Karen Pence, Second Lady of the United States, kicks off her first few months in her new leadership position with plans to help demystify the field of art therapy.
Pence holds a master’s degree in art education and is a current board member of Tracy’s Kids art therapy program for youth cancer patients. As an arts leader, Pence has advocated for art therapy and now seeks to raise awareness on the service and the actual role of professional art therapists.
“[The] field is growing, but is not well understood,” she told Associated Press in a private interview.
She currently has plans to visit art therapy programs and professional art therapists in other countries to discuss expanding the field.
So…what does an Art Therapist do?
According to Google’s definition, it is “a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation …
Pence explained that art therapy is often misunderstood as simply doing “arts and crafts” and is not covered by health care plans for patients who could benefit from the service. She doesn’t plan to advocate for its coverage, however.
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