The idea of providing art therapy services on an international venue grew out of several social action experiences in Peru, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic that did not involve art therapy. They were motivated by the idealistic desires of a rebellious student who felt both lucky and displaced in college. The idea of my international work grew out of a desire to illustrate the relative nature of poverty by taking students from
According to Hocoy (2006) Art Therapy and Social Action are intrinsically linked through the versatility and power of imagery. Social action is ultimately predicted on the relationship between personal and collective suffering, and the image has the unique ability to bring to consciousness the reality of a current collective predicament, as well as the universality and timelessness of an individual’s suffering. Hocoy (2006) continues to assert that images can concurrently heal personal-collective wounds while demanding a response to injustice. It is the power of the image to mediate between the personal and the collective that those individuals and more specifically, developing art therapist in my opinion begin to come to grips with their roles as agents of change advocating for a more equitable system. the South Bronx who believed they were poor and exposing them to another type of poverty in hopes of opening conversations into commercialism, social justice and personal accountability. In fact, the first international art therapy experience in Nicaragua included several high school students as well as graduate level art therapists from two universities. Together, all three groups worked in support of one another exploring the dynamics of artistic expression and the complexities of poverty. Despite any initial intentions to right injustices, we each returned to our communities of privilege, changed. The injustices remained. It took several months to begin to digest what exactly happened and why it felt so important. Everyone had their own insight as to what those interactions meant for them, and I was no different. As an educator, it was about the education of the therapist, the real education and not just the textbook theory. As an art therapist it was about sharing the insight that we can only change ourselves by increasing our awareness and cultivating compassion.
It is through this modeling that those around us may begin to change themselves. It became important to us to document our next journey, to be able to tangible illustrate and discuss, within a classroom setting, student growth. I asked a colleague and friend who was a filmmaker, to join us and document our interactions and perspectives. It was an adventure. The short classroom documentary that captured experiential learning began to grow with each conversation.
According to Kolb and Kolb (2005), students must in some way transform their experiences for learning to occur. It is not enough to label something as experiential learning by simply participating in a group activity or volunteering as part of course requirement rather those activities become constructed experiential learning when students reflect on them, develop abstract ideas on the basis of their reflections, and can actively test those ideas.
Art Therapy: The Movie
Art Therapy: The Movie is a feature documentary about the innovative ways art is being used around the world to overcome emotional challenges and traumatic experiences. We’re profiling some incredible stories, that highlight how art is helping in the healing process. Through your support we have successfully completed the initial fundraising campaign and are so eager to share with you our film.
For information regarding the Kickstarter Campaign or related articles please select one of the links below.