Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Art Therapy Alliance on the Go

The Art Therapy Alliance has a fantastic project going on called "Art Therapy Alliance on the Go" and I recently received my Favicard in the mail and worked on my submission...here it is :)

My name is Nicole Levesque and I am an Art Therapist in Okotoks Alberta, Canada. 
I remember vividly the moment I decided I wanted to pursue Art Therapy as a career.  I had always been interested in art since early childhood.  I studied art throughout school and then at college and university.  While I was taking an early art education course I had to do an assignment with a girl who was 5 years old.  The assignment was for her to draw a picture for me, spontaneously, while I watched, and then determine if her drawing fit her developmental level for art making.  I was immediately captivated by how much detail she had in her image.  She spoke to me the entire time she drew...telling me what each part was.  There was one area of her image that she created much differently and she didn't tell me about it while she drew.  I gently asked her about it and she told me it was a dog but that she didn't want to talk about it.  I accepted that and thanked her for doing her drawing for me.  Her mother asked to see the image after we were done and I explained to her what her child had told me while creating it.  I told her about the "dog" image and that her daughter had created it so much differently that then rest of her image and that I thought that was interesting.  Her mother then informed me that her daughter had been cornered by a dog a few days earlier and had been very frightened by the event.  I remember the feeling of being so amazed at how much the girl had communicated in her drawing without having to say a word.  That evening I researched my options for studying Art Therapy and once I received my BFA from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, I continued my education at the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute.
I have since worked with children, at risk youth, adults and seniors in such settings as schools, hospitals, homes and resource centers.  Collage is the medium I have seen the most interesting works created by my clients and I use it often myself in my own creations for self-reflection.  I have recently started a blog (innerexpressionsarttherapy.blogspot.com) where I share some of my art and thoughts. 
It was when I started my blog that I came across the Art Therapy Alliance.  I was immediately excited at how much was being shared by other Art Therapists over the internet.  I felt an amazing sense of being connected.  I also follow the Alliance on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter and I often share their information with my audience in hopes of educating others about my profession as well as encouraging others to live their lives creatively.  I believe that the images we make, when explored, offer a wealth of insight about ourselves and it is my hope to continue to encourage others to trust this process and see what they find.

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