Papermaking has gained significant momentum in the spheres of Art Therapy and trauma intervention. As with other art-making activities, the act of papermaking allows populations affected by trauma with a means to process memories and emotion through symbolic expression. According to Art Therapist Gretchen Miller, "art-making provides a safe means for expressing and communicating traumatic experiences which often cannot be reconciled through verbal language." Papermaking as Personal Transformation Workshop



Papermaking as Personal Transformation Workshop The process of papermaking is beneficial in trauma intervention as it is a sensory based activity. As the hands and body are involved in the formation of paper, the individual is grounded in the here and now through soothing repetition.


The fact that this process begins with concrete steps and ends in the making of meaning is valuable in trauma therapy, as these steps provide containment, permission to safely share experiences, and opportunities to let go and create new paths towards healing and transformation.

Since our formation in 2011, we have shared with the field of Art Therapy an interest in using hand papermaking as a tool for coping with trauma.

Papermaking as Personal Transformation Workshop


Papermaking as Personal Transformation Workshop

As this interest has developed, so has our engagement with art therapists.

We currently collaborate with art therapists to deliver arts and healing workshops for consumers; train art therapists to use hand papermaking with self-sufficiency in their work; and hold retreat-style workshops for art therapists to have the time and space to make paper for themselves. We also take on art therapy students for custom-designed internships.


Therapeutic Benefits Of Papermaking

Helps decrease guarded & defensive response;
Begins with the concrete & ends with making meaning;
Empowers with control, strength & permission to explore the experience;
Sensory based process includes a mindful, here and now practice;
Helps create a new perspective.

Art & Transformation:

Transformation: an act or process where change takes place within an individual's meaning system through the creative process;
Transformation is often inspired by truth seeking, concern, or conflict;
Transformative change through art becomes important for self-definition, life meaning, and purpose.





Papermaking & Art Therapy links:

The Routledge Companion to Health Humanities, Papermaking, Authored by Drew Luan Matott, Gretchen M. Miller

Reconstituting fibers, more than matter is transformed

FSU student veterans create art as therapy for Peace Paper Project

Whittlesea kids transforming Wish Paper into Gratitude Artworks

Transformation with Handmade Paper

Peacemaking & DIY Papermaking

Transfiguration: Making Peace With Our Bodies


Peacemaking & Papermaking features the papermaking process with a group of youth ages 6-12 as a way to explore & transform feelings about bullying into new sheets of handmade paper with messages of hope and peace.


Peace Paper Project workshop with mental health providers in Glasgow, Scotland


Presentations & Handouts:

Art and Papermaking as Social Action: Keynote presentation by Peace Paper Project at the Buckeye Art Therapy Association on the topic of art as social action, focusing on lecture and visual content related to utilizing papermaking and creative expression as a cathartic process to give meaning, create transformation, and provide empowerment through releasing and reforming fibers into new stories and new beginnings.

DIY Papermaking How-to Steps for Art Therapists: Overview of steps for DIY Papermaking in an art therapist's creative space using paper and a blender.




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