Art Therapy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

October 10, 2019 No Comments

SAIC’s art therapy program has a few key components in it. We’re unique in some
ways from other programs in that we really
encourage students to engage in their
own art practice and really connect
their own artist identity into the
practice that they use out in the field as
an art therapist. We also work from a
critical framework where we are asking
students to also look at their own social
location and consider the social context
within which we go out into the field to work. So we believe that there
is a responsibility to understand how we are
privileged and what impact that might have in being
out in the field. So I wanted my artist
and therapist identities to come together not in an
uncritical way, but in the way that you can deconstruct the
meaning of the word therapist and the meaning of the
word artist is, I think, very unique to this program. And in some ways, I would
say it’s light years ahead of where the field
is in general globally. So the curriculum,
the way I see it, is an experiential
curriculum which allows me to hone
into a lot of skills that I may already
have as an artist and then try to connect
them to the skills that I have to learn
as a therapist. DEBORAH ANN DELSIGNORE: This is
the opportunity in our program where people bring what they
have learned in the classroom into the real world. And they get to practice and
see what’s happening out there and what art therapy actually
looks like in real life. All students need
to be supervised by either a credentialed
art therapist or a licensed mental
health professional. SPEAKER 1: We’ve got
all kinds of colors. CASEY PAX: I know. We have all of these options. SPEAKER 1: All these colors. CASEY PAX: I see field work
as a tangible way with support to learn the skills
needed to practice in our own personal ways. So you really get to tailor it
to your own personal interests depending on where you
go, how you practice. Some people do more
community-based settings. Some prefer more
clinical settings. And you get to, in
that way, create your own educational experience. DEBORAH ANN DELSIGNORE:
The art program prepares art
therapists to engage with community as
opposed to engage on behalf of communities– this concept of
powering with others to impact change in their
lives and in their community. And I think that that’s a really
key piece of our program that really makes us unique. SPEAKER 2: They are even afraid
of our songs, our prayers, and our dances of
love, my sister. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING]

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