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American Art Therapy Association Virtual Conference Event

Published January 22, 2021

Dr. Barbara Parker-Bell

On December 19, 2020 the American Art Therapy Association hosted a one-day virtual conference event with a rich mix of 24 educational offerings, three optional self-care events and three networking events. FSU art therapy faculty and alumni were well represented in six of the educational presentations and two of the self-care events .
Dr. Barbara Parker-Bell, Director of the Art Therapy Program, with co-presenter Dr. Patricia Isis, offered a morning self-care option entitled “Creative Self-Care: Advancing your Mental Health to Support Personal and Professional Effectiveness.” Participants were provided with metaphoric imagery and guided mindful self-compassion meditation practices to help manage the stress of therapist practice. Dr. Sheila Lorenzo de la Pena, alumna and former adjunct faculty member, also offered a self-care options along with her co-presenters, Lauren McGill, Lauren Chapman and Eric Reiche, entitled “Art Making: Sacred Spaces.” In this presentation, participants were invited to reflect on the challenges and gratitudes for the past year and the vision for the future. In the educational sessions, Drs. Nancy Gerber, David Gussak, Barbara Parker-Bell and Theresa Van Lith were all represented.

Dr. Nancy Gerber

Dr. Gussak presented with Bani Malhotra in a paper exploring art therapy in a sex offense treatment program entitled ” ‘Not Quite There’: Art Therapy Exploring Transitions for Those with Sexual Offenses.” Dr.Van Lith, along with alum and research partner Meg Beerse, presented their research entitled “Mindful Based Art Therapy as a ‘Gateway’ Intervention for College Students.” Dr Van Lith and Ms. Beerse described their technology-based mindfulness art therapy approach to addressing the growing mental health crises on college campuses. Dr. Gerber presented on her research entitled “Arts-based Research Approaches to Studying Mechanisms of Change in the Creative Arts Therapies” which explore the mechanisms of change in the arts therapies. Dr. Parker-Bell and alum Emi Illig Heck, discussed an art therapy painting process designed to support positive coping in club sport student-athletes in their presentation “Get Your Art Game On! Student-Athletes and the El Duende Painting Process.

Dr. Dave Gussak

“Emily Frost and Emma McGovern, two recent graduates, presented on “Socially Conscious Art Therapy with Survivors of Sex Trafficking” emphasizing a community activist and empowerment-based art therapy approach to assist survivors of sex trafficking. Finally, Dr. Ashley Hartman, an alumna, along with her co-presenters Taylor Guttesman, Paige Owings, Juliette Meyers, and Sabrina Sacco, presented their narrative multi-media art therapy approaches for adults with Autism in their session entitled “Using a Narrative Approach to Art Therapy with Young Adults with Autism.” We are delighted that the amazing work of our FSU Art Therapy faculty Masters and doctoral program alums was represented during this one day conference with such innovative and robust contributions to the art therapy field and community.

Dr. Theresa Van Lith