We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Natalie N. Humphrey to the MPS Art Therapy faculty. She will be teaching “Interviewing and Counseling Skills” this Fall and “Psychiatric Populations and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM IV)” in Spring 2013. Dr. Humphrey, who completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Saint Louis University, brings to the department her valuable expertise as a clinical psychologist, mental health provider for people living with HIV/AIDS, and researcher. She is also the Clinical Director of Mental Health Services at the Family Care Center of Harlem Hospital. MPS Art Therapy has the chance to chat with Dr. Humphrey below:
MPS Art Therapy: We’re all looking forward to working with you this coming school year. The range of counseling and research you’ve done over the years is impressive. Can you tell us a little more about one project that has been particularly meaningful to you, or has impacted the way your work?
Dr. Humphrey: I am working with the STAR Study at Harlem Prevention Center. This study looks at social networks among men who are vulnerable to HIV infection to determine the best ways to ensure they receive testing and treatment. This study is particularly important because we are finding a significant increase in infection rates among Black men who live in NYC and who have sex with men. The focus of this study is on how to change behavior, which is a complicated process when you consider psychological, cultural and social factors that impact how people make decisions about their health. There is no simple answer to how to help someone make behavioral changes. However, we can use what we learn to inform public policy and advocate for making services available in communities impacted by HIV/AIDS.
MPS Art Therapy: What have you found, or do you expect to find, different or interesting about an art therapy perspective in psychology?
Dr. Humphrey: I have always been aware of how important self-expression through art is critical to the healing process for those impacted by trauma. However, it is rare to find a counselor with a strong background in both art and the healing sciences. I am looking forward to hearing how SVA students integrate their backgrounds in art with standards of practice in counseling. I expect to learn as much from my students as they learn from our classes.
MPS Art Therapy: Thank you for telling us a little more about yourself and your work. We’ll see you in September.