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The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) is committed to supporting our community of art therapists during this time of crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We know you are dealing with not only your own struggles and those of your family, but also thinking of your clients in this time of uncertainty. We will continue to update this list of resources for art therapy clinicians, students, educators and the general public.
Carolyn Brown Treadon, PhD, ATR-BC, ATCS
To say the last week has been challenging is an understatement! As we all quickly learn to navigate challenges in our daily lives in response to COVID-19, many are also working to get courses and clients transitioned to an online platform. With the help of my colleagues at Edinboro University, where we offer an art therapy master’s program that can be completed 100 percent online, I put this resource together to offer some advice to colleagues in other programs navigating this transition.
Andrea Davis, ATR-BC, LPC-AT-S
As we navigate the current coronavirus pandemic, it is a good time to be mindful about art supplies and ways to prevent the spread of illness. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) describes COVID-19 as an airborne illness. Droplets in the air can be breathed in and also land on surfaces including work spaces and art supplies. Protecting clients from harm includes having clean art supplies which is just as important as hand washing.
Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC, ACTP
Every year we celebrate Creative Arts Therapies Week with the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies (NCCATA). This year, I am seeing Creative Arts Therapies Week through a different lens as creative arts therapists (CATs), their clients, organizations, agencies and communities around the world navigate a time of personal and professional crisis during the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than celebrating this week, my colleagues and I are grappling with quarantines and the anxiety and health crises our clients and communities are facing.
Christine B. Haught
All of my classes are now completed through Zoom meetings. This afternoon, I took part in a Zoom meeting with my colleagues at Ursuline College with the director of our program Gail Rule-Hoffman to navigate the new landscape in which we find ourselves due to COVID-19. While this is all a new realm, I am enjoying the challenge of finding new ways to cope and to hopefully help others adjust to the current environment we find ourselves in.
You may have experienced an outage on our member forum today as we migrated our data to prepare to launch a new, user-friendly member database. You will be receiving an email from us on Friday morning with instructions to access your revamped member profile. This means the end of separate passwords for membership, conference registration and online learning with AATA!
Every year, we recognize members who are elevating the field, and we support the next generation of art therapists who will transform the profession. This is your opportunity to honor colleagues and recognize the unsung heroes and visionaries of the field or take the next step in your career by applying for a scholarship. Read below and find more information on MyAATA for opportunities in the following categories (listed by application deadline): Scholarships (May 1), Honors (June 15), Research (June 15) and Governmental Affairs (June 15). Please reach out to email@example.com with any questions.
Art Therapy in the News
Stability is needed in times of uncertainty. SVA alumnus Katie Hinson MPS, LCAT, ATR-BC (MPS 2010 Art Therapy), manager of Art in Healing at the Medical University of South Carolina, shares her advice on how to cope with coronavirus-related anxiety, isolation and quarantine.
The Washington Post
Like most kids, Jocilyn Oyler’s 11-year-old daughter can’t go to school due to coronavirus fears. But unlike other students, she can’t simply log on to a computer at home to complete her assignments. At school, she receives adult help in every class, as well as speech therapy and other services. With the school closures, that help no longer exists. “She can’t write a paragraph without having a meltdown,” Oyler says.
Many Utahns are on edge due to coronavirus and social distancing. On top of that, an earthquake has made an anxious time even worse for residents who are trying to adapt to a new normal. Malissa Morrell, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Salt Lake City, is a special guest on this podcast episode. Morrell is also a board-certified art therapist and teaches at the College of Social Work at the University of Utah.
Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and writes the “Dear Therapist” column for The Atlantic. She made a quip on Twitter last week in hopes of helping others feel less alone in this very strange and anxiety-provoking time. While there are bigger concerns than suppressing the urge to touch our faces, humor can be the best way for some people to cope in these trying times.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is looking for ways to engage people during this surreal moment in history. It's just one of a few institutions that has moved activities online so residents can enjoy them from the safety of their homes. On top of free virtual tours, the museum is now offering an at-home art therapy program designed by MMFA art therapist Stephen Legari. "The key is to focus on the pleasure of creating,” he said. “Try not to judge or analyze what you’re doing — it’s about enjoying the process."
Video: To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, many nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have tightened visitation policies. This means big changes to many seniors’ daily routines, especially for those residents who are used to having visitors throughout the day. Facilities like Northpoint Lexington Healthcare Center are making it easier for those on the outside to stay in touch by creating a page on their website that allows people to send an E-Card to residents.
Detriot Free Press
"Set aside at least 45 minutes engaged in some form of creativity," Shazia Siddiqi, a licensed counselor and certified art therapist, told the Detroit Free Press. Siddiqi also runs Lets Art About It, an art therapy studio in Clawson. "You don’t need to have artistic skills, prior experience, or even supplies. Just a pen or pencil and a scrap paper will do, and a magazine if you have one. There are studies that have shown that 45 minutes of art making can reduce cortisol (stress) levels.”
Volunteers from Chulalongkorn University's Creative Arts Therapy (CAT) program traveled to Nakhon Ratchasima from Bangkok in February to provide trauma release exercises and therapy sessions to the survivors of a tragic shooting at Terminal 21 shopping mall. The team welcomed the first group of survivors with face-to-face introductions with a "buddy therapist." Then, the survivors and therapists drew images of themselves.
Video: Art therapy is a powerful tool that can help children explain their emotions or experiences that they may not be able to find the words to describe. Alison Bogle discusses art therapy in this informative video.
The AATA's Art Therapy Today includes a digest of the most important news selected for the AATA from thousands of sources. Guest articles may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Publication of any guest article is at the sole discretion of the AATA. The opinions expressed and/or contents of guest articles, advertisements, and external links included in any AATA publication do not represent the positions or policies of the AATA. The AATA makes no warrenty or representation concerning the accuracy of such content.