The Online BA in Art Therapy enables students to explore their sense of wonder and consider present and future essential, relevant questions. For the art therapist, there can be a powerful desire to be seen by the client as having a magical all-knowing wisdom and possessing a power to heal that also sweeps up the client/artist in this fantasy. Can art therapists “read” art? Does art reveal something deeper, such as symbolism and hidden meaning? Where do these ideas come from, and how can we gain insight by explaining the meaning of an image? How can therapists keep these dynamics in mind to avoid a possible abuse of power and to centralize the client’s voice and perspective?
Additionally, what part of art therapy’s history do we reject, redefine, or subvert? Questioning historical context ads valuable layers of insight without elevating our predecessors (Freud and Jung) to deity status. To include voices who have been historically marginalized and pathologized, how can we deconstruct historical notions by actively engaging a “queering perspective” that places the client/artist at the center of their own meaning-making, assesses internalized forms of oppression as well as oppression on institutional, ideological, and interpersonal levels, and maintains this tension to envision a future co-created space for innovative art therapy education and practice?
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