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.
December 16, 2021
What excites you most about your job right now?
It is exciting to find like-minded people who recognize the therapeutic value of art therapy. Seeing the need to make the art therapy space more inclusive to all people is most important to me.
Has working with a particular client group shaped your professional focus or specialty? What have you learned from working with these clients?
I have an interest in working more with children and adolescents in my future career. I want youngsters to explore their emotions and experience emotional catharsis in a safe and therapeutic environment. I have an interest in working more with children and adolescents in my future career. I want youngsters to explore their emotions and experience emotional catharsis in a safe and therapeutic environment.
How has your role changed as an art therapist during the COVID-19 pandemic?
While I am not a certified art therapist, I have noticed a shift in the teaching of art therapy at the graduate level. Some lessons have focused on the capabilities of remote art therapy practices as well as incorporating digital art into practice. While this innovation in the field may have originated from extenuating circumstances, it is beneficial for a more accessible practice.
How have race, diversity, and/or social justice impacted your work as an art therapy student?
My experiences with racial injustice have inspired me to desire racial equity in my practice. I continuously seek to educate myself on aspects of diversity and inclusion that I lack comprehension about. I fully understand that the learning process will never cease for my professional life, but that excites me. I am excited to continue to learn and build complex therapeutic relationships with those who have unique experiences and worldviews.
What advise would you give someone interested in pursuing a career in art therapy? Or, is there something you would like to share about your journey thus far as an art therapist?
I am new to this journey, but the journey of becoming an art therapist is one abundant with novel information and inspiration. Each lesson and reading holds the potential to be applied to my later practice. Another aspect of my education that has become more prevalent than ever is the inclusion of peer collaboration among my first-year colleagues. The art therapy educational system is one of overwhelming support and communication. This is indicative of the practice as a whole. It’s a profession of partnership and shared knowledge.
Lauren Hall, BFA, BS
Visual art is the personal experience of emotional catharsis manifested into a physical
form. It can come in many different forms, and it impacts everyone uniquely. Universally people can relate to its emotional impact. This concept that art is perpetually able to touch a person made me want to pursue it further since the beginning. Although, my dual interest in psychology further fueled my intrigue in art therapy. Coming from a small town in central New Jersey, there were few examples of or information on the practice of art therapy. I only obtained further knowledge about it due to my own curiosity and research. After that I applied to and was accepted into George Washington University. Here my curiosity gave way into full-fledged aspiration.