For the last three years, I have taken a break from direct clinical work. When I took the Executive Director job at rape crisis center, I was really the Executive and Clinical Director and held a small caseload. The management of a non-profit; with it’s need to raise funds; write for and then manage grants; collect, record and report data; develop, implement, and manage programs; recruit and train volunteers; and keep up with the demands of the community to solve the particular social problem you are trying to eradicate is extensive. I could not do both with a small and untrained staff. I hired counselors and art therapists and moved back to just supervision of the counselors.
This year, with an improved system in place and better trained staff, I am returning to clinical work, to providing art therapy in my center. I am looking forward to it, despite the extra work. It is especially exciting to see the benefits of art therapy with trauma survivors. Here at RCASA, we have the ability to see victims become survivors. We are able to offer them a systems approach to their recovery: crisis, medical/forensic accompaniment, legal advocacy and case management, and support group and therapy.
I have held my identity as an art therapist for almost 20 years and I don’t think I realized what an identity it is until I stepped away from clinical work for awhile. And how timely for me as I see the dialogues going on in the field about identity for art therapists and how are we different than counselors. I hold both and ATR-BC and an LPC, yet I see myself as an Art Psychotherapist. And I welcome myself back to the uniqeness of our field and the amazing things that can happen in art therapy for the healing of another.
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