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Art Therapy Alliance Favicard on the Go with July Fernández in Guadalajara, Mexico

This Art Therapy Alliance Favicard on the Go submission was received by July Fernández, an Art Therapist from Mexico living in Guadalajara. Thank you July!

July first studied Nutrition Science and worked for several years in this field. She realized that the people that came to her office needed to talk about their feelings, as these unresolved feelings affected their way of feeding themselves.

While July was working as a Nutritionist she studied art, with special interest in children’s illustration. By “accident” of the universe (jojo), July knew there was “something” called Art Therapy and she knew that would be the way to help people discover themselves and feelings through their own creativity. July then studied in Barcelona for her Masters in Art Therapy.

Currently July is working in a Children’s Rehabilitation Center called CRIT Occidente (Centro de Rehabilitación Infantil Teletón) in Guadalajara as an Art Therapist. Through art July works with children with diverse physical disabilities. She designs activities to improve their artistic capabilities and self-esteem while working on their medical objectives. This includes working with the child’s emotions, disability acceptance, grief, the self’s acceptance of death, parent deattachment, frustration, as well as discovering the child’s artistic capabilities to cope with physical disabilities through  hand, feet and mouth painting.

“It’s a job (well, I do not consider its a “job”) that I love: I love how creativity emerges in each child and how they interpret the colors, how they discover their creative abilities and their joy at the end of each of the works they perform. I like to discover the child’s thoughts and feelings as we paint…we can laugh and cry.”
Regarding July’s photo, she took it on November 2nd in Guadalajara’s downtown. On November 2nd the Day of the Dead (Día de muertos) is celebrated in Mexico.


“It’s my favorite Mexican holiday:  Lots of color, food, altars honoring the deceased, flowers and something special called Catrina. The Catrina is the image that depicts a female skeleton dressed only in a hat befitting the upper class outfit of a European of her time. The skeleton is adorned with large and elegant dresses.” 
“This year I made a Catrina with a disability (a leg prosthesis) representing the Children’s Rehabilitation Center where I work and was placed in the hometown of my city. I created it with paper, glue, paint and fabric. I thoroughly enjoyed making it and chose this figure to photograph my Favicard. In the background you can see the cathedral, the Plaza de Armas and the Government Palace.”


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Art Therapy Alliance Favicard on the Go with Jen Alward, MA, LPC, ATRL-BC in Eagle River, Wisconsin

Today’s Favicard on the Go photos were received by Jen Alward, MA, LPC, ATRL-BC, an art therapist in Eagle River, Wisconsin- Thank you Jen for sharing your experiences, journey, and work for this series!

“I am a therapist in a small town in northern Wisconsin (Eagle River) at Northland Counseling Services. My clients vary greatly in age and are seeking help with temporary setbacks and life-long traumas and disabilities. Most clients see me in the office for outpatient therapy once a week that includes cognitive and creative therapies (art, sandtray, play). A few clients receive in-home therapy which is more about case management: encouraging them and helping them get out of the house and make appointments. I have attended one American Art Therapy Association (AATA) annual conference and a more local Art Therapy Symposium. Recently I saw some Art Therapy postings on Pinterest that I found inspiring! My greatest encouragements have been connecting with a semi-local peer and going on 2 mission trips with a former Art Therapy professor. I would like to continue these Art Therapy mission trips to help bring healing & joy through art around the world. I would also like to have a therapy office that is more “art friendly,” perhaps have some open studio sessions at the up and coming art center in my town.”


A Journey…

“A sandtray of my professional journey thus far. 2003 graduation…so full of ideas, plans, hope, excitement! Then years of red-tape, road blocks and obstacles…mission trips and a few encouraging conferences and connections, including getting my ATRL-BC in 2008 kept me going. The obstacles kept mounting and I seriously considered changing careers…2012 brought 2 breakthrough moments: obtaining my LPC in October and a client thriving with true art therapy! Currently I am hopeful and hesitatingly optimistic about the future of art therapy in my life with the start of an art center in town and possible mission trips. I know there is a plan and that I have friends and family cheering me on, but sometimes the negative crowd drowns them out…and time keeps ticking… When I reflect on the journey thus far I see how I was protected and guided and it gives me hope for the future…perhaps the trials I have been through can benefit others to make their journey smoother.”

