About Yehudit

profile

Yehudit is committed to the arts as a method for inquiry, creative expression, therapy, and social change. She combines her therapeutic and artistic skills to create evocative documentaries to raise awareness about challenging subjects.

CHAIR, DEPARTMENT OF CREATIVE ARTS THERAPIES, CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, MONTREAL, QUEBEC

Offering graduate accredited programs in Drama Therapy, Art Therapy, and Music Therapy. Yehudit received  a 2014 Curriculum Innovation Award – for developing the first blended and online course in creative arts therapies

FILMMAKER

The Hidden Face Of Suicide © March, 2010 (58 minutes)
Written, Produced, Directed, and original music by Yehudit Silverman
English with French subtitles, dubbed into Polish

This award winning film enters the world of survivors, those who have lost loved ones to suicide and tells their remarkable stories. It was recently featured on New York Public Television and Poland Public Television stations as well as in theatrical screenings at the Curzon Cinema in London, and Cinema du Parc in Montreal, and has screened in Japan, Thailand, Australia, South Africa, Turkey, Wales, the UK, Ireland, and the US. Yehudit has been invited to screen the film and give presentations and lead workshops at academic conferences, universities, community centres and suicide organizations internationally.

The Story Within - Myth And Fairy Tale In Therapy © 2004
Produced and Directed by Yehudit Silverman (53 minutes)
In English with French subtitles, translated into Turkish

This film is based on Yehudit’s original creative arts therapies approach to using myth and fairy tale in therapy. Segments of the film were featured on A&E television network show breakfast with the arts, presented with Turkish subtitles at The Arts and Therapy Seminar, Istanbul, Turkey, as well as in Tokyo, South Africa, Australia, the UK, and the U.S. Yehudit has been invited to screen the film and give presentations in conferences and universities and the film is used in the curriculum of many creative arts therapies programs. It was recently featured in a seminar in Portugal.

THERAPIST

Yehudit is a registered dance movement therapist and a registered drama therapist. She has received extensive training in somatic work such as body mind centering (working with movement repatterning and integrating body systems) and somatic experiencing (psychobiological method for addressing physical and emotional trauma) . In clinical practice for twenty five years, she worked at several Montréal hospitals including the Montréal Children’s Hospital, the Douglas Hospital, and St. Mary’s Hospital. In her work in hospitals as well as in private practice she worked with children and adults suffering from mental illness, eating disorders, PTSD, medical conditions, and physical and emotional trauma.

TRAINER/PRESENTER/WORKSHOP LEADER

Yehudit has been invited to present her work internationally at conferences, universities, organizations, seminars, and most recently is developing online presentations and trainings. She offers presentations, workshops and trainings on the following subjects:

  • The Story Within—Myth And Fairy Tale In Therapy
    • Presentations: Yehudit presents her original approach to using myth and fairy tale in therapy. using excerpts form her film and other visual examples of how the process works she introduces the basic concepts and steps of the process and as well gives the audience a few experiential exercises to begin their own personal explorations.
    • Workshop/Class: In this workshop/class participants will have the opportunity to experience, document, and learn about the creative process through the use of myth and story. Participants will choose a character from a myth or story that reflects their own personal journey. In the workshop/class they will explore this character through the use of masks, movement, art, drama, and music, going through the specific steps in the Story Within process. The process was developed to be safe, gradual, and fostering participants' own inner healing.
  • Working With Creative Projection And Body-Mind Approaches To Work With Trauma
    • Presentations: Yehudit combines her training in creative arts therapies and somatic body min approaches to offer a unique way to working with physical and emotional trauma. She offers presentations for those who work directly with trauma. The presentation will introduce the audience to the basic concepts and specific tools of this approach, and will also present film clips and visual examples of using this approach.
    • Workshops/Trainings: Yehudit offers workshops and training to those who work directly with trauma on how to incorporate the use of creative projection and body-mind approaches. In these workshops, participants will have an opportunity to experience the use of creative projection onto different creative mediums as a way of working with trauma and vicarious trauma. Participants will also learn basic concepts and tools of working with the body’s nervous system, natural resources, and body-mind connections. The focus can be either on working directly with trauma or the vicarious trauma of those who work with trauma.
  • Suicide
    • Film screenings and lectures around The Hidden Face Of Suicide (58 minutes)
    • Yehudit is available for live or online Q&A after the film screening as well as lectures and interactive presentations on the issue of suicide survivors, the arts, and meaning making.
  • Cross-Cultural Arts Focus on Suicide Awareness
    • Yehudit developed a unique approach to working with diverse communities around the issue of suicide. She has led several cross cultural arts based symposiums on suicide awareness that included members of the Inuit, Mohawk, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, East Asian, Baha’i, Senior, Adolescents, and LGBTQ communities. The goal of these events, symposiums, and workshops is to come together for the purpose of cultural exchange and dialogue about the use of the arts in suicide prevention, support, and resiliency.
  • Mask Making In Therapy
    • Yehudit offers trainings and presentations on how to use self-created masks in therapy and for personal growth.

