March 14, 2019
“Peggy” Margaret Gulshen, ATR-BC, LMFT, facilitates art therapy groups for both children and adult cancer patients and offers lectures and workshops about the power of medical art therapy in healthcare settings. Her favorite member benefits are the AATA’s conference, journal, and newsletter: “All of these keep me updated on the ways that art therapy is becoming more visible to communities, enriching people’s lives, and becoming a healing salve for our nation…our world.”
Beginning her art therapy career in the hospice setting, Gulshen worked to address the needs of child and teen family members of terminally ill patients. “With children facing illness, loss, and grief, their world seems to be disintegrating, falling into unrecognizable pieces,” says Gulshen. “Art provides a kinetic experience to pick up the pieces and create a new whole. This new whole is visible and tangible; the child had the power to rearrange the pieces her way.” She developed the Children’s Bereavement Art Group (CBAG), a peer support group that serves grieving children in the community, which received the George H. Bush Point of Light Award in 1991, the Helen Landgarten Clinical Art Therapy Award in 1994, and is registered in the Library of Congress.
Gulshen gives back to the art therapy community though mentorship of emerging art therapists. “I am excited by the passion of young art therapy professionals, by their zest to work with such diverse populations… They are also reaching so manyoutside the academic and clinical art therapy community. The message is loud and clear…ART HEALS.”
“The Tractor” by Peggy Gulshen. Mixed media. 2017.
Artist’s statement: “I am partial to collage and mixed media because I utilize these materials so often with my clients. “The Tractor” allowed me to revisit a childhood memory and to reframe it in a more self-empowering way.
The smallness of the tin has a secret treasure-feel about it. The altered tin holds my reconstructed memory safely…and tenderly.”