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As mental health professionals, art therapists are closely connected with the needs of the communities they serve, especially now during the Coronavirus pandemic. Election Day—less than two weeks away— is an opportunity to be a champion for your clients as well as an advocate for mental health and the values that are core to our profession. Download AATA’s non-partisan 2020 guide for voters for general information on creating a voting plan, if you haven’t already voted, and information about federal and state issues affecting art therapists.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of the AATA Board
American Art Therapy Association (AATA) has opened registration for the first three of twelve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Listening Sessions, beginning in December and continuing into 2021. Our goal is to learn through hearing diverse experiences, views, and responses to questions about DEI in the field. We will use what we learn to do better to meet and support DEI in all that we do as an association. Twenty is the maximum number of participants for each group and one is already filled, so don’t delay in reserving your seat. Seats are still open for the New Professional and Current and Former AATA Volunteers. Visit the FAQ page to learn more and sign up!
Susan Boxer Kappel, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, CGP, Conference Chair
We invite you to spend this Saturday, October 24 with art therapists from around the world, to learn, make art, network and be inspired! AATA’s 2020 virtual conference, Art Therapy Connected: Advancing Mental Health in a Virtual World, gets started this Saturday! Don’t miss your opportunity to join us. Learn more about the three-day program which provides 57 hours of learning, and continuing education here. Sessions can also be accessed on-demand too, so that you can have the #AATA2020 Conference your way!
AATA President Margaret Carlock-Russo, EdD, LCAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, spoke about the healing benefits of art therapy in times of trauma during a New York State Senate Virtual Public Meeting on October 21, 2020. “As mental health professionals, art therapists are closely connected to the needs of the communities they serve, especially now, during the Coronavirus pandemic.”
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 sincerely thank each colleague and friend who submitted the below reminiscences and notes in memory of Myra Levick.
At a time when our country is facing an unprecedented mental health crisis on top of a pandemic, art therapists are on the job, helping people of all ages experiencing stress, anxiety and trauma. Let’s celebrate these amazing heroes supporting mental health everyday and show pride for the art therapy profession! Masks are available for purchase through November 7.
Janet Kempf, ATR-BC, Chair, ACATE
The Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) is currently seeking applications for an open Practitioner member position. Please consider applying or nominating someone that you believe will work tirelessly to promote best practices for art therapy educational programs. Potentional nominees must be ATR-BC credentialed and may be either a provider of art therapy or a supervisor of practitioners.
Two articles from the current issue (Volume 37, Issue 3) of Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association are available for free through December 31, 2020. We encourage you to share these fascinating case studies on art therapy in the fields of neuroscience and autism with your networks! AATA members enjoy access to the full issue and the Journal archives (access it here). Happy reading!
- “Art Therapy’s Scope to Address Impaired Attachment in Children With ASD and Comorbid SID” by Huma Durrani.
- “Cognitive and Symbolic Aspects of Art Therapy and Similarities With Large Scale Brain Networks” by Vija Lusebrink and Lisa Hinz.
Sara Balbin, BFA, ATR
I suspended care for a period of time and now just recently have started art therapy sessions again. One client was seen via online Zoom conference call but the others were not seen for several months. Personally, rather than find myself in a stressful situation, I found myself in a professional problem-solving mode, finding solutions to the unprecedented situation. Any stress that did develop was mitigated by the opportunities presented with more time to spend in my art studio pursuing my own creative journey.
Mark your calendar! This year’s Annual Meeting of the Membership will take place on Monday, December 7, 2020, from 7:30 – 9:00 PM EST. With the event online and accessible from your home for the first time, we look forward to broad participation. Stay tuned for more details on the program agenda and how to register.
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!
Art Therapy in the News
Finding healthy, affordable recipes can seem difficult at times. As the COVID-19 pandemic burdened families in several ways, NYU Steinhardt’s Nutrition & Dietetics and Art Therapy programs considered how to address those disparate needs in meaningful ways together.
The city of brotherly love has long been a city known for its arts scene, but with closures and the novel coronavirus lasting longer than most expected, local organizations have had to get creative. As a display of our resilience, the Philly arts scene has gone digital. Arts are often considered a luxury, but to many, it is what’s able to keep them going, especially in times like this. According to a study conducted in May by the American Art Therapy Association, or AATA, in which 623 art therapy professionals were surveyed, 'Nearly all art therapists (92.0%) surveyed reported that their clients were experiencing anxiety due to isolation during the Coronavirus pandemic.
On October 17th, the President signed The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act into law. Named in memory of retired Navy SEAL Commander John Scott Hannon, the bill will help former service members through more research and better access to care for mental health conditions.
New Hampshire Union Leader
A CARES Act grant will help the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester support veterans, active service members and their families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state government and Swim With A Mission, a Bedford-based non-profit organization that raises money for veteran service organizations, have allocated the money to expand one of the region’s first art therapy programs for veterans and their families.
When he returned home from active duty, combat veteran Jose Rodriguez's daily routine was much different than it is today. Now, he spends time gardening with his daughters, taking walks with his wife and practicing mindfulness in art therapy sessions.
Poverty can impact people’s physical and mental health. Around the world, artists and psychologists have pushed for art therapy initiatives as it can benefit impoverished communities. According to the Art Therapy Association, art therapy uses the creative process to “improve cognitive functions, foster self-esteem, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce or resolve conflicts and distress and advance societal and ecological change.”
The Joplin Globe
The Missouri Art Education Association has commissioned artwork by Alexandra Burnside, a Fairview Elementary art teacher who spent time expressing creativity as a form of therapy during the pandemic. According to the American Art Therapy Association's May 2020 survey, which documents the coronavirus' impact on mental health, art therapy can be particularly effective in times of crisis.
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.