April 21, 2015

Advice on Empowerment and Success

On January 23rd I had the opportunity to attend a community lecture at SVA entitled Empowerment and Success for the Art Therapist. The talk was led by Rhonda Schaller, the Director of the Center for Career & Professional Development. She spoke about what it takes to be successful and had the audience practice visualization meditation exercises. According to Rhonda, in order to be successful as an art therapist you must consider the market, the population and the role you play in those two areas.
Rhonda had us ask ourselves questions like “What does success mean to you” and “What does it look like”. We had a five minute period of self-exploration and then we spoke with our neighbors (who generally were strangers) about each other’s practices and goals.
We spent time doing creative visualization meditation exercises, where we were asked to consider some questions to help us imagine working with different populations such as:
Does success mean making a difference for children at schools?
Do you see yourself working with children at schools?
Does success mean working with elderly?
Do you see yourself working in a senior care?
Does success mean working with substance abusers using step programs? Inmates? Inpatients?

Rhonda discussed five tools you can use to help you know what matters most as an art therapist (although they are applicable to all careers).
First - Know what you want. Where do you see yourself? Do you have the right support network? What matters most and how does that connect to the market place?
Second -  Confirm your own nature and wiring. Do you fit somewhere where you’ll be very really active? Or somewhere quiet? Somewhere with lots of people?
Third - What would you do if you couldn’t fail?
Fourth - Turn your dreams into action steps by creating a vision board.
Fifth - Make conscious choices.

By using these tools and doing this self-exploration process you can start to think about your future and where you want to go as an art therapist. I found this to be helpful personally as they are important questions I don’t normally take the time to ask myself during meditation, as being in relaxing state helps to clear my mind; I think that many people would agree with this statement and not only art therapists.  

Written by: Jazz Seijii Hernandez

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