A few weekends ago, Naomi and I attended the XI Congreso Nacional de Terapia Familiar (National Conference of Family Therapy) in Querétaro. Flocks of family therapists from Mexico City and other cities in Mexico, came to listen to over 150 speakers and attend dozens of workshops ranging from "Pseudoencopresis" to "Art Therapy."
Ana Laura Treviño and Beth Rosenblatt presented at the conference and it was amazing to watch two colleagues as well as friends passionately deliver an amazing perspective on Art Therapy. Naomi and I attended this workshop and a Dance Therapy demonstration.
Art Therapy Workshop
That first evening, El Congreso treated us to some yummy canapés (finger foods) and champagne at El Museo de Arte about 5 blocks from where we live. The building was amazing. It demonstrated the fine colonial architecture that is commonly found through out Querétaro. We met Yamel a psychotherapist from Mexico city who is also involved with the LMU art therapy program in San Miguel De Allende coordinated by Beth.
El Museo de Arte
Yamel and Me at the Museum Reception
The Congreso was held en el Centro Cultural y Educativo "Manuel Gómez Morín," a huge complex with coliseum like structures and domed buildings attached by small bridges
This cultural center hosts an array of expositions and openings which included a small exhibit of Dali's 100 years of existence. There was also an exhibit of amazing photographs by Pedro Meyer, who we heard about from a good friend Josh Meltzer who is also an incredible photog. They also have a wonderful science museum for children filled with all types if interactive displays.
Isn't it Ironic
That evening we threw our first impromptu party, which started at 10:30pm. We put together something quickly, which I think was one of the better spreads Naomi and I have put together. Mind you it wasn't my famous rice and beans with roasted chicken and sweet plantains, but the guac, salsa and the variety of Mexican cheeses held together quite nicely. It was very, very chilly, so we ended up on the rooftop huddled close together under warm blankets.
To our good fortune, this year’s conference for the Association of Mexican Family Therapists happened to be in Querétaro recently. We could walk from our place to the really interesting complex where it took place. We had visited the complex a few times before because in addition to being a convention center it houses a Children’s Science Museum,
the public library, a National Geological Information Center, playgrounds, community activities, and art galleries. The current exhibitions are Pedro Meyer, a very impressive photographer and a collection of reproductions of Salvador Dalí paintings that is being sent to Catalan communities around the world by the Catalan government.
Looking at Pedro Meyers Work
At the conference we attended workshops and lectures on topics ranging from Pre-Hispanic families and indigenous cultures to Pseudoencopresis treated with Narrative Therapy. We also saw impressive presentations by art therapists and participated in a fantastic art therapy experiential workshop.
We met Family Therapists from the U.S. and Canada and numerous states in Mexico, and we extended our network of therapists working here in Querétaro. The first night there was a reception in the courtyard of the art museum, which is a beautiful Baroque building.
We had our first party with 8 people, which was an adventure because we only have 5 chairs! Our guests braved the unusually chilly and windy weather and huddled under blankets on the roof before retreating downstairs. As we were making food for the party at 10 pm I told José that we have really adjusted to the Mexican schedule… our guests didn’t arrive til 10:30pm!
After the conference we went into the centro historico, which was in a festive mood, as it is most weekends! We went to the Regional Museum and saw black and white photos taken by children in Pozos, which is a ghost town and former mining town. Some were incredibly striking. And of course the building itself, a former Franciscan monastary, was very beautiful.
In the courtyard there was a small festival for “economic solidarity” with “games, art, culture, regional products for sale, and exchange and social action.” The regional products included: wooden bowls and utensils, beaded items, embroidered shirts and towels, potted cacti, baskets, and jars of honey, shampoo and soaps. There was also a model of a sustainable farm designed by the University of Querétaro.