Britt shares her insight about Art Therapy, Santa Fe and Southwestern College
By Mary Edson
What is it that makes Southwestern so special, stimulating and inspiring? What makes New Mexico the land of enchantment? How did each one of us end up here? I have been asking myself these questions since landing here just a few months ago. To begin to tap into these questions and answers, I started interviewing new students at SWC. Through this process, I learned more about the unique and enriching student body and culture at SWC. Below are excerpts from my interview with Britt, she shares her observations of Art Therapy and why she chose SWC. To hear her full interview, click on her name.
Me: What are your initial impressions of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico?
Britt: I have really come to appreciate the melting pot of cultures. I love the Spanish-speaking Mexican influence and the Native American influence.
Me: What are your initial impressions of Southwestern College?
Britt: I couldn’t be happier with the program. When I was thinking about going to grad school, it was really important to me that not only would I meet my career goals, but also that it would be an experience that would be healthy and nurture me as a person. That was a huge priority for me and I have found the program to be challenging, yet incredibly rewarding. I love that it is a very experiential program.
Me: Can you think of anything, off the top of your head, in your class that has been really challenging, but where you have felt that reward afterwards?
Britt: By the nature of the classes at Southwestern, you’re asked to go deep within yourself and to confront and address a lot of things you may not have been willing to address before. I think that is a very real challenge to all of our students. You really have to do the work, to get through the program.
Me: I want to honor the journey that everyone is on and acknowledge that it is a really big step in life to study this in ourselves and others and to observe the world around us and I’d like to know: what is your deepest sense of why you chose to pursue art therapy and counseling?
Britt: Last year I had the opportunity to observe an art therapist in her studio…going into the studio felt like coming home. I was able to see that it is a very effective way to work with a lot of clients from different populations. I was able to observe kids who had experienced trauma and had mental illness diagnoses, the way that they could go from highly triggered to calm in a matter of thirty seconds by starting to make art…was just profound and a miracle every time I saw it. I knew pretty early on once I was able to observe an art therapist, that it (art therapy) was going to be my path. Art is a powerful tool and even a language for clients to express things that they can’t otherwise express.
Me: Do you know what populations of people you might want to work with?
Britt: Absolutely. My undergrad degree was in, essentially, deaf education and Spanish. I’d love to include my knowledge in those areas in my work with clients. I’ve also always been really drawn to teenagers, so working with older children and adolescents would probably be my preferred population. If I could work with families as well and incorporate my knowledge of Spanish, American Sign Language and deaf culture, that would be a dream come true.
*For the full story, including other students perspectives, click here