Hello Everyone, I hope this message isn't inappropriate for this forum, but here goes: I have been reading this forum for about 2 months now and am very grateful to be exposed to it because I really have very little knowledge of the actual true practice of art therapy. I have an MFA and have been teaching intuitive painting to adults in a workshop format since 1989. It is one of the most rewarding aspects of my life, and mainly, I am teaching what I know, which is the profound result spiritually and creatively I have in my life from utilizing intuitive art as a healing tool, and using art to integrate the 12 steps. I have a lifetime of art training, drawing, painting, performance, computer music, music, writing, poetry, etc. and I have about 20 years of therapy, mostly alternative, under my own belt. I see myself, not immodestly I don't think, as coming from the "wounded-healer" school. I wouldn't do this if people didn't respond as they seem to: like the thirsty do to water, as if art, as I theorize, is each persons rightful expression.
I know this kind of question might be offensive to art therapists. I don't intend to offend anyone, nor do I intend to pretend to be doing art therapy without a degree. The work of teaching intuitive painting by it's very nature brings up emotional issues to be dealt with. I utilize my own knowledge of the 12 steps from my own work with them, as well as my own experience in therapy, which has been mainly gestalt, and psychotherapy, but I worked for 6 years with a therapist from the HELIX school (I don't know if anyone is familiar with that) who utilized everything from art to Qi Qung excersizes, to the Tarot and energy healing. I have done women's spirituality/ritual groups for years, where I used tons of art to express my intention, my self-image, my potential self, etc.
In my teaching, I am very careful to not analize people but rather to encourage them to freely express themselves, to look at what they have done, to describe it, to acknowledge feelings that it may bring up for them. I have been utilizing art for my own healing for 7 years, and it has been extremely helpful in the integration of ideas in my mind and heart. I have been drawn to sharing that experience. I live nearby a 12 step substance abuse rehab and have approached them about doing some intuitive painting classes. They do not have an art therapist on staff at this time and I think they may be wary of just letting me loose there without a licensed practitioner of any sort present. I can certainly understand that. I just thought I would see if I could get some feedback from this list. I wonder if there are others like me, as well. I have always been very anti-establishment, do things my own way, and really it hides a lot of problems I have with learning from reading and listening and writing. I actually learn from experience only. I have always gone to art school because basically I can do art and pass the classes and I don't have to read and try to comprehend the text. I have always had the gift of gab, and been able to write about art but without ever reading the critical theory . I gather that art therapy school isn't like this. There must be quite a bit of psychological theory, and reading and writing, etc.
I wonder, are there different kinds of art therapy programs. Are there one's that are more experiencial than others? Are there different schools of thought of art therapy? Are there schools that are more alternative and spiritually oriented or are they all pretty much the same? I did go to the Nazareth College website and downloaded the requirments ..are there others that I could look at which are Masters Programs? Or since I already have a Masters, might it behoove me to do some other kind of work in the beginning?
Since I have an MFA and teach intuitive art to adults and I prefer to work with substance abusers and want to work professionaly with this population, I have wondered about going to get a Certificate in Alcoholism Counseling and then utilizing my Masters in Fine Art to teach intuitive art...is this a plausable idea in the REAL world, or does it sound like it wouldn't work at all?
When art is involved with counseling, do rehabs prefer a person with a CAC or an MA in Art Therapy, or both?. Do people think it is possible for me to work in the field of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Rehabilitation using art, with a Certificate of Alcholism Counseling and a Masters of Fine Art? And then to take individual classes in Art Therapy and Psychodrama and things really of interest to me, that are more experiential, and then not have to take on my own learning disability of dealing with the classroom setting, and reading. For me, this is a serious problem because it causes me to have panic attacks and serious anxiety and my life breaks down. I have always been able to "get by" in art school but I know that that wouldn't work in an art therapy program.
As you can see, I am pretty confused and need a lot of guidance and suggestions.
please reply directly to me at email@example.com
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