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hmazloomian July 23rd, 2004 01:12 PM

Working together as art therapists
I want to invite a discussion regarding art therapists forming professional relationships and acting more as a group. For example to be considered for certain kinds of insurance you need to be a member of a clinic and charge for your services together. I feel frustrated that as art therapists we are not banding together as much as social workers and psychologists do. They who don’t seem to have a problem finding one another and sharing overhead costs and supporting one another in business relationships. I like to talk with you all, but especially with those of you in the Chicagoland area about possibilities of professional and scholarly collaboration. Please read Lyn Kapitan’s latest article in the AATA’s News letter. It encapsulates our dilemma as a profession. If you want to change things in a practical sense let us talk.
Hoda Mazloomian. MAAT, ATR-BC, LCPC

Martin Perdoux September 26th, 2004 04:49 PM

Re: Working together as art therapists
Thank you Hoda for encouraging collaboration among art therapists. It has been my experience that art therapists are often confronted with the need to collaborate once they enter the professional sphere, and that it is difficult when the habit has not been developed in graduate school. Art therapy education and training is rather focused on professional issues; rarely do art therapy educational programs interact with other artistic disciplines, because most of the art therapy curriculum is occupied by courses required for AATA approval. As a result, many art therapy graduates are not familiar with the collaborative process, or it is not even part of their world.
In my opinion, collaboration between art therapists will be more likely to develop once art therapists integrate other disciplines in their creative practice, and this should start in art therapy education. There is great potential for work to be done by art therapists who take their training into the realms of creative writers, performance artists, etc... The list is infinite. I think the more we, as art therapists apply our training in new hybrid ways, the more exciting work we will want to share with each other.

hmazloomian September 26th, 2004 06:12 PM

Re: Working together as art therapists
Martin, I like your idea of multimodal collaboration between expressive art therapists. In fact my BA degree was in “creative and performing arts" were we did that regularly. I think the result will be far more than the sum of the participating arts. In the last year's AATA conference the focus was how to improve the art therapists compensation and to work together to improve our economic situation as well. Many colleagues are leaving the field because it is hard to make ends meet. There are very concrete steps we can take. I hope many more people get involved in the discussion. Regards, Hoda

Martin Perdoux October 7th, 2004 08:35 PM

Re: Working together as art therapists
I hope art therapists who are leaving the field are taking their training with them and applying it to the work they do, because they would then still be connected to the heart of art therapy. It's not leaving or not leaving the field that matters, it's how people leave it, and they will, at least until the field catches up with them, because the exploration of new territory is a normal part of the expansion of a healthy growing field. New art therapy graduates should not feel defeated if they accept work in novel and (God forbid!) creative positions.

Ranada November 27th, 2004 03:50 AM

Re: Working together as art therapists
Your statement at the end of your post caught my attention.
*****New art therapy graduates should not feel defeated if they accept work in novel and (God forbid!) creative positions.*******
It makes me curious...being a counseling student at this current time, preparing to do art and play therapy with children in the elementary grades.
I am curious to what types of places you are referring to?
I am going toward school and community counseling, but am not sure where I might go in the community and not have to put in 60 hours a week?????

I understand I have much to learn yet, but I am attempting to go about it by collecting as much information as I am able from as many sources as I am able to find.


hmazloomian November 29th, 2004 03:18 PM

Re: Working together as art therapists
To reply to Martin who wrote that comment in response to e mail this makes me feel worried about our field. Off course a number of people naturally decide to do other things. I am very concerned that many ore leaving because they simply can not make a living. If you can make ends meet them leaving the profession is not a voluntary act. There are a lot of little part time gigs for art therapists to piece together here and there and often it does not add up to a living. My main point was that if social workers and psychologists have learned how to work together collaboratively fair financial compensation we can do the same. To you Ranada, my reply is that if you want to get into the art therapy field you need to be a pioneer- go getter type that creates your own opportunities. It is possible but it is hard work and hopefully we can work together to make it less of a monumental challenge for everyone. Regards, Hoda

Martin Perdoux December 17th, 2004 07:18 PM

Re: Working together as art therapists
I was referring to new ways in which you might put your art therapy training to work, regardless of how many hours a week you spend there. You may or may not be inclined to create new applications for your training, rather than look for vacancies in the existing model of your discipline (which is fine too, by the way). This is a decision professionals make for themselves. I believe Hoda is advocating for mutual support among innovative art therapists, in order to create a stronger sense of community. Support is crucial when you take the risk of exploring the world for a practice that makes you happy, and this is true of a personal as well as a professional practice. What someone else is looking for is not necessarily what you are looking for, but helpful colleagues can prevent us from getting lost in the process.
I hope this answers your question about what kind of places I was writing about. Thank you for your post. Check out the other forums for more examples of supportive peer communications.

Martin Perdoux December 17th, 2004 07:45 PM

Re: Working together as art therapists
Thanks for your reply. Inadequate compensation in any field is a valid reason to seek work elsewhere. No one is expected to forego their own needs in order to be an art therapist. Actually, art therapy recipients no doubt get better service from professionals whose financial needs are met.
No one "owes" art therapists either. Compensation is earned. As David Henley reminded us in the last Chicago conference, people are willing to pay good money (direct payment, not third party) to those who provide a quality service. So, I think it's important to remember that our earning potential lies somewhere between our refusal to be exploited and our ability to provide excellence.

hmazloomian December 17th, 2004 09:37 PM

Re: Working together as art therapists
Thank you Martin for claryfying your perspective. Think I understnd your point of view better. Regards, Hoda

Ranada May 2nd, 2005 08:40 PM

Re: Working together as art therapists
Yes Martin,
I understand and agree with all the discussion that is going on. There are many thing I could comment on and directions I could go, but at this point I am enjoy just taking in all the information I am reading.
It helped very much for me to know that what I am feeling is legitimate of feeling very much alone in the world of art therapy. I have not been able to begin practicing, but feel would be very much benefited if I were to be able to establish contacts 'before' I graduate. I have tried making phone calls but nothing seems to come from them.
There is so much information and so many directions one can go, I hope when I begin practicing that I will be able to use all mediums and methods in the art and play I will do with the children.
I am glad that I also know I will have to also attempt to find a support system of other practicing art and play therapist in the area I decide to settle. Thank you for all your information and insight. Ranada

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