On Being an ‘Art Therapist’
I am an art therapist – to be specific my titles are ‘expressive arts therapist’ and ‘somatic movement therapist’. My work is out of the box, and when I tell people what I do it usually requires a fair amount of explanation. In many ways, this is really amazing – I love my work. I firmly believe in, and have evidence to illustrate the power of artistic expression to heal. And, it is not a simple path to follow – over the last 20(!) years, I have built my business from the ground up. I have hit up against not being seen as legitimate as a therapist, or an artist. I have had to prove myself over and over again. Currently, I am once again in a time of re-inventing and stretching into something new. This stretching is accompanied with growing pains, doubts and fears, and at times the dreaded ‘imposter syndrome’.
I quote author Ray Bradbury – words I have shared with many students over the years, “I was in love, then, with monsters and skeletons and circuses and carnivals and dinosaurs and, at last, the red planet, Mars. From these primitive bricks I have built a life and a career. By my staying in love with all of these amazing things, all of the good things in my existence have come about…And the trip? Exactly one half terror, exactly one half exhilaration.”
Self Published, August 2019