chapter  1
46 Pages

A History of Materials and Media in Art Therapy

ByCatherine Hyland Moon

This, my current art therapy practice, is so different from my first art therapy job at a psychiatric hospital nearly 30 years ago. Here, the problems are not only related to psychiatric issues, but also are about economics, social justice, housing, education, and jobs. Our mission is explicitly related to community development rather than individual therapy. The professional boundaries are more blurred; everyone helps each other and no one is identified as a client, so it is not immediately evident who is being paid to keep the studio running and who is not. Though there is a sense of sanctuary here, it feels different than at the hospital where the healing effect took place at a remove from the clients’ daily lives. Here, neighbors, family members, art therapists, and art therapy interns work side by side, cocreating the quality of our lives and community. Each evening, people come and go, and the studio breathes in the life that comes from the diverse, mixed-income neighborhood of which it is part.