D., 1967
Research immunogenetics, New York  University, 1964-1967
Residency, Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center San Francisco, 1967-1968
United States Public Health Service, Hopi Indian Reservation, 1968-1969
Marin County, California, Department of Public Health, Physician, 1969-1975
Co-founder, co-director, Physician, Headlands Clinic, Bolinas, California,
Author, 1972-1999
Workshop leader and teacher, guided imagery for patients with life threatening
illnesses, 1985-1999
Private practice and consultation in guided imagery for patients with
life-threatening illnesses, 1975-1999
Advisory boards of Commonweal, Tamalpa institute,  Alpha institute
Co-Founder and Director, Art as a Healing Force Program, 1990-1999
Performance artist doing ritual to heal the earth and make art and healing one.


 The Well Body Book
Be Well
Spirit Guides
The Well Baby Book
The Well Child Book
The Well Child Coloring Book
The Well Pregnancy Book
Well Body, Well Earth
The Well Adult
Take Charge Of Your Arthritis
Take Charge of Your Hypertension
Take Charge of your Heart Disease
Seeing with the Mind's Eye
Healing with the Mind's Eye
Creative Healing, how anyone can use art, writing, music, and dance to heal
body and soul.
The Path of the Feather , Putnam, Oct, 2000
Spirit Body Healing : How art heals with your spirit, Wiley Oct, 2000