Life in a college setting, while most times fun and exciting, can also be fraught with stress and anxiety. Managing coursework, deadlines, internships, and social lives can be taxing. For the past ten years, MPS Art Therapy students have offered support to their fellow students by way of The Counseling Team. Supervised by faculty member Val Sereno, art therapy students meet one-on-one with SVA students to provide free counseling services. At an art college, it’s the perfect fit; students utilize their creative skills as part of a therapeutic exercise. And it presents an opportunity for art therapy students to put their clinical knowledge into practice.
“The students are able to expand on their coursework and internship experience in a more intimate setting,” Val says. “They function autonomously. We meet as a group once a week to check-in, but they have the ability to structure their own sessions to meet the needs of their clients.”
The team is comprised of six second-year students. In order to be accepted into the group they must be in good academic standing and go through an interview process. They are then paired with an SVA student and set-up weekly meetings.
It’s no small feat to take on this commitment in addition to their internships and classwork. But the art therapy students benefit greatly from the reciprocity of the setting; they are able to learn from the SVA clients in addition to offering them therapeutic guidance.
The group was established by Val ten years ago in an effort to add another opportunity for the SVA students to do what they love while also managing stress and processing anxiety. And good news for any SVA students reading this, the Counseling Team will be available next semester for any students who feel as though they need a therapeutic outlet that harnesses their creative abilities. Contact Val Sereno for more information: [email protected]