Techno-Art Therapy Education

Hi Liz,

Found your art therapy blog and your willingness to answer questions has encouraged me to ask one! I’m an artist looking at a career in art therapy, my work is in multimedia – sound art, video, technology and interactivity. If you know of any courses or institutions that have a leaning in this direction, or any relevant resources or communities you could point me towards that would be fantastic!

Thanks, Dan.

Hi Daniel,

In my experience, any art therapy program would embrace multimedia art making. However, when it comes to in-class assignments and experientials, you may encounter that the only supplies available are “traditional” ones (paint, clay, markers, colored pencils, etc…) That being said, unless the experiential involves teaching you something specific about traditional media use in the art therapy session, there is no reason that you couldn’t bring in your laptop and create artwork on it, right there in class.

At this point, the art therapy community is standing on the edge of truly accepting technology within its teaching and practice. I doubt you will find any art therapy schools that offer a digital art therapy class. Also, I would expect that due to budget concerns, you may not have access to the technology that you want and need in your internships. But—you can find ways to begin integrating your artistic expertise…it all depends on your resourcefulness and creativity! From the sound of it, I’m sure you have an abundance of both :)

In my opinion, we need more art therapists who have knowledge of new media and technology in the field. So if you came to my program, I would first encourage you to learn the basics of art therapy (with traditional media) and then begin exploring the “how to” and the “benefits of” integrating technology within the therapeutic milieu. My advice is that when you’re checking out schools in your area, openly ask questions about the attitude of the school/professors regarding the use of technology within your art therapy studies and practicums. Through open dialogue you should be able to find the schools that resonate best with you.

Warm Regards,
– Liz

Nigeria—The Importance of Art Education

Taken from the Nigerian paper, The Compass, Kent Onah observes that teaching children a curriculum that excludes art does them (and by default the nation) a great disservice. Without creativity, innovation will not take place.

“…The polymer scientists needs some artistic knowledge to be able to come up with good polymeric innovations. The industrial designer must basically be an artist first if he/she can create useful and attractive products. The food technologist must first have a basic knowledge of art to perform effectively. The psychoanalyst or psychiatrist can not treat effectively all the time without employing art therapy.

As mentioned earlier, the medical doctors and surgeons depend on artistic illustrations to treat and to teach.

The environmental designers must basically be talented artists. The list is endless. The active presence of art in the curriculum will help the child to communicate better by exposing him/her to other outlets of communication beyond his/her mother tongue and verbal communication.

The creative process involved in the teaching or production of art helps to break the monotony in the study of other courses. As art is activity based, it adds variance to the teaching and learning process, thereby breaking boredom and encouraging more assimilation and better understanding. Art develops and improves the imaginative power of a child as well as encourage him/her to observe greater details in appreciating his/her culture and environment.

The inclusion of art studies in the school curriculum will help to discover as ‘well as treat or proffer solution to a child with psychological problem at its earliest stage. It will encourage resourcefulness among our youths and empower them toward self- reliance. It will expose the child to the endless potentials of art as a humanizing experience.

Above all, it will reawaken an interest in the visual arts which is the basic ingredient on which science and technology rely for their ultimate success…”