Art Adventures

“This year I had the privilege of teaching a 4 week art class to local home-school students. We focused on experiments and creativity, not “how to” draw or paint etc. Energy was high and their creative excitement spilled over into the lives of their families and friends, and re-sparked my excitement for making art. As this picture shows, even the “rubish” from an art experiment can be pretty–it’s not all about the end product!

Social media such as Facebook and Pinterest are incredibly valuable because they are easy to interact with and are part of my daily life. I hope Art Therapy’s presence in these arenas continues to grow. The postcard project was a fabulous & fun idea because it helped me make art myself and made me feel part of a larger community. Thank you for promoting projects like these!”



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Art Therapy Alliance 2012 Year in Review: Milestones, Happenings & Projects


2012 has been another active year for the Art Therapy Alliance with community focused projects to help promote art therapy, new resources, and some celebrating of milestones!

Here are some of the highlights:

Spaces & Places: Where We Create : Launched in February 2012, this three month online photo documentary project co-created by Magdalena Karlick, ATR, LPAT, LPCC (Southwestern College) and Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC (Art Therapy Alliance) invited art therapists, art therapy students, expressive arts therapists, and art organizations to submit a photo of their creative work space and favorite tools of the trade.


Using social media and digital photo sharing on Facebook, Flickr, and Instagram, this project provided education, awareness, inspiration, and understanding about the spaces & places, settings, populations, and materials that the art therapy community works in and uses within their practice. Over 200 photos were contributed from the US, Canada, Italy, Singapore, Mexico, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia, and India. View the project’s slideshow on Flickr here:

Art Therapy Alliance on Pinterest : Also in February of this year, the Art Therapy Alliance joined the virtual pinboard & social networking site Pinterest. The Art Therapy Alliance on Pinterest includes over 20 boards featuring different art therapy topics, news, resources, and the work of art therapists. 


6 Degrees of Creativity 2 : In July, a second round of workshops for the online art making community, 6 Degrees of Creativity started and will be closing at the end of this year.  6 Degrees of Creativity’s activity also expanded to a service project with Operation Sock Monkey in November, where over 50 art therapists, students, and sock monkey friends made and donated over 100 sock monkeys for at-risk youth affected by Hurricane Sandy at the Boys & Girls Club of Hoboken. Woo hoo!


The Return of Art Therapy Alliance Favicard on the Go Project : This year also saw the re-launch of this collabortive project, including the introduction of a dedicated Pinterest board featuring Favicard photos, links to their stories, and the work of art therapists who submitted them. This project uses the power of social networking and community members’ creativity to showcase individuals and groups who want to share their Art Therapy Alliance Favicard and highlight their work, passion, or cause.


Milestones: In 2012, the Art Therapy Alliance celebrated milestones on Facebook and on LinkedIn, when both of these communities became over 10,000 strong!  Woo hoo!


Thank you to community members, contributors, and supporters who have participated in Art Therapy Alliance happenings throughout this year, as well as access the variety of social media sites in the network for daily news, updates, and connection.  Here comes 2013- Happy New Year! -gretchen


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Art Therapy Alliance Favicard On the Go with (Clare) Kit Keung in Singapore

“Being creative is not a hobby, it is in every day life”.

This Art Therapy Alliance Favicard photo was submitted by (Clare) Kit Keung, an Art Therapist practicing in Singapore:


About Kit and her photo:

The desire and possibility to create inspire and motivate my life goals and have given me many opportunities to reach out to people of all ages, races and abilities.

The concept of the attached photo is based on that Art is in every day life. It reflects a table setting where art tools and other daily life items are casually integrated, creating colorful and blissful energy all around.

“Clare” is my Catholic name since I was baptized in 2010. It is named after Saint Clare who lived a very simple, faithful and courageous life, which means “bright light”. Following my passion towards my faith and arts, I am committing myself to serve the Lord using the potential of arts in variety of ways.

Clare about Art is a hub for all my work as a graphic and multimedia designer and a registered art therapist (AThR), as well as a little leisured “artist” who makes arts in every day life.

My life goal is to continue to use art therapy to facilitate more fellow human beings to gain therapeutic treatments. At the same time, also to introduce the benefits of integrating creativity and arts into the lifestyle to people from all walks of life, to attain inner and outer balance.

Kit accesses the Art Therapy Alliance primarily through Facebook, to browse articles and news. Thanks to Kit for her interest and submission!


