I graduated with my Masters in Art Therapy in 2002 from Southwestern College, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Prior to enrolling into the art therapy program, I studied art at the University of Illinois where I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts. I have exposure to a wide variety of art forms and materials. From bronze work in sculpture class, oil painting, glass blowing, metals, ceramics, printmaking, computer imaging, and life drawing. I continue to make my own artwork from my studio at home. Art is my therapy and self expression.
In art therapy, the client does not need former experience with making art. This is a space of non-judgement or critique. I might guide a client through an art activity or help them develop their own art. The art making process is to be full of self-discovery and my help is there in controlling the materials.
Art therapy can be viewed in two different perspectives. Art AS Therapy and Art IN Therapy. I use both perspectives in sessions to what I feel is fitting for the client and their journey of self discovery. The process of Art AS Therapy is where the simple process of making art is the therapeutic experience. It is often experienced as a calming and stress reduction tool. Art IN Therapy is more of a directive during the session, asking them to create something specific. This helps the client express themselves non -verbally, leaving room for interpretation and insight.
Art therapy can be misleading and be perceived that it is only for children. I have worked with countless adults who have engaged in art therapy and have learned so much about themselves in the process. There are some adults that ONLY want to engage in therapy through art. The process of art therapy is for all ages and gender. It is especially helpful for those that have difficulties articulating their thoughts and feelings. Clients will benefit from art therapy when they are open to the art making experience without judgement and fear.