Every idea starts with a ‘pain point’ or a question ‘why isn’t there…?’
Mine was – not enough awareness of the Art Therapy Profession and the recognition that it deserves.
That's why I started Art Therapy Online – a non-profit platform to connect and amplify the voices of Art Therapists around the world, in order to elevate the profile of the Art Therapy profession.
So many times, I heard questions and assumptions about Art Therapy that simply got it wrong. And yet I saw so many examples of Art Therapy having a profound and positive impact on people’s lives.
One of those was mine.
You might be wondering what my motivation is, so here it goes.
My name’s Liza, and for the past 15 years, I’ve been helping organisations big and small get their messages out there into the world, to be seen and heard.
Deep down, I’m passionate about connecting people, sharing their stories and watching new things happen as a result, all for social good.
In 2009 I decided to take some time off my work in marketing and travel to New York City and do some learning on the side. I took a class on branding at The School of Visual Arts, but as I flicked through the welcome leaflet on my first day, a course called ‘Art Therapy’ grabbed my attention. I had no idea what it was, but something inside of me whispered ‘you’ve got to try it’. So I enrolled.
To this day, I remember every step of the journey to the arts studio on the warm summer evenings in the city, and the childlike excitement of knowing what’s coming next. The smells of paint swirling through the halls, its crackly floors, the noises of New York’s busy streets rushing through the windows…and the spark of joy - pure joy - from the doors opened wide into an airy art studio with bright colours splashed all over the place.
There was a group of us, and an Art Therapist leading the session. We had little verbal interaction with one another, and yet the feeling of being heard, seen and understood was always there, and it was persistent. I never quite understood how that worked, but each time I walked out of the class feeling an inch taller.
Reflecting on this experience, I soon realised its significance. Never before had I taken part in a creative process that allowed me to feel so safe, liberated, brave, unconditionally accepted and encouraged to trust myself. It was astonishing.
At the time, I wasn’t sure how and when but I made a promise to find a way to return the favour, however small, and support the glorious community of Art Therapists who are helping people like me find healing and a sense where life is fun again. Helping re-imagine the future, regain the freedom of spirit and one of the most important qualities of a human being – enjoyment.
This brings me to you.
How we can help
You might have recurring desires but often find obstacles in the way, like:
- Lack of support resources or networks
- Limited capacity and funding necessary for growing your practice and expanding your reach
- Lack of understanding and recognition of your profession
This is where Art Therapy Online comes in. It gives you space to share your work, learn, connect and help raise the profile of the Art Therapy Profession along the way.
If all of this sounds familiar