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Art Therapy Perspectives & Social Media with Victoria Scarborough, MPS

It is my pleasure to feature this interview with Victoria Scarborough, MPS, New York art therapist and blogger for Art Therapy Perspectives.  After being invited through Twitter to participate in her Interview Series on her blog, I was curious to learn more about Victoria’s own perspectives about how she uses social media as an art therapist.  Her Interview Series that started in September is a great resource and promotion for the art therapy field!   Thank you to Victoria for sharing her reflections below, as well as tips & suggestions for art therapists looking to become more involved with social media.


Victoria graduated from the School of Visual Arts’ Art Therapy masters program in 2011. Throughout internships and volunteering she has facilitated art therapy groups and individual sessions in a broad range of settings that include inpatient medical units, school for developmentally delayed students and various special projects. Victoria has shown work alongside clients in two School of Visual Arts’ Art Therapy art shows entitled Counterbalance and Creating Dialogue.  Prior to art therapy she worked to produce strategy, planning and execution of national media plans for big name brands. In her free time she enjoys cooking and entertaining for friends and family. The image above is orginial art created by Victoria.

What motivated you to begin interviewing art therapists on your blog Art Therapy Perspectives? 

My purpose for starting the blog was originally to connect with and learn from other art therapists. I was also interested in advocating and educating people about art therapy. The field is still growing and changing, and so is art therapists’ use of technology, networking sites and social media. It was and is a way for me to be at the forefront of that change. The title came from the idea that every art therapist has their own perspective, and brings new insight into the field. I also hope to feature other content in addition to interviews on occasion. That might be away I grow the blog in the future. An example would be a post I did which was on an open letter I wrote to hospitals informing them of the importance of having an art therapist on medical units. Medical art therapy has been an interest of mine since interning in a medical setting from 2010-2011. I am always getting asked what art therapy is, and who can use art therapy, so I wanted a place to share that information. Since I am early in my career, it made sense to me to begin interviewing other art therapists who have experience in areas in which I may not. My hope is that each art therapist brings a unique perspective, and I am looking to interview art therapists with all different backgrounds and experience. In addition, I noticed after attending various lectures and art therapy conferences, I always left feeling a sense of renewal and inspiration from listening to and learning from my peers and predecessors. It is my hope that this blog brings some of that same feeling to me and to it’s readers. I hope it challenges the way people think about art therapy, I hope that connects people and if nothing else helps inspire me to keep exploring.


What do enjoy the most about interviewing the art therapists you have featured?

I really enjoy learning from their stories, their challenges, and their successes. I enjoy hearing about different populations using art therapy, and about various approaches and styles. I also enjoy being able to share their stories, and make the information available for others who are interested in learning more.


Where do you find the art therapists that you have interviewed?

I have interviewed art therapists that I know, as well as those introduced to me from other art therapists. I have also been able to connect with art therapists through networking sites such as Linkedin, and more specifically through groups on Linkedin such as Art Therapy Alliance.


How has social networking helped you as an art therapist?

Social networking has been a learning tool for me. There is always something I can learn from the people that I interview, as well as the people I come across through other social channels. Twitter and Pinterest have been good resources for finding and sharing articles and my interviews. It has also helped me to connect with other art therapists and mental health professionals that I may not know otherwise.


What helpful tips would you give to an art therapist interested in starting a blog?

When I was starting my blog I read a really great book called “Blog, Inc.” by Joy Deangdeelert Cho. She outlines all the information you ever need to know about starting a blog, and has really great examples of successful blogs. I would recommend it to anyone thinking of starting a blog no matter what the content of the blog. Another tip I would share is to be flexible, don’t just have one set idea of what your blog will be and it will evolve over time.


What are some of the challenges you’ve found with blogging?

One big challenge I faced at first was having enough content. I wanted all of the information to be new and relevant. The interviews have turned into a great content provider, and I hope I can continue on with this series of interviews for a long time.


If an art therapist is interested in being interviewed on Art Therapy Perspectives, how can she/he submit their request?

She or he can leave a comment on my blog: Or connect with me via or Linkedin:

Read Victoria’s interview on Art Therapy Perspectives featuring the Art Therapy Alliance here.


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Happy Holidays!



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Invitation to Help: Bring Sock Monkey Smiles to Youth in New Jersey

6 Degrees of Creativity & Operation Sock Monkey have teamed up for a sock monkey service project that will benefit The Boys & Girls Club in Hoboken, New Jersey. The Boys & Girls Club in this area was severely impacted by flooding and damage from Hurricane Sandy.

