- What graduate art therapy program did you attend, and in what year did you graduate?
I attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and graduated Sept 2013.
- Why did you want to become an art therapist and/or why are you passionate about art therapy?
My interest in art therapy came from working with children with autism and teaching art classes for them, then moving to NYC and realizing combining art and therapy together would be an amazing way for me to do both creating art and understanding people. The more I learned about, practiced, and moved forward as an art therapist, the more I knew this career was what I was and am made to do with my life. It is my clients that spur on my passion and keep reminding me that what we do is powerful and lasting. We get to share life with people and offer a foundation for hope with art as our weapons.
- Where do you work and what client population do you work with?
I currently work with adolescents in partial hospitalization, veterans with PTSD and military sexual trauma, and a variety of people in private practice.
- Have you ever served as an MNATA volunteer, and if so, in what capacity (e.g., committee service, board of directors)?
I currently serve MNATA as the treasurer and co-lead the Licensure Committee fighting for us to be recognized for our profession. In 2018, I will serve as the vice-president.
- How have you benefited from being a member of MNATA (and/or please explain why you value your membership with MNATA).
Joining MNATA made living in Minnesota worth it for me. It offered community, friendship, and connection that I desperately needed when I moved from NYC. Without the support and community built through participating in MNATA meetings, then serving on the board, I might not feel as though I belong here. I also would not have a sense of ownership over this profession and feel the passion to build upon the art therapy profession.
- In what ways have you contributed to the art therapy community?
I believe my largest contributions to the art therapy community come from creating solid and evidence based programming for Veterans in Minnesota through Ars Bellum Foundation and having the honor of serving the veterans community. This position has captured my heart in a way I never imagined, and has truly become a huge piece of what I believe my life's work is about. Through this organization, I also get to educate many people on what we do, why art therapy is an important and valuable treatment, and gain trust from skeptics.