top of page

16th European Arts Therapies Conference​

14-17 September 2022


MEMORY  Shaping Connections in the Arts Therapies

ATMINTIES  atspindžiai menų terapijose

16th European Arts Therapies Conference​

14-17 September 2022

Vilnius University, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania


Nisha headshot theatre NYU.jpg


Watch here for the recorded keynote

Conference Evaluation Form

Please take some time to complete an evaluation form.  We value your feedback.

ECArTE Conference 2022 Survey

Keynote Saturday 17th September  

Please find a HANDOUT for the keynote 

Memory, Attitude, Childhoods and the Arts Therapies: from Research to Practice

Phil Jones, Deborah Haythorne, Alyson Coleman, Lynn Cedar, Daniel Mercieca

Bursary Anchor

To be and not to be: Memory, care, and the contradictory imagination


Are we what we remember? Everything we remember is an act of imagination. We are actively reconstructing the way it was then in the here and now. Memory is sensory, iconic, and haptic. It consists of images, sounds, tastes, and smells to which we add a story to create meaning. These stories are neurophysiologically, socially, and technologically encoded, performed through daily habits and rituals, transmitted through artistic representation, and traced throughout cultural objects and architecture. Memories offer us continuity, a sense of place and identity. Therefore, the loss of memory presents an ontological dilemma for those whose memories are no longer accessible and for those who care with and for them. 


Are we what we forget? Memory is the process of storing and then remembering this information. However, memory practices, such as what to memorialize, are often sites of psychological, social, and political struggle, as they underpin the construction of the past as well the present. Thus, the preservation of particular memories is also linked to negation, suppression, and culturally authorized forms of silencing. Recent science would also suggest that forgetting is a form of learning, a way of altering access to memory in response to a dynamic and changing environment. 


Drawing on examples of research and artistic practice, I will take up these two questions as they arise in the pedagogy and practice of the arts therapies. In particular, I will draw on recent studies that illuminate the unique contributions of the creative arts therapies to memory care, contributions that rely on our capacities to invite and inhabit contradiction.

Dr. Nisha Sajnani, RDT-BCT, is the Director of the Program in Drama Therapy and Theatre & Health Lab at New York University. She is also on faculty with NYU Abu Dhabi where she developed a trans-disciplinary course entitled Can Art Save Lives? which unites current evidence for the health benefits of the arts and arts therapies with practice and policy. Dr. Sajnani is the principal editor of Drama Therapy Review, and a founding member of the World Alliance of Drama Therapy. In her capacity as Chair of the NYU Creative Arts Therapies Consortium and International Research Alliance, she leads a commission to map the evidence for the physical, mental, and social health benefits of the arts and arts therapies for the World Health Organization. She is the co-author of two books, including Intercultural Drama Therapy: Imaginings at the Intersections of Otherness with Ditty Doktor, and an Introductory Guide to Research Methods for Drama Therapists (under contract). She is the co-editor of Trauma-Informed Drama Therapy: Transforming Clinics, Classrooms, and Communities (2nd edition forthcoming). An award winning author, educator, and advocate, her body of work explores the unique ways in which aesthetic experience can inspire care and collective human flourishing across the lifespan.


Watch this video by Audra Brazauskaitė, the creator of the 2022 Conference logo about the inspiration and story behind the design

LMTA academy of music.jpg
Vilnius Academy of Arts.jpg
bottom of page