This collection of sock monkey donations will help send a group of OSM Delegates to the youth from this community with warm wishes of hope, love, and kindness!

Here’s how you or your group can participate & help:

  • Create and donate a handmade sock monkey- Send an e-mail to Gretchen at [email protected] by November 28 to receive more details about shipping information.  Sock monkeys will still need to be ready for shipping by December 10.

This project is open to art therapists, students, creatives, craftivists, and anyone wanting to support the effort. Feel free to spread the word!

If you need some sock monkey how-to help, check out this short video from Art Therapist and OSM Operative Kat Thorsen:




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    Art Therapy Alliance Favicard on the Go with Erin Brazill in Honduras

    The Art Therapy Alliance received this second Favicard On the Go photo from Art Therapist Erin Brazill taken during her recent trip to Honduras.  Thanks Erin for contributing another submission!


    Last month, I traveled to Santa Lucia, Intibucá, Honduras with a group of doctors, pharmacists, nurses and anthropologists from the University of Cincinnati where I spent a week exploring how art heals and helps explore feelings among my fellow travelers and many of the children in the southern frontera of Honduras. Within our group, I distributed journals I made from recycled materials and encouraged self reflection through writing, collage, painting, and drawing. Most people loved coming home from a busy day in field clinics and putting their impressions down in their journals. I was also able to work with a girls’ empowerment group creating “power beads” with positive affirmations written inside coiled paper-beads and strung together to form beautiful necklaces. During off hours, I found a large group of village children who loved coloring, drawing and most of all… creating chalk drawings outside the community clinic where many of the kids and their families received healthcare.

    Erin Brazill is a Registered & Board Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC) and Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) currently practicing in Cincinnati, Ohio. Erin provides consultation, intervention, and clinical treatment services to young children (ages 0-5) and their primary caregivers through Central Clinic – Young Child Institute.  She uses art therapy primarily in this setting to help strengthen child/parent relationships that have been adversely impacted by early childhood traumas. Erin is also serving her 1st term as the External Relations Chair & Alternate Chapter Delegate for the Buckeye Art Therapy Association. She follows the Art Therapy Alliance via website, LinkedIn and Facebook connections. She participated in last year’s On the Go Favicard and Spaces & Places: Where We Create collaborative. Erin is looking forward to participating in the upcoming Sock Monkey Swap.


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    Art Therapy Alliance Favicard On the Go: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Fall Conference

    At the end of September, I visited Southern IIlinois University Edwardsville and the Graduate Art Therapy & Counseling Program to present at this year’s Fall Conference

    My community lecture, Cultivating Art Therapy Connection & Community: The Power of Social Media and Online Collaboration, highlighted the power of social networking to mobilize and create community for art therapists and art therapy students.


    It was fun to present on my interest in technology, social networking, and art therapy, as well as how these loves have developed and strengthened since creating my first online forum for art therapy students in the late 1990s on Delphi Forums

    Some of the benefits and value of web-based art therapy collaborations and communities include:

    • Decreasing isolation
    • Facilitating connection and a sense of belonging
    • Creating inspiration and hope
    • Empowering art-making for art therapists
    • Global networking among the art therapy community
    • Promoting art therapy and the work of art therapists

    The photo here includes a background from a spread I did in my Adventure Gluebook about the trip.  I’ve been working on this gluebook throughout this year as part of 6 Degrees of Creativity 2.

    Thanks to the SIUE Art Therapy & Counseling Program, its faculty, and students for their interest in this topic!  Enjoy your Favicards!  🙂  

    To learn how to receive your own Favicard and contribute to this project, read the updated guidelines here 

    Photos and stories already received from community members can also be seen here.


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    Introducing…Art Therapy Alliance’s Community Board on Pinterest | Call for Contributors

    Back in February, The Art Therapy Alliance joined Pinterest with a variety of boards related to topics, news, resources, and populations art therapists might be interested in.


    9 months, 22 boards, 1600+ pins, and 1500+ followers later, this community continues to keep growing! Woo hoo!

    The newest board I added in September to the Art Therapy Alliance Pinterest community is a collaborative space where art therapists active on this social media site can have another place to share and pin their art therapy finds.

    If you are an art therapist active on Pinterest, feel free to check it out and learn how to become a contributor!



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