Bani Malhotra, MA, ATR
When my Doctoral Advisor Dr. Girija Kaimal posed the simple question, “Are you well rested?” during a meeting after the holidays to discuss an online research project, I hesitantly responded, “I guess?” but asked myself in my head, “Am I really?” I realized that I was prepared to discuss a recent virtual interview that I had conducted and the tasks that I was supposed to complete, but I felt totally thrown off when she was also interested in my personal care.
Susan Boxer Kappel, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, CGP, Conference Chair
We are pleased to invite you to consider submitting a proposal for the AATA’s 52nd Annual Conference to be held at the San Diego, CA this fall. The deadline to submit proposals is March 25.
Gretchen M. Miller, MA, ATR-BC, ACTP, Chair, DEI Committee of the Board
Thank you to everyone who participated in and helped promote the DEI Committee’s Listening Session series over the last couple of months! Twelve groups were facilitated by The Ivy Planning Group. Throughout this series over 100 art therapists, art therapy students, AATA members, and non-members participated, contributing feedback about their experiences and views related to DEI in the art therapy field and within the AATA. Notes taken by the Ivy Group will be used to lead a collaborative analysis review and to publish an in-depth report of these findings for AATA members and the art therapy community to review.
AATA is pleased to announce that the Master of Arts in Counseling and Art Therapy program at Ursuline College received initial accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The CAAHEP board approved the accreditation recommendation by the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) on Jan. 15, 2021. To date, 15 art therapy programs have received initial accreditation.
Undergraduate Education Sub-Committee
The AATA Education Undergraduate Sub-Committee is pleased to acknowledge the following students for their scholarship and acceptance in the Undergraduate Poster Session: Elizabeth Allen, Temple University; Jamie Cannon, Holy Family University; Catherine Casey, Ursuline College; and Jacey Ludlam, Cedar Crest College.
We acknowledge Elizabeth Allen for her outstanding poster presentation, “Common Threads: Community Weaving with Patients with Cognitive and Physical Trauma,” and as winner of this year’s competition.
Ashley Abigail Gruezo Resurreccion, BA
Race and social justice issues did not spontaneously come to the foreground. Whether implicit or explicit, the barriers have always been there: what matters is how we habitually choose to respond to them, and to what degree we decide to take action or remain complacent. News media may accentuate polarities between groups and advertise extreme cases of behavior, but we cannot heal our communities without acknowledging the unique qualities that exist in our identities and how they affect us. It warrants the necessity of approaching one another with selfless compassion and cultivating environments of genuine patience, understanding, and shared responsibility.
Dr. Louvenia Jackson shares details about her job as an art therapist: "As an art therapist, having people trust me and share their storoes with me is a privilege and an honor. I'm on the board of directors for the American Art Therapy Assoication, and being able to bring about change in my field on a systemic level-to make it more diverse, equitable, and inclusive-is also incredibly rewarding!
The Washington Post
A traditional South Indian art form will head toward the U.S. Capitol to welcome President Biden and Vice President Harris, in part as a nod to Harris’s Tamil heritage.
VIDEO: Liv Jones is a licensed professional counselor and art therapist. She says her agency in Ohio has nearly doubled its staff over the last year to address the need for increased mental health care during the pandemic. Even now, there’s still a waitlist for clients who wish to start therapy.
The Washington Post
After more than 10 months of America experiencing the coronavirus pandemic, mental health is becoming a growing crisis for many school-aged children. This is partially hidden by isolation but is increasingly evident in the distress of parents, the worries of counselors and an early body of research.
ABC10 News San Diego
Sharp Healthcare has expanded its popular Arts for Healing program during the COVID-19 pandemic to help patients and staff cope with the virus. "Staff has been going through a lot," board-certified art therapist Sofia Alvarez told ABC10 News San Diego. "By providing the services to them as well, we're really supporting our team to keep going through this. It's a long run. And we want to make sure we take care of each other."
As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, doctors and other mental health professionals worry about the impacts of prolonged isolation and stress on children and teens, including an increased risk of suicide. Nicole Cyr, a licensed professional counselor and art therapist at The Village for Families & Children, a Hartford-based organization that provides behavioral health treatment and support services for children, families and adults, said professionals can’t treat patients’ mental health 'without addressing the deficits in basic needs,' including food, money to pay the bills and internet access.
Along the Bay Colony Rail Trail fence in Needham, offensive graffiti has inspired community activism in the form of a new mural, created with the help of Lesley University art therapy alumnae Megan Carleton ’08 and Diya Ghosh ’09. “All art sends messages and can be a powerful resource for identifying themes that need to be addressed,” Carleton said. “Community art can be a powerful way to address those concepts.”
West Liberty University News & Media Relations
West Liberty University Creative Arts Therapy students are enjoying an opportunity to display their work locally at Towngate Theatre. A safe, socially distant opening reception is planned for 6 – 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 23. This exhibition includes studio arts as well as work created from art therapy assignments.
Spectrum News 1
Leon Washington's paintings of moments, people, and abstract objects each took over eight hours to complete. It's been more than eight years since he's been able to see these works up close. "It's overwhelming. It's like somebody telling you something that's wonderful, and in the back of your mind, you're saying, 'This is too good to be true,'" he said. In the 1990s, Washington began to experience mental health issues and was able to channel his perspectives on canvas thanks to an art therapy program.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Immigrants make up nearly 14% of Philadelphia's population. Their mental-health needs are often centered on immigration, which can be a stressful and sometimes traumatic ordeal. But many immigrants come from cultures with stigma around mental health, making them reluctant to talk about the emotional difficulties they face. Three non-profit organizations in Philadelphia have developed unique approaches to help the city’s immigrant communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on everyone, but for health care workers fighting the virus, 2020 was more than difficult. That’s why Zulay Romero, a registered art therapist, held several free classes for staff at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern. Last year, Romero's whole family contracted the virus. While recovering, Romero reflected on how tough the pandemic must be on health care workers.