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Unread February 26th, 2005, 11:41 AM
artsychica artsychica is offline
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Default I am looking for a art therapy job

Hello I am a graduate art therapy student and will be graduating in May! I am looking for a job particularly with children. I am possibly thinking of looking in the south carolina north carolina region. or where i can find a job... any suggestions?
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Unread February 28th, 2005, 07:27 PM
Martin Perdoux Martin Perdoux is offline
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Smile Re: I am looking for a art therapy job

What an exciting time it is to be a recent art therapy graduate looking for your first art therapy job! It is usually the easiest time an art therapist has finding a job, since employers prefer to hire recent graduates for entry-level jobs. Art therapists with more experience take longer to find positions that match their expectations, and they cost more.
One piece of advice generally viewed as valid is that art therapy job seekers do better if they broaden their search to new territory. Openings with actual "Art Therapist" titles are few and far between, and may not even be the best in terms of job description (how much actual art making with people is done), pay, working conditions, and room for growth. You may want to consider what works best for you. Ask yourself: Where have I experienced success? These are areas where your new art therapy training could be applied in innovative ways. Often these are closer to home than we think.
I noticed that the field of study and practice of art therapy is much broader and more inclusive in my native France and in other parts of the world than here in the U.S. Thesis topics at the Ecole d'Art-thérapie de Tours, for example, include multimodal studies involving the literary arts, dance and movement, etc... One of the reasons for this is that art therapy in France is much better integrated with the art world. Here in the U.S., my own experience has been that my success as an artist (a creative writer) has been seen by colleagues as a sign that I had left the field of art therapy (check the link in my bio for the Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism, and Practice for more details).
I think that new grads should broaden the field by conducting very inclusive job searches and by breaking new ground. Take your training and run with it. That is how you can best help the field to remain competitive on a national and global level, and also help yourself as a new art therapist in search of meaningful and rewarding work. Remember that innovation in art therapy in the U.S. is often initially rejected as "not art therapy" by conservative art therapists, but do not let yourself be discouraged if that happens. Eventually, art therapy education will catch up with the reality of the art therapy market and will have to become more interdisciplinary. But first, people like you have to lead by your example, and write about it so your colleagues know what you are doing.
Good luck in your search, and do keep in touch!

Last edited by Martin Perdoux; February 28th, 2005 at 07:35 PM. Reason: grammar and spelling error
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