The 47th Annual American Art Therapy Association Conference, was held in Baltimore, MD from July 6-10, 2016, at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. The theme of the conference, Art Therapy: Integrating Creativity, Healing & Professionalism, considered, “the art therapist’s role within the greater health community, our creative roots, and the benefits of the art process…” (AATA President-Donna Betts, PhD, ATR-BC- 2016).
I was so very honored to be a presenter.
Baltimore Uprising/Freddie Gray: An Artist’s Creative Journey towards Clarity and Healing(presented on Thursday, July 7, 2016).
Thank you to all those who came to hear the presentation, and participated in the very important discussion about racial and social justice.
The 46th Annual American Art Therapy Association (AATA) Conference was held in Minneapolis, from July 8-12, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency on Nicollet Mall. The theme of the Conference, Bridging Cultural Terrains: Expanding the Lens of Art Therapy, focused on, “The wide variety of settings in which art therapy promotes healing, health and wellness” (AATA2015).
Not only did I attend this amazing event, I was also invited as a presenter; my subject matter was Racial Microaggressions. Given all our recent racially provoked unrests within many United States cities, particularly my beloved Baltimore City, I felt strongly that a dialogue was necessary among my Art Therapy friends/colleagues about racial inequality, the psychology of racism, racial microaggressions, and issues surrounding social justice-particularly in its manifestations within the counseling relationship between White therapists and Black/African American clients.
Captions of my Presentations:
Session Title: Experiences of Racial Microaggressions and Coping Skills among Professional African American Men
Date of Session: Friday, July 10, 2015
Time of Session: 11:30am – 12:20pm
Number of CECs: .5
Session Title: Unmasking Racial Microaggressions within the therapeutic Relationship: Working with African American Clients
**A big Thank you to all those who attended my presentations. Not only were the presentations well attended, but, participants were actively engaged in the topic. In addition, judging from the feedback I received from participants, it was a much needed topic for dialogue.
It goes without saying that all discussions about race and racism between different racial/cultural groups is often filled with very powerful emotions that may sometimes lead to guilt, confusion, ambivalence and misunderstandings (Sue, 2015 from book- “Race Talk”). Let’s not be discouraged; let’s continue the much needed dialogue and trainings about race and racism in our country.
**I gave out some handouts to participants who attended both my presentations. Those handouts are copyrighted material. When referring to the works/ presentation from the conference, please cite where you got the material, or heard the work, and give the presenter/author the appropriate credit. Thank you.
There were also many other wonderful things going on:
July 9, 2015- Bruce Moon and Friends playing~
Other sites of the Conference:
Sites of Downtown Minneapolis:
The 2016 American Art Therapy Association Conference will be held in Baltimore, MD, July 6-10, 2016.
The following is the first of a new interview series; “PerceptAInterviews.” PerceptA will be conducting a series of interviews with professionals from a variety of backgrounds, for the benefit of all students in need of guidance regarding their own professional path.
Our first interview is with Dr. Beth Gonzalez-Dolginko.
Beth Gonzalez-Dolginko, EdD, LCAT, LP has worked clinically as an art therapist for 40 years, in academia for 28 years and in private practice for 36 years. Beth has worked with children and adults in the areas of psychiatry, addictions, aging, PTSD, chronic illness, special education, developmental disabilities and child development. Beth currently serves on the New York State Office of the Professions for Mental Health Practitioners Board.
1. What drew you to become an art therapist and how did you become interested in the profession? Share some of your background.
When I was a teenager, I was interested in art and psychology, so I used to say I wanted to be an art therapist, even before I actually knew it was a profession. I have been working clinically for 40 years, both in private practice and institutions, in: in-patient psychiatry, with PTSD, with developmental disabilities, with the medically ill, in special education, in child development, with aging and with addictions issues. I have also taught art therapy on both the undergraduate and graduate levels for 28 years.
2. Where did you earn your PhD/EdD? What made you pick that school and what was your experience like.
My EdD is in Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies in Education Administration. Honestly, I needed only my Master’s in art therapy for my NYS license. I earned a doctorate because I was a professor on a full-time tenure track at Hofstra University and was required to get my doctorate. I earned it at Hofstra because I got tuition remission, and I was right there.
3. What is your area of expertise?
My areas of expertise as both an art therapist and psychoanalyst are psychiatry and child development.
4. How did your education get you where you are now?
Again, I needed only my Master’s in art therapy for my NYS license. My Master’s in Art Therapy, getting my ATR-BC and my license are what has served my professional path.
5. What benefits have you had since earning your PhD?
None, really. I am on a NYS Board for Mental Health Practitioners, and there is some recognition from them but not really in terms of my practice. The knowledge of how to engage in meaningful research and write professionally is probably the best outcome of earning my doctorate.
6. What advice would you give the future generation of art therapists about what is important in the field?
It is important to stay current with trends in the field of psychotherapeutic treatment and engage in research related to these fields. The more research and publications that exist related to art therapy, the more credibility our profession will have. It is also important to work towards licensure in your home state. We finally got it in NYS. It has not necessarily increased our salaries, but it has given us more credibility and visibility.
7. In regards to picking a graduate school and choosing a program to suit their needs, what advice would you give to art therapists?
It is important to do your homework and pick a program that matches your philosophy and personality. Look at where their internship placements are. Definitely, do a face-to-face interview with the program director or other faculty members, and ask plenty of questions. You should interview them, too. The location might be an important consideration, as well.