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.
April 7, 2022
What excites (or inspires) you most about your job right now?
I am thrilled to be a student again! Learning, sharing, exploring, and diving deep into the work of expressive arts therapy has been gratifying and inspiring.
Has working with a particular client group shaped your professional focus or specialty? What have you learned from working with these clients?
I’ve been in the perinatal health field for over 25 years. A thread that runs through all my work has been the importance of birth stories. A birth story is about so much more than a clinical series of events. It holds power for the teller and for the listener, for parents and for professionals. Birth stories contain the full range of human experiences: resilience, trauma, persistence, triumph, creativity, confusion, grief, connection, and more. I’m becoming an art therapist to more deeply understand and utilize art as a way to work through and transform trauma, disconnection, and distress during the childbearing years.
How have race, diversity, and/or social justice impacted your work as an art therapist (or art therapy student)?
I have been a frontline witness to the disempowerment and oppression of pregnant and birthing people, especially women of color. Reproductive justice is a core interest of mine and is one of the driving forces in returning to school. An anti-oppressive lens was a leading factor in choosing to study at Lesley.
Art has been a part of my life since I was small. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a double major in Practice of Art and Art History, I birthed and raised three children (including identical twins). This led me to the perinatal health field, where I’ve worked as a lactation consultant, La Leche League Leader, childbirth educator, and full-spectrum doula. I also co-owned and managed a childbirth education training company, and now offer consultation and continuing education to childbirth professionals. All along the way, I’ve integrated creative expression into my birth-related classes and workshops. I’m now savoring another shift in my focus: as a student in the low-residency Art Therapy Master’s program at Lesley University. Intuitive quilt-making, hand-made books, and clay are some of my favorite media.
An old story shifting
A new story emerging
Discovery and imagination—my guides
Each one an echo with a unique voice
The unknown awaits me
My hands are open
“I made this book as part of a final intermodal project for the “Principles and Practices of Expressive Arts Therapy” class at Lesley University. After reflecting on aspects of my identity as an artist and emerging arts therapist, I explored the interplay between trauma, mirroring, creativity, and integration. Tearing and stitching scraps of old drawings, some phrases came to mind. These led to the poem above.”