International Educator - March/April 2017 - 26

Catherine Moon, who runs the art therapy program
at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC),
says she sees a much greater interest than she did a
decade ago.
"There's definitely more and more awareness, and
we're seeing people start to think about the field at a
younger age," says Moon, who has been at SAIC since
2001. "At one point in time it used to be more like a
second career, and now we are seeing more people
inquiring about ways to combine their interest in art
with doing something meaningful."

"Instead of using language, you get to know a person by the
whole process of creativity. There's a tremendous amount of
universality in that, regardless of the language one speaks."
Two relatively recent developments show potential
for even greater growth, especially as it relates to the
field of "expressive therapies," which integrate all the
arts-visual arts, dance, music, drama, poetry, and
writing-into programs designed for healing. First is
the interest seen in other countries, including some that
have not traditionally embraced the notion of therapy.
Second is the growing body of brain research linking the
arts, especially music and dance, to increased emotional,
developmental, and cognitive growth.
"It's absolutely the wave of the future," says Amber
Elizabeth Gray, a dance movement therapist who works
with "very complex trauma patients" around the world
and trains others interested in the field. "In terms of
what we're learning from scientific research, the most
effective way to invite personal change is through
merging the body and the creative process. And human
development is a creative process."

A Bridge to the Brain
Art therapy is designed to help patients with mental and
emotional wounds develop coping skills while increasing
their personal awareness and cognitive ability. In contemporary art therapy programs, students are trained in
human development, psychological theory, counseling,
and other related disciplines. Most are required to complete some form of internship as part of their master's
degree, then obtain a counseling license or other type of
mental health license to practice in the United States.
"A large contribution to the growth of the multiple
forms of the arts is the role of neuroscience-under26  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M A R + A P R .17

standing specific regions of the brain, what they impact,
and what reaches them," says Laury Rappaport, founder
of the Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute. "In
trauma, the prefrontal cortex shuts down, which inhibits
access to our rational thought. It is also common for the
part of the brain associated with speech to be inhibited.
Therefore it is now more known and supported through
evidence that we need ways to access experience beyond
talking."
Universities with master's level art therapy programs
typically accept about 25 students per year. Only one,
Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
offers a doctoral-level program in art therapy. Lesley
University, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has
about 100 new students annually in its expressive therapies program, which is the first and largest of its kind
and offers a PhD as well.
Art therapy did not exist as a profession when Ikuko
Acosta came to the United States for college in the mid1960s. She majored in fine arts and minored in psychology, then taught elementary school for a brief period in
the 1970s.
"I always wanted to combine the two areas, but I
didn't know how to," says Acosta, who now runs the
Graduate Art Therapy Program at New York University
(NYU). "When I was teaching, a friend told me that
NYU had opened a graduate program and I knew
intuitively that's what I was looking for. There was no
question and not a single moment of regret."
Acosta says art therapy provides "such a rich connection to the human mind" because everything a person
sees "impacts our psychological and emotional states."
"Instead of using language, you get to know a person
by the whole process of creativity," Acosta says. "There's
a tremendous amount of universality in that, regardless
of the language one speaks. How do they use materials?
How do they use certain images? What are their facial
expressions when they are creating? Everything gives
you insight into what's going on in someone's internal
world because they are externalizing their feelings in a
concrete form on a piece of paper."

Going International
Melinda Mahler Moran studied dance in college, but
realized she needed an advanced degree because she
"knew I wouldn't have the physical stamina to dance
for the rest of my life." The California native decided
to apply to Lesley University's Expressive Therapies



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2017

From the Editor
In Brief
Global Spotlight Cuba
Insights
Voices
Feature: Lay of the Land: What Now?
Feature: Finding Common Ground through Art Therapy
Feature: Empowering Refugees Through Education
Campus Profile: New York Institute of Technology
Campus Snapshot: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
Partnering
View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 1
International Educator - March/April 2017 - From the Editor
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 4
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2017 - In Brief
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Global Spotlight Cuba
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Insights
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 11
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Voices
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 13
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 14
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 15
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Feature: Lay of the Land: What Now?
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 17
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 18
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 19
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 20
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 21
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 22
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 23
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Feature: Finding Common Ground through Art Therapy
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 25
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 26
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 27
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 28
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 29
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 30
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 31
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Feature: Empowering Refugees Through Education
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 33
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 34
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 35
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 36
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 37
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 38
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Campus Profile: New York Institute of Technology
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 40
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 41
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 42
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 43
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 44
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 45
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 46
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Campus Snapshot: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 48
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 49
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 50
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 51
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Education Abroad
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 53
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 54
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 55
International Educator - March/April 2017 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 57
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 58
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 59
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Partnering
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 61
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 62
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 63
International Educator - March/April 2017 - View From Out Here
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 65
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 66
International Educator - March/April 2017 - 67
International Educator - March/April 2017 - In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2017 - Cover4
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