Posts Tagged ‘art therapists’

On behalf of Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc., (a US 501(c )(3) organization), we would like to thank you for your continuous support and hope that you consider ATWB as you make your year-end charitable contributions! During the past year, approximately 10,000 professionals and students from around the world have participated in our social media platforms on LinkedIn and Facebook or followed our Twitter via ATWB partners, Art Therapy Alliance and International Art Therapy Organization. We are proud to facilitate forums for art therapists to connect with each other, share information, exchange art work, discuss issues important to professional practice, and promote their services, workshops and publications— all for free, something no other art therapy organization provides. We also have been humbled by the appreciation and gratitude so many of you have expressed. It is truly an honor and privilege for Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc. to be recognized as an international voice for the field of art therapy.

As you plan your year-end giving during this time, we hope you will make a charitable, tax-deductible donation to Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc. In 2012, we plan to expand our mission to include a comprehensive international disaster relief database of professional art therapists around the world, new international art exchanges, hiring of support staff to help with basic operations and other initiatives to strengthen our networking capabilities. But in order to do so, we need your help. So we ask you to consider a donation of $10, $25, or more in order to help us build a stronger collective, global voice to promote the work of art therapists and encourage the public to recognize the power of art to transform lives.

Remember, even a donation of only $10 [US dollars; our donation system accepts international currency too!] will help us to make do much more in 2012.

Thank you in advance for your support. From all of us at Art Therapy Without Borders Inc., we wish you a wonderful season of celebration and a happy, healthy new year!

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPAT, LPCC, President

Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC, Secretary

Don Cutcher, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, Treasurer

Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc., is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit incorporation organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and networking purposes to promote, develop, and support international art therapy initiatives and the work of art therapists worldwide.  ATWB was founded to meet the need for an organization dedicated to a global art therapy community and the use of art in service to others in need through art therapy, art in healthcare, and art for social transformation. ATWB is qualified to accept tax deductible donations, transfers or gifts under Section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the US IRS code.


We’ve been busy receiving, reading, scanning, and posting postcards that have been arriving in our mailboxes since last week’s deadline for our International Postcard Art Exchange.  Participants signed up last fall and since then there’s been a postcard art frenzy from art therapists and art therapy students around the world!

Over 250 postcards were received by ATWB from 23 countries throughout the last six months.  It was great to see this collaborative project helping to provide connection and community about art therapy worldwide.

Visit the ATWB website to check out our slideshow featuring the postcards we received.  Postcards, blog postings, and comments about the project are also available to view on our Facebook page as well.  Thank you to everyone who participated!

If you are interested in future art collaborations happening within our communities, remember to stay connected to receive new announcements and updates!

FUSION Volume 3, Number 1, an e-zine for Planet Art Therapy  and inspired by members and initiatives of Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc., The Art Therapy Alliance and International Art Therapy Organization [IATO] is now out!  FUSION is dedicated to a new energy, excitement, and blend of ideas, cultures, and people for a sustainable future in art therapy.

This issue features some of the exciting news, activities, and global work from art therapists worldwide to bring change and transformation to people’s lives and communities everyday. Learn about how art therapists are assisting with disaster recovery efforts in Japan, an update on ATWB’s International Postcard Art Exchange, Advisory Council interviews, our features section about art therapy & autism, and more!

Check out the video below to see a preview of this issue and download your free PDF copy here:

Feel free to share FUSION with your colleagues, students, classmates, and others who are interested in the world of art therapy and can benefit from receiving this free resource!

The Society for the Arts in Healthcare’s 22nd Annual International Conference, Advancing Patient-Centered Arts, hosted by Stanford Hospital and Clinics, will be held April 13-16, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in Burlingame, California. Hosted by Stanford Hospitals and Clinics, this conference will give attendees the opportunity to explore model arts in healthcare programs and built environments, gain strategies to successfully position arts programs in healthcare institutions, and develop leadership and professional skills to excel in the field. Arts in healthcare professionals, students, supporters, and all who want to learn more about the field are encouraged to attend.

We’re excited about our involvement at this dynamic conference in April. Art Therapy Without Borders is an exhibitor at the event, so if you are attending the conference, please be sure to stop by our table! We’ll have information on ATWB and how to get involved in our social networks and community—and even some of our famous “domino” pins on hand for purchase as a donation towards ATWB’s efforts. During the conference, Board Members Gretchen Miller and Cathy Malchiodi will be leading a panel on “Combat Paper Project: Helping Soldiers Use Papermaking to Reclaim and Reconstruct Their Lives,” from 2:00 pm to 3:30 on Friday, April 15th. On Thursday, Cathy will be facilitating the lunch hour gathering for Medical Art Therapy from 11:30 am to 1 pm. Finally, on Saturday, April 16th, from 10:30 am to 11:30 am, Cathy will be leading a Bring it Forward Session, “Exploring Best Practices & Collaborations That Use the Arts for Social Transformation to Resolve Conflict, Curb Violence & Create Community.” Art and social action is one of our core values at ATWB, so it is exciting to have a platform to interact with others who are passionate about this topic.

