The Department of Art Education’s Art Therapy Program held its last weekend course for the summer 2016 semester July 22-23, 2016. The third weekend course focused on family art assessment, which was taught by visiting professor Dr. Paige Asawa.
Dr. Asawa is a full-time Associate Professor and Director of the Helen B. Landgarten Art Therapy Clinic at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, California. She has been practicing art therapy for over twenty years and currently teaches all of the faculty art therapy courses at LMU. Dr. Asawa mentors graduate student research projects and the clinic fellowships. Her work in the art therapy clinic is focused on offering art therapy services to underserved populations in Los Angeles. This includes community outreach to local agencies and schools providing opportunities for clients and students to develop communication and coping skills, as well as self-expression through art therapy.
Dr. Asawa’s current research focuses on the use of art therapy in trauma treatment, as a result of providing trauma treatment for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and other disasters. Dr. Asawa developed a comprehensive trauma training and response program and is expanding community outreach programs for the art therapy clinic. Since 1992, Dr. Asawa has been in private practice employing art therapy with families, individuals and couples.
Approximately 28 people were in attendance for the two-day weekend course, which began each day at 8:30 AM and ended 5:00 PM. Dr. Asawa provided an overall review of family art assessment, such as . She began by introducing the various types of family art assessments that define family strengths, weaknesses, and dynamics in order for students to gain an understanding of family problems and needs, which is a necessary skill to set and/or modify treatment plans. Students were allowed much of the course to extensively explore each family art therapy assessment. Through multiple learning modalities, such as art making, case studies, role playing, guided art thematics, demonstration videos and art experiential exercises, Dr. Asawa promoted an active learning environment for students.
Throughout the course, students actively participated and engaged in class discussions. Students greatly appreciated Dr. Asawa’s enthusiasm and unique teaching style. The department thanks Dr. Asawa for serving as a visiting professor and concluding the weekend course series.