March 26, 2020

Tell us about yourself

With the primary focus of bringing the arts to others, I have practiced as a professional interior designer for nearly three decades. I believe carefully selected and placed objects and artifacts in one’s space foster healing and transformation. As I transition my lifelong passion for helping others through counseling and art therapy to the human services sector, I intend to utilize my professional experience and compassion for others. I am a certified Mandala Assessment Research Instrument (MARI) practitioner, a trained Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist, and I’ve completed my Psychological First Aid (PFA) training. I am also the current President of the Ursuline College Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), Chi Sigma Theta, the International Honor Society for Counseling Students, Counselor Educators, and Professional Counselors.

What has changed (or remained the same) in your studies during the COVID-19 global crisis?

All of my classes are now completed through Zoom meetings. This afternoon, I took part in a Zoom meeting with my colleagues at Ursuline College with the director of our program Gail Rule-Hoffman, MEd, LPC-S, ATR-BC, LICDC-S, to navigate the new landscape which we find ourselves in due to COVID-19. While this is all a new realm, I am enjoying the challenge of finding new ways to cope and to hopefully help others adjust to the current environment we find ourselves in.

How are you juggling adjusted schedules and new work from home/living spaces? How are you managing your own stress related to their experiences?

I have mainly set up new routines for myself. I am now working out from home with others in a Zoom meeting format, making myself an antioxidant rich breakfast each morning (raw steel cut oats, 5% Greek Yogurt, crushed walnuts, ½ a cup blueberries and drizzled with ½ a lemon, and a clementine on the side), continuing to drink my favorite drink (G.T.’s Synergy Trilogy Kombucha), working on assignments for school, and taking a walk outside each day with my husband, who is now home more because he is not traveling for work. My family and I are focusing on the simple things like being together, playing games, or just talking. I am not making as much art as I would like to be, but I have been collecting a few materials for collage, including some related to my thoughts and feelings about COVID-19, so I think creating something is in my near future.

Has this crisis caused any delays or disruption in your internship or graduation schedule?

Yes. The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) and National Counselor Examination (NCE) exams have been cancelled. While I will hopefully receive my diploma on time (without the pomp and circumstance of a typical graduation), receiving my LPC may be delayed. I plan to apply for my provisional ATR following graduation. Hopefully this should not be an issue. I am framing this in a positive light—for now I can take a break from studying and focus on my thesis presentation. I am not really disappointed about missing the graduation ceremonies–I can always celebrate later on. The fact that my thesis presentation will be done by Zoom meeting may even allow me to invite a few friends and family members that would otherwise not have been able to attend the meeting.

In what way(s) has your art therapy community supported you through these challenging times? 

I have remained in contact with my art therapy community through social media and Zoom meetings. I have found it helpful to read the AATA updates which I receive through email.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the community during these uncertain times? 

At this time, remember to lean into what you know to be true. For me, I know that God is in control, and everything will be okay. This brings me a tremendous sense of peace during times of uncertainty. In one of my personal favorite books, Man’s Search for Meaning, renowned author, psychiatrist, and holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl expressed in one sentence the meaning of his own life. He stated, “The meaning of (my) life is to help others find the meaning of theirs.” As art therapists, I believe this to be true that helping others, as well as other altruistic practices and rituals, provide us with the ability to remain present and to find purpose and meaning within our lives.

“Quarante Août” by Christine B. Haught. Mixed media/assemblage. 2019

Artist statement: “As an artist, I spin together my ability to “look at the flowers” with my passion for alchemy. Through my creations, I share my inner zest for beauty and transformation with others. I have studied geomancy, feng shui, and metaphysical interpretation, and I believe deeply in the divine power of feeling my way through the world.”