by Debbie Schroder
Do you remember having to write that dreaded essay in grade school about “what I did during summer vacation”? Summer is far from over, but I welcome the chance to share a little about my “summer vacation”.
I attended the American Art Therapy Conference in Savannah about a week ago and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of new connections and reconnections with art therapists. I always experience that lovely awareness that “I have people” when I walk into a room filled with art therapists. I attended numerous presentations and gatherings and came away with new ideas and a sense of rejuvenated excitement for the field of art therapy.
Southwestern College was nicely represented there. Faculty member Natalie Carlton presented with colleagues exploring “Media Arts and Technology in Art Therapy: Research and Education Panel”. I was extremely impressed with Natalie’s work within this cutting-edge topic. I co-facilitated a focus group on the “Work/Life Balance of Art Therapists”, a topic that has been a personal challenge for me for my entire career. Southwestern alum Ginna Clark gave a pre-conference Advanced Practice Course on Relational Aesthetics, and also presented her paper “Sexuality in Art Therapy: Education, Supervision, and Clinical Work”. I couldn’t attend Ginna’s course but I was able to be at her paper presentation and it was enthusiastically received. Art therapists welcomed the opportunity to hear Ginna’s thoughts on this important topic. Dru Phoenix represented Southwestern with her warm presence at our booth in the Marketplace area.
And of course there was time for fun, too. Faculty member Deborah John and I stole away to the ocean for a few hours. There was a great historical tour of this pretty town and I had time for a lovely southern dinner with our student Sarah Snowden.
Now the challenge begins as I try to stay in touch with colleagues and follow up and implement what I learned. A good summer so far.