Expressive Therapies Summit

From Judy Rubin via LinkedIn:

Dear Friends. Family & Colleagues,

I’m writing to you to let you know about an event in NY that I think is worth your while if you are in or want to visit the area. It’s a 4-day Expressive Therapies Summit with over a hundred presentations, workshops, and courses, on all of the creative arts therapies and related areas.

In addition, this year there is a special all day Symposium on Liberating Creativity through Analysis & the Arts which will end with a special Film Premiere – a $10 ticket buys you a film,. a panel of the artists in it, and a lovely reception.

If you can’t make it or even if you can, please let friends and colleagues know about it. The proceeds from this event will allow our very nonprofit nonprofit, Expressive Media, to continue to make teaching films about the arts in healing.

I hope to see you there!



Art Therapy Internship

This question was emailed to me, and posted with the permission of the author, Miles. I hope this helps any student art therapists who want to gain experience practicing in venues that may not have an art therapist on staff.

Hi Liz,
I am looking for info on art therapists who work in the juvenile detention centers. I need to do practicum hours for MAAT. Can you help?

Hi Miles,

Off the top of my head, you have a few options. First, you can post a request for an art therapy supervisor who works in a juvenile detention center on the Art Therapy Alliance’s message board on LinkedIn. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s a very active board with many people from around the globe. Hopefully someone can help you out.

Secondly, I’m wondering why you need to work with an art therapist directly in that setting? In my program we were encouraged to go to facilities that didn’t offer art therapy and offer to design a program from scratch (for free, since your labor is free…the only thing they would need to pay for is art supplies). In this case, students would recieve supervision from an off site art therapist, as well as a licensed therapist on site. Which means that you’d have to find a facility that has a therapist willing to supervise you, as well as find an off site art therapist, which = lots of supervision. But in that setting, it’s probably very useful to have lots of supervision. Have you talked to your program director about this possibility?

The other thing that’s great about starting your own art therapy program in grad school is that if you prove yourself to be an asset to the team, you may be offered a permanent position after you finish your internship.

I hope this helps!

Warm Regards,
– Liz

Therapists, Why Are You Using Social Networking?

Check out this article by Lisa Brookes, KIFT, MFT.

If I had a private practice, I would create a page for the practice (probably linking to this blog), but I would not allow clients to add themselves to my work page. I wouldn’t want to compromise anyone’s confidentiality by having them as a “fan” or a “friend”, there for anyone to snoop. I also would be concerned about boundary and transference issues.

When it comes to ethical concerns on social networking sites, how can we forget the discovery Cathy Malchiodi made last year regarding the ex-prez of AATA posting videos of an autistic child during an art therapy session. Could there be a bigger no-no?

Lets make a deal, fellow therapists—if you are in doubt about what is ethical to post on your facebook, twitter, blog, etc…please consult your colleges! I understand that sometimes people forget that what you post on the internet is a reflection of yourself (in some ways the internet is similar to wearing a mask), but I can assure you, HIPPA and the ethical standard of your credentialing association does apply…even if their regulations have not caught up to the 21st century.

Lastly, here’s a good article that discusses one’s online presence and boundary issues.

Facebook Fan Pages for Therapists #3

After some thought regarding Cathy Malchiodi’s post on her Psychology Today Blog and comments left on both her page and on my response, I decided to email Peg Dunn Snow Ph.D. ATR-BC, LPAT, LMHC directly. I realized that since her name was not used in Cathy’s original post and in responses to it, even if Dr. Dunn Snow had a google alert on her name, she would most likely not be aware of the controversy that her facebook fan page drummed up.

The following is my email to Dr. Dunn Snow, dated August 18, 2009:

Hi Dr. Duun-Snow,

My name is Elizabeth Beck. I’m an active member of the online art therapy community. I recently came across an article by Cathy Malchiodi on her Psychology Today Blog:

Although your name is never mentioned in her article, after doing an online search it’s clear to me that Cathy is referring to your fan page for Children’s Corner: Art Therapy for Children. I write a blog myself, which can be found at

I was wondering if you have a response to the article and comments made on both Cathy and my blog? I think many art therapists would benefit from clarifying your methodology in assessing the ethics of posting videos on your fan page. This truly is a new frontier and your guidance is most appreciated.

Also, I’m giving a workshop at the AATA conference in November on the topics of blogging and podcasting. Would I be able to use your response for teaching purposes in my workshop? With your permission I would also like to post your response on my blog as well.

Thank you for your consideration,
Elizabeth Beck

Dr. Dunn Snow did respond to my email, but has not given a “yes” or “no” response as to whether I can post her comments. This is only a summary of her response, rather than a direct quote:

  • Trademark, copyright, defamation and confidentiality all apply to the internet.
  • AATA’s Technology Committee and Ethics Committee will be issuing a report on the internet and electronic communications during the upcoming Art Therapy conference in Dallas, TX.
  • I was hoping for a more in depth response to all of our questions, comments and thoughts. I also hope that our reactions were taken to heart by Dr. Dunn Snow. I haven’t checked her fan page in a while, but I would expect that some changes would be made, for example putting a disclaimer regarding informed consent along with the videos.

    Facebook Fan Pages for Therapists

    In a recent article for Psychology Today by Cathy Malchiodi, one of art therapy’s most prolific writers, the idea of having a facebook fan page for one’s private practice is discussed. I agree, there is something distasteful about having a fan page for your private practice, but that wasn’t what grabbed my attention.

    I was taken aback when I read about the art therapist who posted artwork and video footage of a client’s session (a minor) on their fan page.

    My initial reaction to reading Cathy’s article is; yes, posting unedited 1:1 artx sessions of a minor, with consent, is pushing the ethics of our profession out of my comfort zone. After doing a search in facebook to find the fan page (not hard to do if you’re willing to invest a little time), this feeling was only highlighted. Admittedly I only watched the first 2 videos, but each time I heard the therapist ask the child to “look at the camera” I felt the session’s integrity was compromised. That being said, I’m also happy this happened and that Cathy wrote about it so that a dialogue can be opened within the (art) therapy community.

    I have been very cautious about protecting the rights of the clients I work with, especially when it comes to this blog. I do write tidbits regarding artx directives I’ve implemented successfully, but I have never once included the artwork of the clients on this blog despite the fact that many have consented to allow their artwork to be published through any media source (i.e., film, print, computer image). The reason I have not included their artwork, which would no doubt add to the comprehension of the directive written about in the post, is that I just plain don’t feel comfortable with it. However, I intend to write either a journal article or present at a future AATA conference featuring those same directives and art pieces. Why am I comfortable accepting the consent of the clients I work with for print or lecture publishing but not for electronic publishing?

    Perhaps it has something to do with accessibility. Anyone can google a facebook fan page or some key words and be directed towards, for example my blog and the potential artx images discussed above. Not everyone, however, would take the time to become an AATA member and gain access to its journal, go to a University library searching for an article or attend a conference. I’m operating under the assumption that the people who are taking interest in the artwork and directives are art therapists or other help professionals who are seeking training in art therapy, not just the random person stringing several words together in their search bar.

    Another thought: Judith Rubin has made some fabulous videos that include children creating artwork during art therapy sessions. If her video were aired on PBS (maybe it already has?) or if it were posted on her web page for all to access, would I feel an ethical violation took place? Certainly not. Then why am I so uncomfortable with videos and artwork being posted on facebook fan pages?