Stitching Stories: Art & Narrative Therapy Practice through Story Cloth


Art and narrative therapy align perfectly in the art of story cloths. Using fabric helps to bring the unspeakable to light in a tactile, and non-threatening way, externalizing the story and allowing for alternative stories to arise verbally and visually. Cross-cultural traditions of sewing in community have been used by women to organize, build relationships, agitate, advocate, grieve, and heal. Traumatic experiences can be expressed using fabric and thread—the process exemplifies Bruce Perry’s Neurodevelopmental Model of working with trauma using relevant, rhythmic, repetitive, relational, and rewarding activities. This workshop explores the power of “women’s work” and how returning to the art and craft of sewing in this technological age provides an opportunity to slow down, think deeply, and join with others in creative community. Participants will sew their own story cloth; materials provided, but feel free to bring special fabric scraps to use and consider what story needs to be told.



Participants will be able to:

  • Recognize how narrative textile creation is used primarily by women from around the world to tell their stories of loss and trauma, resilience and hope
  • Identify 3 ways of incorporating story cloths and narrative therapy into their own practice.
  • Create their own story cloth using 3 classic stitches and understand how to use the process when working with clients.

Target Audience: Art Therapists, Counselors, Social Workers and other mental health professionals interested in expanding their knowledge base regarding art and narrative therapy practice through story cloth. Content will be intermediate to advanced.



9:45-10:00         Registration and Welcome
10:00-1:00         Introduction, background information & discussion; begin story cloths  
1:00-1:45           Lunch (provided)
1:45-2:45           Stitch demo, layout & design, work on story cloths
2:45-3:00           BREAK
3:00-4:50           Work on cloths; application and discussion
4:50-5:00           Evaluations and Certificate Issuance



Lisa Raye Garlock, MS, ATR-BC, ATCS, LCPAT

Lisa Raye Garlock is Clinical Placement Coordinator, Assistant Professor, and AT Gallery Manager at the George Washington University Graduate Art Therapy Program. She also works with the international non-profit, Common Threads Project, co-training therapists in using story cloths, along with other interventions to help women recover from the trauma of gender-based violence. Her recent sabbatical projects included creating the Storycloth Database, an online resource that highlights collections of story cloths that focus on human rights issues. She was also able to focus on her own story cloth work, creating a series of cloths relating to the current immigration issues and other human rights topics here in the US.



$169 Professionals

$149 (GWalumni, faculty & supervisors) CODE: faculty

Space is limited.  Lunch is included


Register for the event


Directions and Parking

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Accessibility Accomodations - GW



Contact Information

Please contact 703-299-4148 if you have questions, concerns, or need special accommodations. Space is limited. Registration closes on May 2, 2019. Cancellations must be received 48 hours prior to the event date to be eligible for a refund.

Course completion & CE Information

Course completion requirements: Social workers must attend the entire course and complete a course evaluation to earn CE credit. Certificates of completion will be emailed within 10 business days of course completion.

The George Washington University Art Therapy Graduate Program, Provider #1708, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. The George Washington University Art Therapy Graduate Program maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 4/16/2019-4/16/2020. Social workers completing this course receive 6 Trauma continuing education credits.



The George Washington University Art Therapy Department has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 3053. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The George Washington University Art Therapy Department is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.