Art therapy seniors prepare for final presentations

It has been an inspiring journey for current graduate Art Therapy students, filled with many late nights spent at the Seton Hill University (SHU) Visual Arts Center (VAC) in downtown Greensburg. After seven semesters of academic work, including one practicum and two internships totaling 700 hours, 16 students in the spring graduating class of 2013 will be presenting their culminating projects.

These presentations, which will occur in the SHU VAC, begin April 27 and continue through May 16. The topics are varied and illustrate the wide range of settings in which art therapy can be practiced.  Some examples include: “Art Therapy with Preschoolers Diagnosed with Autism: A Study of Moe and Keith,” “Art Therapy and Addictions Treatment: Self-Image in Recovery,” and “Sessions with Bella: Art Therapy with a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Patient.”

Following graduation, alums will work toward becoming Registered and Board Certified (ATR-BC) as Art Therapists and licensed as Professional Counselors (LPC). Graduates of the SHU MA in Art Therapy with specialization in Counseling have found employment in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, alternative educational settings, prisons, homeless shelters, juvenile detention centers, residential group homes, day treatment centers, halfway houses, burn centers, pediatric hospitals, rehabilitation centers, sheltered workshops, drug and alcohol treatment centers and in private practice.

Nina Denninger, associate professor and program director, said, “When you study art therapy at Seton Hill you participate in a voyage of self-discovery. You learn how to create art that draws on unconscious feelings and thoughts, you learn how to interact with images in ways that elicit their deeper meanings, and you learn how to respond to your own art and the art of others in ways that engender trust and further self-exploration. You learn a lot about yourself and the natural gifts you have to bring to a healing practice”.

Professor Denninger explained that the culminating project presentations are open to the public and encourages everyone to take advantage of  “this rich resource as these are free opportunities to hear about art therapy being practiced in different settings.”

“Participating in art activities is a way to both lose yourself and find yourself at the same time. Through this program we learn to harness this ability in order to help others while at the same time growing as individuals within a more global society,” said Laura Blough, senior.

All presentations will be held at the art therapy studio at 215 South Pennsylvania Ave. Greensburg, PA 15601. To see a full schedule of events please contact the Student Art Therapy Association at satasetonhill@gmail.com.

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