PS: Don’t forget that Cathy and Gretchen are presenting a day long course on Trauma Informed Art Therapy on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011, at the Hyatt Hotel where the Society’s conference is being held. For more information and registration, visit our Events webpage here. You can also take a three-day workshop on PhotoTherapy with Judy Weiser on April 9th thru the 11th at the Hyatt Hotel; for more information, click here.

Don’t miss your opportunity to network and learn at the most comprehensive arts in healthcare event! Find a full schedule, registration information, and more here: ” Early bird registration ends on March 11th, 2011, so make your plans soon—see you there!

During 2011, Art Therapy Without Borders will be featuring members from the Advisory Council as an opportunity to learn more about their work and some of the art therapy initiatives they are involved in that speak to this community’s vision.  February’s spotlight includes Dr. Elizabeth Warson:

Elizabeth Warson, PhD, ATR-BC, LPC, NCC is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Art Therapy Program at George Washington University. She is on the Board of Directors for the Society for the Arts in Healthcare and serves as the co-chair for the Society’s research committee. Her research interests focus on American Indian cancer survivors and their family members and is the recipient of a Johnson and Johnson grant, co-sponsored by the Mayo Cancer Clinic’s Spirit of EAGLES program and a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts grant.  As a professional artist, she has exhibited her sculptural work nationally and internationally.

Tell readers a little about yourself and what your interests are in art therapy: Like many art therapists, I am a person with diverse interests.  Depending on the day, I may identify myself as an artist, researcher, instructor, workshop facilitator, mentor….  Being an artist is the core of who I am; I savor my time in the studio and am always looking for venues to exhibit my work.  I feel fortunate that my day job as an assistant professor at George Washington University provides me with a supportive environment for all my endeavours.  Art therapy has always made “sense” to me regardless of the politics, lack of employment, and misconceptions about the field.  What make “sense” to me these days is collaborating with American Indians/Alaska Natives/Native Hawaiians on wellness-based initiatives.  My “story” can be accessed from a recent article in GWToday.

What do you believe are important considerations or emerging issues for the international art therapy community to pay attention to? Community-based participatory approaches are on the frontline of research and have relevance to practitioners with respect to developing successful partnerships.  Collaboration from the inception of any program/study is vital to creating sustainable practices, which is key to working with underserved communities.  International organizations such as Art Therapy without Borders and the Society for the Arts in Healthcare are providing the platform to create successful collaborative relationships.

What are some special art therapy projects you are working on and for 2011? In collaboration with the Coharie tribe and North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs –through funding from the NEA–we are conducting monthly cultural art workshops for the youth in two settlements of the Coharie tribe.  The documentation from workshops will lead to a traditional arts curriculum for the Cohaire, contributing to their archiving and preservation efforts.  Two traditional artists from the tribe serve as the workshop facilitators.

Through the GW Summer Institute program, we are offering a two-week American Indian Art Therapy immersion experience with the Oglala tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota.  This trip is open to students and professionals not affiliated with George Washington University.  Learn more here.

I am presently wrapping up two studies:  An American Cancer Society grant provided me with funding to conduct 14 wellness-based art therapy workshops for American Indian cancer survivors in North Carolina.  An internal grant from George Washington University supported a one-day community workshop exploring the interrelationship between American Indian medicine and art therapy.

This fall I will be conducting a two-day felting making workshop for the Native People’s Circle of Hope conference in Billings, Montana.  This workshop is an extension of my work with my collaborator John Lorance.  John and I have been offering therapeutic feltmaking workshops together since 2006.

How can people contact you or find out more about your work? You can contact me directly at or 703-299-4147 or you can facebook me at Elizabeth Warson.  Because much of my research becomes property of the tribal communities I partner with, I am unable to routinely publicize their artwork on the internet.  I have a couple publications coming out this year that I will link to my GW faculty homepage.  Our graduate program also maintains a blog that chronicles our research, international excursions, and special events.

Art Therapy Without Borders thanks Dr. Warson for this interview and sharing her work with the ATWB community!

Like many of the 350 people involved in the Art Therapy Without Borders International Postcard Art Exchange, I am busy making art to send out to fellow artists around the world. My focus has been on creating images about some of the history of art therapy in the US and around the world that I have personally experienced. During this process I started to think, “how does Art Therapy Without Borders fit into this collective history?” But more importantly, another question rose to the surface– why does Art Therapy Without Borders exist?

