Vote With Mental Health in Mind: A Guide via the American Art Therapy Association

As election day approaches, our community may be interested to review the below nonpartisan resource from the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). Your vote matters!

Posted in 2020, Art, Faculty, Professional Development, Students

Record Album Design in Methods & Materials Class

Recently, first-year MPS Art Therapy students created album covers in their Methods & Materials class. Decisions around genre, theme, and messages they wished to convey were considered. Witnessing the development of original music tracks and cover artwork depicting a personal story was truly inspiring. Participants discovered that this intervention addresses communication, self-awareness, memories, decision making, impulse control, and emotional expression. Tracklists can foster the exploration of themes such as racial injustice, bullying, future goals, addiction, recovery, and other meaningful life experiences. Consideration of populations and sites that might benefit from this experience followed the artmaking experience.

Featured artwork by Tierra Lindsey, Nicole Titus, Athena Toledo.

Posted in 2020, Art, In Class, Students

Envisioning the Ideal Environment for Personal Peace

First-year MPS Art Therapy student, Gracy Vidal, reflects on how envisioning an ideal environment, or “happy place” can have the power to positively impact one’s state of mind:

“This illustration was done at my first special project at the beginning of the semester. The theme was a “happy place”. On the inside, since this is the first time I would be taking a big step to help others, I was feeling nervous. My approach was to create a galaxy sky that would represent space, a happy place for me to be in. As I progressed, I added spontaneous elements such as an ocean, an island, palm trees, animals, a house, and a flying balloon. This entire piece became a hybrid of two happy places. Happy places where I could relax and let go of stress, where everything is calm and silent.”

Thank you, Gracy, for sharing your work and reflections!

Posted in 2020, Art, Special Programs and Projects, Students

MPS Art Therapy Virtual Information Session

Prospective applicants are invited to join us on Wednesday, October 28th from 5- 6 pm for a Virtual Information Session! This session will provide insight into our interdisciplinary graduate program, the application process, and will feature a panel of current students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

✨Attendees will receive a Fall 2021 application fee waiver!✨

Register here.

Posted in 2020, Art, Students

2020 Valery Daniels Memorial Lecture

MPS Art Therapy welcomes you to join our first lecture of the Fall 2020 season! FREE and open to the public. 2.0 CE hours available for LCATs. Register here.

In this virtual lecture and interactive presentation, Dr. Kaimal will present theory and empirical research that links creative self-expression with physiological health and psychological well-being. Connecting evolutionary biology, art therapy practice, and interdisciplinary research, the presentation will make the case for creative expression as being key to our survival and thriving as human beings.

Learning objectives:

1. Participants will learn about physiological and psychological outcomes of art-making

2. Participants will learn about the differences between artmaking by ourselves and artmaking with an art therapist

3. Participants will learn about the role of creative self-expression in human development.

Dr. Kaimal is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University and President-Elect of the American Art Therapy Association. Her research broadly examines the physiological and psychological health outcomes of visual and narrative self-expression. Her Health, Arts, Learning, and Evaluation (HALE) Lab is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Endowment for the Arts as well as University research groups. Current studies include: Examining the role of art therapy in adult and pediatric hematology/oncology settings; the impact of art therapy for military service members with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress; the role of narratives and portraiture to enhance awareness on Gulf War Illness; indigenous and traditional art practices; and; the applications of new media like virtual reality in promoting creative approaches to health and well-being. Girija has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers and was recently included in the list of the top 100 women in science. Girija is also an active visual artist and more details on her work are available at

Posted in 2020, Art, Conference, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students, Workshops

A Visual Reflection on Art Therapy Foundations

First-year MPS Art Therapy student, Athena Toldeo, reflects on the foundations of Art Therapy: “I started this illustration with a portrait of [Art Therapy pioneer] Margaret Naumburg – I then began to draw [another pioneer,] Edith Kramer on the far left corner. After contemplating their roles, I began to think beyond these figures and consider ancestral influences of art and culture. This led to the depictions of cave art on the top left corner. I feel it is a native and metaphysical force that drives creative action. The little orbs represent thought and how thoughts can be translated through virtual language.

The middle of Edith and Naumburg is a window, because along with Freud and Jung- these individuals were interested in entering the window of someone’s world through different forms of therapy.

On the bottom right is a New York City skyline because many of the institutions that help facilitate American art therapy training were first developed in New York. In the middle of the Hudson River is a huge iceberg, in reference to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory.

On the right is a continuation of thought- as I feel the art therapy field runs deeper than the historic figures that helped structure its value. I feel art therapy is about having someone support you through a journey. In this case – I feel art therapy can help lead someone out of stormy waters. Art therapy can provide coping tools and lead to a road of discovery. Art therapy can help navigate through emotions that are difficult to articulate. Art therapy can reveal the power we have within to take agency in our lives.”

Thank you, Athena, for sharing your work!

Posted in 2020, Art, Students

Art Therapy Resources on Racial Trauma via the American Art Therapy Association

We stand in solidarity with protestors advocating for black lives across the world. We are committed to fighting racism and injustice. The American Art Therapy Association (AATA)’s blog series “Breaking the Chains of Racial Trauma in Therapy” is one great resource to learn more about the important role Art Therapists can play in combating systematic racism. The series features the writings of four subject matter experts who share tips from their perspectives on the topic of racial trauma and therapy. 

Posted in 2020, Students

The Mural Project 2019-20: Looking Back

Today we’re looking back on the final days of The Mural Project with this year’s group of  Artistic Noise A&E artists. Due to the current crisis, we weren’t able to showcase this year’s murals with an in-person event, but hopefully, these images provide a glimpse into all of the hard work and dedication these artists exhibited while completing their impressive murals and installations!

Posted in 2020, Art, Special Programs and Projects, Students

Resources for Art Therapists during COVID-19 via the American Art Therapy Association

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) has compiled a number of helpful resources. Here, they include important information for Art Therapists, Educators, and the general public:

Additional resources may be found here:

Posted in Uncategorized

MPS Art Therapy Students Create “Quarantine Quilts” Group

In the Know talks with MPS Art Therapy students Missy Rubenfeld and Ella Hilsenrath about the Facebook community they started where quilt makers could share photos of their “quarantine quilts.”

Read the full feature here!

Posted in 2020, Art, Special Programs and Projects, Students