I come from the east coast, specifically from Virginia. Though I graduated from an art school with a BFA, a lot of the concepts that we discussed in class were done so in an almost exclusively cerebral way. Addressing art this way is valuable—line, shape, color are all important when making a piece. But is that the only way we should view art? When I accepted my offer for enrollment at Southwestern College last spring, I wondered how we would view art. Would it be this way? How do you criticize someone’s feelings, process, and way of life?
The answer is that, in the field of art therapy, you don’t. You respect the process, the outcome, and the beauty of someone sharing their story.
Learning is different here. The idea that learning could happen in the body and heart was a revolution. We discussed concepts related to neurobiology in tandem with our own personal narratives. Throughout the quarter, we did the art processes we will one day do with our future clients. Southwestern is a place for experience and experiment.As a budding professional, I have been encouraged to seek my truth and am uncovering who I might grow into as a therapist and as a person.