Methods & Materials in Art Therapy is taught by our department chair Debi Farber in the first semester of our 2-year program. It offers a broad introduction to materials an art therapist might use to work with clients who may have different needs, experiences, and levels of development. The course is organized over the course of the semester from low impact media (pencil and paper) to very immersive media (clay and plaster).
Today, in the 5th class of the semester, students learned about the value of collage as a projective technique for diverse populations, including adolescents and dementia clients. Students created collages to consider the role that their culture plays in their overall identity. After they completed the collage, they had to somehow incorporate it into the creation of a safe space. They read an article by Judith Herman, a trauma expert, and reviewed Herman’s Three Stages of Healing:
- Creating Safety
- Remembrance and Mourning (working through the trauma)
- Reconnection with ordinary life
The part of today’s project in which students created a safe space relates to Stage 1, above.