Several years ago Matt Dunne, former director of AmeriCorps Vista and currently Manager of Community Affairs at Google, taught me one important thing about non-profit, service-oriented organizations– they must know why they exist. Organizations that exist only to pay staff salaries or the rent on office spaces soon lose their souls and cease to be alive, even though financially stable. So while creating a series of postcards like the one you see above, I thought about why ATWB is here and its reason for “being.” Here is what I wrote on the back of this postcard:

Art’s power to change lives, repair and restore is present all around the planet. Art has the potential to transform lives and often in profound ways. When words are not enough, we turn to images and symbols to tell our stories. And in telling our stories through art, we can find a path to healing, recovery and transformation.

Art therapy is larger than any one group or any one country’s history; you are part of the story of art therapy in how you use art to help others, each and every day. That is why Art Therapy Without Borders exists, to help those stories become part of the larger narrative of what we call “art therapy.”

While some see ATWB as a footnote, we would rather think of this community as a series of footprints that are marking out the journeys of so many like-minded individuals around the world. Those footprints play out every day on ATWB, Art Therapy Alliance and International Art Therapy Organization’s social media platforms; we have learned never to underestimate the power of the people to come together via a common belief that art is transformative and that art therapy is powerful force that changes lives.

So some of you who are part of this collective journey will be receiving one of these postcards in the coming weeks. And let me say in advance, thanks for being part of the story— and let’s use art to wake up the world!

Be well,

Cathy Malchiodi, President, ATWB

Art Therapy Without Borders is excited to present this short 5 minute film Planet Art Therapy Postmarks featuring the first 100 postcards we have received for our International Postcard Art Exchange.  Enjoy!

Spreading holiday cheer all around Planet Art Therapy!   Enjoy!

Planet Art Therapy: Postcard Art is Being Exchanged Everywhere!

This week in the US brings a time for thanks and gratitude with family & friends… As we gear up for this celebration, one of the many things we are thankful for includes the community, connection, and creativity that ATWB’s postcard art exchange is bringing to the international art therapy community.

We thank ATWB postcard art exchangers for being part of this project, sharing their art, stories, and work/studies….
We continue to be inspired, energized, and excited about postcards being made, sent, and received!

Check out a special ATWB e-news launched today to showcase all the postcard art and exchanging going on around Planet Art Therapy! Feel free to share with friends, colleagues, classmates, and others who might be interested!  Enjoy!

My inspiration for the Art Therapy Without Borders International Postcard Art Exchange came from something my mother bought us to help us learn at school– flashcards. I remember learning to recite multiplication and division tables from those cards and ever since then, I have a visual memory of mathematics in the form of manila-colored cards in my head.

We all learn to recite answers to questions, no matter where our education takes us. In graduate school, soon-to-be art therapists are taught a certain set of historical and other facts that we pretty much start to accept as dogma eventually. So I started to think, just what would a set of art therapy flashcards look like? What are the “facts” that we have been taught to recite to our professors, for an exam, and to each other in order to feel that we are part of the group? But most of all, are these facts correct?

My first flashcard is one of several on Margaret Naumburg. When I was in graduate school studying art therapy I had to read Margaret Naumburg’s original works. In the US, we are generally taught that Naumburg is the “mother” of art therapy and the “creator” of art therapy as a profession. These are facts that we readily accept, as to if to anchor ourselves within a lineage of professionals who came before us and as a starting point for the existence of a profession.

Naumburg’s declaration that art therapy is a “profession” took place in the mid-20th century. Meanwhile in the early 21st century we are now questioning if there really is a profession called art therapist. In the US, “art therapist” is not listed as a separate job category in the Department of Labor. Even if it becomes a category, there are challenges to its acceptance. Art therapy degrees are being transformed into counseling degrees for the sake of licensure; is this marriage a good match or a way to keep art therapy education programs in tuitions when unlicensed graduates could not find employment? Naumburg created a profession for the most part by declaration, but does that declaration translate into something more than just an agreed upon “group-think” that there really is a profession called art therapist?

Finally, how does one become the key “creator” of anything? If someone is the first to declare something in writing does that make that person the creator of that premise? It’s easy to realize that Naumburg was not the only person talking the talk, but she was one of the first to get into print. It echoes an unspoken tradition in the field of art therapy that involves rushing to publish on a topic in order to “claim” it. In my humble opinion, that has resulted in a lot of half-baked books and has not really helped to establish a credible profession called “art therapist.” Not sure that is what Naumburg envisioned! I’ll get back to these questions later in future re-visioning.

More flashcards soon!

Cathy Malchiodi, November 17, 2010