In this Featured Member series, AATA celebrates the work of our members. During the coronavirus pandemic, we are inviting members to share their experiences about how their professional and personal lives have changed.
July 14, 2021
What has changed (or remained the same) in your job/studies during the COVID-19 pandemic?
All of my work seemed to expand and grow throughout the pandemic. From a significant increase in requests and referrals at the cancer center to new virtual offerings developed through the museum and with my Creating Mandalas team, the demand for increased mental health support and avenues for self-expression and healing was in abundance—and continues to be.
Over the past year, I have also been inspired to further study and train in various modalities and approaches—i.e., mindful self-compassion, breath work, and movement—to more fully integrate into my sessions and offerings. Grounded by my art therapy foundations, this integrative approach has proven to be quite effective and, I believe, invited my clients to enter into our therapeutic work together in ways that felt the most accessible to them during such considerable stress and suffering. As we progress through our work together, I am also grateful to be able to encourage and empower my clients to become increasingly aware of what their needs are, requesting what type of self-expression and integrative practices would be most helpful to them with each session.
How are you managing your own stress during this time?
With the increase in clients, developing new programs, and needing to quickly learn and adapt to virtual offerings, I was almost immediately aware of overwhelm. I also became a mom in the year leading up to the pandemic, so having an almost 1-year-old and trying to navigate parenting and childcare in a pandemic brought its own series of unknowns and exhaustion.
As a result, I knew I needed to prioritize my mental and physical health in whatever ways I could—and, honestly, in the most time-effective ways I could. This led me to dive deeper into my own mindfulness practices, which included meditation, yoga, walking, biking, and creating. (Essentially, whatever I had the motivation and energy for.) Additionally, mindful self-compassion practices became a true lifeline for me. I found this approach to self-compassion could be weaved into any moment of my life (and work) in a way that felt supportive, nurturing, and energizing. I believe this also inspired and helped me give myself permission to make more art – both in and out of sessions with clients. Looking back, I think I’ve made more art in the past year than I have in multiple years combined and I look forward to having (and purposefully making) time in the coming year to continue creating, as well as reflect back.
How have race related issues, social justice, and racism informed or impacted your work as an art therapist?
Living and growing up in a city with deeply rooted civil rights history, as well as having a multicultural family, race and social justice have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. However, this past year has brought new awareness, insights, and understanding. I have committed to find ways to be more curious, to listen to and learn from diverse voices and perspectives, to advocate more, and to have more conversations that require wholehearted vulnerability, courage, and openness. Additionally, I have felt a need to create more art over the past year to help me learn, reflect upon, and process social justice and race-related issues—and more fully understand myself through this lens. This has been a new focus in my personal art practice and one that I have found incredibly meaningful, helpful, and healing.
I undoubtedly take these experiences, commitments, and knowledge into my work as an art therapist. I am grateful to work with people from incredibly diverse backgrounds and across most of the lifespan. With these opportunities, I believe, comes responsibility. I strive to continually reflect upon my role as an art therapist and discover how I can most responsibly, accessibly, and compassionately arrive to each interaction with my fellow humans.
Paige Scheinberg, MS, ATR-BC, RYT
Paige Scheinberg, MS, ATR-BC, RYT, often describes herself as a well-being enthusiast and lover of all things creative. She founded SHINE ON Consulting in 2015 and offers integrative art therapy services, workshops, and trainings for personal and professional development in creativity and mindfulness, well-being, and self-care. Currently, she primarily works with adult oncology survivors and their families at West Cancer Center & Research Institute. Through her work with the Brooks Museum of Art, she also provides group art therapy with youth in the corrections and/or court system, as well as art therapy-inspired public workshops for adults and professionals. Additionally, Paige loves creating and exploring mandalas and enjoys her work building an international mandala community with her Creating Mandalas team.
Paige is deeply committed to raising awareness of and advocating for mental health and art therapy through her work with a variety of organizations, including the Tennessee Art Therapy Association (TATA) and the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). As the TATA Governmental Affairs Co-Chair, Paige co-led the efforts to create a state art therapy license in TN. She has served on the AATA Conference Committee reviewing proposals for a number of years and enjoys presenting on topics, including positive art therapy and art therapy advocacy.
Paige received her Master of Science in Art Therapy and Counseling degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from York University in Toronto, Canada. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) and Certified Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher and is currently working towards completing a Certificate in Mindful Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy in 2021.