Non-profit fund

Hidden Face of Suicide Donation Fund (HFOS): all profits from sales of the film The Hidden Face of Suicide go into a fund which supports the educational outreach of the Montreal organization Family Survivors of Suicide, and to make the film available with appropriate translation to suicide organizations internationally. The Board of Directors is made up of three participants in film.

Publications

Silverman, Y. (2004). The Story Within—Myth and Fairy Tale in Therapy. The Arts in Psychotherapy. Vol 31/3 pp. 127-135

Silverman, Y. (2005). "Drama therapy—theoretical approaches." Creative arts therapies modalities a guide to the history, theoretical approaches, assessment, and work with special populations of art, play, dance, music, drama, and poetry therapies. New York: Charles C Thomas.

Silverman, Y. (2006). "Drama therapy with adolescent survivors of sexual abuse: the use of myth, metaphor and fairy tale." The use of the creative therapies with sexual abuse survivors. New York: Charles C Thomas.

Silverman, Y., Smith, F., Burns, M. (2013). Coming Together in Pain and Joy: A Multicultural and Arts-Based Suicide Awareness Project. The Arts in Psychotherapy. Vol 40 pp. 216 – 223

Media Publications, Interviews, Press Release

Silverman, Y. (2013). We need to talk more not less about suicide, Opinion piece, Montreal Gazette, May 7, 2013.

Interviewed and featured in Turkish news, April 2013

Desjardins, C. (2013). Breaking the silence of suicide—Concordia University researcher uses the arts to reveal the cross-cultural implications of suicide.

Press Release about cross-cultural suicide research. Available from noodls, AMEQ en Ligne (subscription only), Press-News, News Medical, and Science Codex.

Research

  • Awarded a Curriculum Innovation Fund Grant for developing the first online “Introduction to Creative Arts Therapies” course, 2014
  • Awarded a University SEED Individual Grant for “An interfaith initiative to foster better communication and empathy between young adults from Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities using the arts, shared sacred narratives, and documentary film” 2014
  • Awarded a University Seed Funding Grant for cross-cultural Communities: Suicide, Resiliency, and the Arts
  • Awarded from CASA Special Project Grants for Suicide Awareness Event
  • Awarded from the FQRSC Establishment of New Research for Professors Breaking the Silence Around Suicide—an Interdisciplinary Approach to Raising Awareness and Changing Attitudes
  • Awarded from SSHRC Standard Research for Breaking the Silence Around Suicide—and Interdisciplinary Approach to Raising Awareness and Changing Attitudes
  • North American Drama Therapy Association Research Award 2009

Artistic Creations

  • Music
    • Song “Hold On” from the film The Hidden Face of Suicide available for free download
    • CD – music from the film The Hidden Face of Suicide
  • Collages and Masks: see the gallery for images.