The American Art Therapy Association represents a diversity of professionals, students, and organizations across the nation. We recognize and celebrate the work of our members at all levels through our Featured Member series.
January 26, 2023
What excites (or inspires) you most about your job right now?
I initiated and am still involved together with another Art Therapist in running what we call a Safe Studio for Ukrainian and Russian refugees in Karmiel, Israel. I am also part of a group working with Ukrainian art therapists in Odessa, and I will probably go to Ukraine in March to give some workshops and to initiate Safe Studios there.
Has working with a particular client group shaped your professional focus or specialty? What have you learned from working with these clients?
I am a seasoned art therapist specializing in trauma and bereavement, but humbly learning more from my clients. Perhaps my personal traumas taught me the importance of aiding others and specializing in the field.
What are your hopes for the future of the art therapy profession?
I hope to have Art Therapists involved with helping create a more compassionate world.
What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing a career in art therapy?
Make sure it is a passion for them and not just a job.
How are you involved in the art therapy community?
I became an ATR in 1991 in Canada and have been active as a representative from Israel in 1998 soon after moving to Israel. I am still active with both the Israeli and Ontario Art Therapy Associations. I also have had various positions in both, including vice president, and I am currently head of the oversight committee in Israel and membership and registration chairperson with OATA. I am active in AATA’s International Shared Interest Group and also an active member of ISSTD.
I give workshops in conferences, online and all over the world. As I get older, I feel more invigorated to share my knowledge and to learn more. I am currently in my 82nd year, and I think that my activity and passion keeps me young!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Make sure you practice self care. You must practice what you preach.
Functional Tea Pot
by Hannah Sherebrin
Clay, handbuilding, free form, glazed. 2022
Artist Statement: I work with torn pieces of rolled out clay. I construct free form funky functional items. by creating from torn pieces I continually rebuild and reshape myself from trauma and test my flexibility and playfulness.
Resilience and recreation, rebuilding and tearing apart are repeated themes in my work. I play with all mediums, and am aware of the materials and their unique qualities. Many of my personal works and my therapy interventions have to do with creating, taking apart and recreating from pieces, I cherish the cracks, since they let me see the light through them. I do not plan my creations, I let them happen and enjoy the process. Involving the body is an important part of my work as a therapist and in my own development and art. Listening to the body, and exploring the inside plays a central role. After all it is the body that remembers, like Van der Kolk says.
About Hannah Sherebrin, ATR-BC, OATR, YAHAT Senior Supervisor
I started out as a nurse (RN), but after 5 years I quit due to health reasons and studied commercial art. I then worked at the Weizman Institute as a scientific illustrator. In 1967, I moved to Canada and completed fine art studies at community college (BA). I got interested in Art Therapy but had no place to study. So I interned with Irene Dewdney, a pioneer Canadian Art Therapist and founding member of OATA, self-studied and developed. I practiced for one year during a sabbatical in Israel with the Center for Children with learning difficulties which just opened.
Back in Canada, I volunteered in core area school grades 7 and 8 and became manager of Art Craft Studio at the University of Western Ontario in 1979, ran classes and workshops for blind clients and people with other disabilities, and was accepted as a member of the OATA. In 1985, UWO started the Art Therapy Masters Diploma program, and I became both a student and an instructor. After graduation I continued practicing Art Therapy in juvenile prison and with Jewish Mental Health services. I continued specializing in bereavement and trauma, and participated in the international bereavement conferences annually presenting and learning.
I left my university position in 1991 due to health reasons, and continued to supervise students in the program. In 1997, I moved back to Israel. I now spend 7 months per year in Israel and 4 months in Canada, and am active in both places. The pandemic gave me an opportunity to continue studying online to expand my education, and to practice the art of online therapy and supervision.
My website is www.loremartis.com and there is a free course of a paradigm I developed for resolving interpersonal conflicts using drawings.