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The art therapy community mourns the loss of Myra Levick, PhD, ATR-BC, a legendary pioneer in the field of art therapy. Dr. Levick helped found the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) in 1969 and served as our first president.
We invite colleagues, friends, and students of Myra’s to share moments, pictures, and other notes in her honor. AATA will compile these responses into a tribute article. Submissions will be accepted by email (email@example.com) through October 10, 2020.
Jenelle Hallaert, MS, MA, P-LMHP
Due to the inherent technological barriers that come with housing insecurity, all sessions with the guests are in-person — putting both the guests and myself at constant risk of contracting COVID-19. Even with these risks, the mental health services provided to our guests are essential for their wellbeing.
Susan Boxer Kappel, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, CGP, Conference Chair
The AATA 2020 virtual conference, Art Therapy Connected: Advancing Mental Health in a Virtual World will provide a rich and diverse program that includes exceptional education, networking and special features. Our presenters are in the process of having their sessions recorded, and we will be adding in educational program details to the agenda in early-October. In the meantime, please explore a sampling of the offerings we have planned outside the virtual classroom! We’ll have activities for personal growth and reflection, networking, community art projects, and celebrations!
In the survey, we asked respondents: “As an art therapist, how would you describe to someone unfamiliar with the profession why art therapy is uniquely suited to support mental health during this pandemic?” The survey takers explained that art therapy is particularly effective during times of crisis, especially in coping with isolation, changes in circumstance, trauma, and grief.
Gioia Chilton, PhD, ATR-BC, LCPAT, CSAC, Nominating Committee Chair
The Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the 2020 election results for leadership positions with the American Art Therapy Association. Thank you to everyone who participated in these elections!
In collaboration with art supply company Faber-Castell, AATA is pleased to be able to offer members a 30% discount on select Faber-Castell art supplies with any online purchase of $25.00 or more. The discount code is now available on the members-only site, MyAATA, and can be applied during checkout. Login today to retrieve the code, and for more exclusive member resources and discounts!
Caitlin Brosious, MA, AMFT
As a white, cisgender woman, I have lived a life of undeniable and extreme privilege in this country. Through my graduate learning at LMU and the teachings of professors Dr. Louvenia Jackson and Anthony Bodlovic, I was introduced to the model of cultural humility which guides my practice. I have learned how our biases, assumptions, and beliefs shape our worldview and how it is of critical importance to examine, reflect and de-construct those worldviews in order to understand our clients and not perpetuate or reproduce oppressive power structures.
Art Therapy in the News
Art has the ability to make children kinder friends and kinder to themselves. Neurologists have discovered that the act of creating art even just once a week can increase introspection and empathy. Art strengthens the brain’s default mode network, which are regions that are active when thinking about others and your own actions. In one study, Girija Kaimal, a professor at Drexel University and the president-elect of the American Art Therapy Association, found that creating art for 45 minutes significantly reduced cortisol, the main stress chemical in our bodies.
The Emporia Gazette
Medical facilities, such as support centers, clinics and hospitals, can benefit through art therapy programs. Arts in Medicine is a partnership between the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and Emporia State University. The program is accepting applications from associations, agencies and organizations providing medical services to benefit patients and agency personnel.
The Daily Tarheel
People are seeking mental health support more frequently. The organizations that provide this support become even more important when people aren't able to see each other. The N.C. Art Therapy Institute in Carrboro is providing the tools that different communities need to deliver necessary therapy.
Writer Kuheli Sen recently came across an article on how indulging in creative passions, such as art, can relieve stress. Diving deeper, research led to Dr. Girija Kaimal, associate professor in the PhD programme in Creative Arts Therapies at Drexel University, who also leads the Health, Arts, Learning and Evaluation (HALE) Lab at the school’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. In a recent paper on How Art Can Heal, Kaimal said, “Art therapy is founded on the assumption that everyone is creative and capable of self-expression.”
Mental health is more important than ever. Art therapist Ashley Stielow, MS, LPCC, ATR, offers a different approach to treatment through her practice. In her colorful office located in downtown Fargo, Stielow helps people through art therapy, something she has done professionally for more than 16 years.
The HI lo
For almost four decades, non-profit organization Able ARTS Work has offered music and art therapy and workshops to adults with disabilities. The group recently celebrated the grand opening of a gorgeous gallery space, providing a new opportunity to show off its students’ work. The building, which was a vacant storefront, now boasts vibrant, bold artwork, small sculptures and ceramics, jewelry and more. The pieces are for sale, with the proceeds going to the artists and Able ARTS Work.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a national mental health crisis. Hillsdale College’s Ambler Health and Wellness Center is prepared to help its students face new and old challenges. Hillsdale has hired several new part-time counsellors, which allows the health center to diversify its staff. Art therapist Hannah Walsh is one of the new team members. Walsh finished a master’s degree in Art Therapy Counseling at Emporia State University in May 2020 and began working for Hillsdale this semester.
“At this point, the word ‘unprecedented’ has been used so much to describe the national mood, that it now tastes like the gum at the end of a ten hour shift (once peppermint, now vaguely reminiscent of wall filler putty.),” writes Verity Johnson. “But still, it’s a useful word to encapsulate how the world has never felt this on fire before. What with the Coronavirus, Black Lives Matter, global warming, and the visible pummelling of democratic institutions, frustration at injustice and tragedy seems to be pressing in on every corner of our lives.”
Art therapist Amanda Evans-Freet, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, will present an hour-long program called “Art Therapy: Healing for the Mind, Body & Soul” for the Adams County Arts Council in October via Zoom. Evans-Freet is the trauma art therapist at the Adams County Children’s Advocacy Center.
Santa Ynez Valley Star
At Atterdag Village of Solvang, many talented artists recently participated in the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Gardens Nature Takes the Wheel: Recycled Hubcaps project. The newly formed City of Buellton Arts and Culture Committee has provided a $3,000 grant to fund the project, headed by art therapist Stacey Thompson.
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.