The Internship Begins!

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This semester I finally get to begin my internship for Art Therapy! For the course I must complete 90 hours of either shadowing, observing, or doing art activities. We are allowed to choose from a variety of sites so that we can experience what it is like to work with various populations. Often times students choose one population they want to work with and ignore the rest – then once they actually work with that population, they don’t like it at all! I’m open to trying many different populations and settings in order to find out what works for me and what doesn’t.

The 90 hours of interning are divided – 45 are completed in the class itself and 45 are to be completed by the students on their own time. Last Wednesday was the first day of class. We went to visit the Fricchonie Daycare on Maywood’s campus to observe an art activity that the teachers were doing with their class. The children in the class were 4 years old. This upcoming week the students are coming to our art herapy studio in the Shields center and we will be doing art projects with them.

every person has a story and something special to share with the world

For the internship class, if we are doing art with anyone, we are not supposed to be analyzing or questioning them in a way an art therapist would. We are not educated and/or trained enough so the sessions are to be kept very simple. Of course we can chat away with the person(s) we are spending the time with, but we should not be treating them as though they are our clients and we are the therapists yet.

After the daycare I went to Holy Family nursing home which is also right on campus. How convenient?! A few other girls and I worked on a Valentine’s Day project with three of the members at Holy Family. We provided them with scrapbooking and collage materials, markers, stickers, etc. They could create Valentine’s for whomever they wanted.

We learned a great deal about what supplies are beneficial and which are not when working with the elderly population. The small stickers and collage materials were very hard for them to work with. Assembling a Valentine was not as easy for them as one might think it would be. The woman I worked with had poor motor skills, so she could hardly write the messages she’d wanted to. We now know what they are capable of and have a better idea of what materials might work better for future crafts.

I do hope to work with children in my future. My two biggest interests are working in a pediatric medical setting, hopefully a hospital, or with children who are dealing with grief and loss. I think working with the preschoolers this upcoming week will really be something that I love, since I may be working with kids their age one day.

I’ve never had an interest in working with the elderly before. I’ve always been skeptical about it. However after spending a few hours with them the other day I warmed up to the idea a bit. I learned that every person has a story and something special to share with the world.

I plan to also accumulate intern hours at Ruth’s Place which is a women’s homeless shelter, Candy’s Place which is for women with cancer, and Frank Goryl’s clay studio, Moscow Clayworks, which runs programs for high school kids.

I can’t wait to be out in the field, finally, and begin to get a better understanding of what my future will be like. Every day I am more and more excited to become an art therapist and I know this internship class will only enhance those feelings.

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