Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Am I working on a class presentation about Art Therapy as a counseling approach and found out that most of the journal articles my partner found on the subject were not written by people trained in Art Therapy.

I found this out because while I was reading an otherwise interesting article, I noticed that some of the statements didn't jive with the books I have read dealing with art therapy. I was supposed to call my mentor (a trained and certified art therapist) anyway, so I asked her to explain the few passages I was having problems with.

Silence on the line.

Then, "What are this woman's credentials? Is she a trained art therapist?"

Me, frantically flipping through to find any letters after her name: "I can't find anything."

Anyway, after trying to locate the article through the listed publisher, who no longer carries the International Journal of Psychotherapy, and getting off the phone with my mentor, I did a Google search on the author of the article and found out not only hasn't she been trained as an art therapist, she's not even a psychologist - she's a psychiatric social worker.

I looked through the other articles my partner printed out. Luckily most of them actually listed the authors' credentials - another social worker, a PhD in Education and Human Services, and one article by a professor of counseling and a licensed therapist. Outside of what I received from my mentor and the books I have, only the last article sounds like a source that I can use for a presentation on the theory of Art Therapy as a counseling approach and even that I have my doubts about, because it's more about art in therapy than art as therapy - which I have had more than my fair share of lectures about the difference between the two concepts. It's on the same magnitude of difference as between a tourist snapshot and an Ansel Adams photograph.

If all I was doing was getting some ideas, I wouldn't have a problem with this. But my assignment is specifically to present the counseling approach of Art Therapy.

I think I'm going to bang my head against my keyboard and then salvage what I can. Just because I know my sources are suspicious doesn't mean I can't give a good presentation. I will just focus on the book references and just toss in the occasional article one.

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