Art Therapy in Residential Treatment

A Job Offer and A New Beginning

A few weeks ago I was offered a wonderful opportunity as a full-time ART THERAPIST! The agency, a residential treatment center, had to cut all art therapy programming a few years ago and has asked me to help redevelop the program, beginning with one unit of latency age children and hopefully expanding to the pre teen and adolescent populations.

Most of my experience over the last 9 years has been with “at risk” youth and their families. However, for the past year I have been working as a professional counselor and marriage and family therapist in a short-term setting. My colleagues and direct supervisors supported me as a clinician and were intrigued by my work in art therapy but the agency had no room for art therapy practice and no real willingness to make changes to their already well established program. I spent the year feeling very unfulfilled; I truly missed my work as an art therapist and I felt lost at times. I blogged a few times about the “balancing act” I felt like I was in, feeling “Lost in a sea of regulations”, having a hard time finding my way, and feeling like I was just unable to find my niche.

I, of course, accepted this new position and am beyond excited to begin working in a role where I am expected to do art therapy, not discouraged, and where I can spread my wings… so to speak.  This endeavor will bring many challenges, primarily because I have to begin from square 1, but I feel hopeful and ready. This year I plan to blog about all areas of work in the residential setting and all stages of program development, to include both the challenges and accomplishments.

D.

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