On June 27th and 28th, the Department of Art Education’s Art Therapy Program hosted its second summer weekend course. The second weekend course focused on family art assessment. The course was taught by visiting professor Dr. Paige Asawa who came all the way from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles to teach this course! In addition to teaching at LMU, Dr. Asawa is the Admissions Coordinator and the Director of the Helen B. Landgarten Art Therapy Clinic. Her 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. She 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 30 people were in attendance for the two-day weekend course. Dr. Asawa provided an overall review of family art assessment. A large portion of the course was dedicated to an in-depth exploration of each of the family art therapy assessments. Through multiple learning modalities (art making, case examples, demonstration videos and experiential exercises), Dr. Asawa promoted an active learning environment. Her excitement for the topic was infectious! Students readily volunteered for experimental exercises and eagerly participated in discussions. Using art materials, Dr. Asawa encouraged the students to complete the art assessments themselves. The hands on experience allowed students to gain a deeper understanding of family art assessment key concepts and techniques.
The Art Therapy Program held its third and final summer weekend course for 2014 on July 27th and 28th. The final weekend course explored the use of art therapy in conjunction with marriage and couples counseling. Dr. Dina Ricco traveled from Jacksonville, Florida to teach this course. Dr. Ricco is a fellow Nole, as she received her masters and doctorate degrees from Florida State University! Since her graduation, Dr. Ricco has returned to Tallahassee several times as a visiting professor. She currently works at Pacifica Care where she utilizes art therapy with individuals, couples, families and groups.
Dr. Ricco presented an integration of art therapy, psychology and family systems as it relates to marriage and couples counseling. Students broke up into groups to examine and discuss case studies of couple art therapy. Throughout the weekend, students had the opportunity to explore through lecture, cooperative learning groups and art experientials that were completed and processed during class. Dr. Ricco encouraged personal reflection in order to increase the students’ understanding of the use of art in marriage and couples counseling. Students were afforded the opportunity for individual exploration through a final project assignment. Dr. Ricco challenged students to recognize the importance of research on effective marital and couples counseling techniques and asked them to explore how art therapy can be used to address those research needs.
Both weekend courses were educational, engaging and packed full of information! We’re so thankful to Dr. Asawa and Dr. Ricco for traveling all the way to Tallahassee to teach these courses!