I received my Masters in Professional Studies in Art Therapy at the School of Visual Arts in May 2013. I am trained in the psychodynamic roots of the art therapy profession, along with contemporary theories of human development, multicultural issues, creativity, counseling, and ethics. My desire to become an art therapist grew from my belief that the creative process fosters self-expression and personal growth. The same belief has driven my academic study of psychology and art and vitalizes my daily life with energy, curiosity, and happiness. I believe that the creative process is unique to each person and develops from individual experiences, knowledge, skills, and perspective. My goal is to be patient, present, and to offer a safe place that emphasizes exploration and inspiration in a supportive, respectful, and non-judgmental atmosphere. While studying, I facilitated art therapy groups and individual sessions in a broad range of settings that included inpatient and outpatient medical units, a MICA outpatient treatment program, a special education high school, and various special projects. Additionally, I used art therapy while volunteering with children, adolescents, and adults throughout New York City and have continued to volunteer at various organizations in Bermuda.
I am most proud of:
Self-expression. I believe in fostering exploration and self-expression to allow my clients to resolve conflicts and achieve insight. I am also proud of using the art to encourage mindfulness and awareness of the present moment and creative process.
My outlook on art therapy is:
Art as therapy. Art as language. I draw from a diverse toolbox of approaches, theories, and techniques and practice a humanistic, client-centered and mindfulness-based art therapy approach. I believe that awareness and the creative process are closely connected and allow the individual to enjoy the moment and the process of art making rather than the finished product. When words are not enough, the individual can use the art making process to engage in a visual conversation by using images and color to tell their story. This process also allows the person to be seen and heard in the therapy session.
Art therapy can be used with any age and any population. Many people presume that you have to be an artist to participate in art therapy, but you don’t! You need only the willingness to explore the art materials and express yourself. Ultimately, I want to share with others the enormous benefits of creating art as a healing and life-enhancing process.
“When words are not enough, we turn to images and symbols to tell our stories. And in telling our stories through art, we can find a path to healing, recovery, and transformation.”
Cathy Malchiodi PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC