–Kate Solow, Jan. 11, 2017
Our Art Therapy Intern Kate Solow’s contribution this week is the following image. We look forward to many more.
One part of my internship at Emmanuel Church is with the Art and Spirituality program at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility. This program provides women housed at the prison with the time and materials to make cards to send to their friends and loved ones. They are provided with images that they can color in, and I have started drawing my own images for them each week. I have made drawings for specific holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving, images to use for birthday cards, and images for cards that are not for any particular occasion. Continue reading
There were many feelings going around after the election results came in, almost all negative: anger, sadness, and fear. Common art took place on Wednesday morning, so it was especially fresh in everyone’s minds. As I mentioned in my last blog post, we had started working on a “gratitude tree” – a tree drawn on poster board that the whole community helped color in, and started writing things for which they feel grateful on cut-out leaves and sticking them on the tree.
Something I have noticed the last couple weeks of my internship with Emmanuel is all the stories that people tell. All three of the populations with whom I am working, despite the wide age range and different backgrounds, have many stories to tell. I have been surprised by how willing many of the program participants are to tell their stories. In common art, I have found several people making art about events that have happened in their past, and being very willing to share despite the sometimes intense nature of these stories. It felt meaningful to me that they were given this artistic outlet to tell their stories. I want to explore this further, and see if there are projects I can come up with that could enhance their experience of telling their stories through art.
Hello to the Emmanuel Church community! My name is Kate Solow and I am this year’s intern from Lesley University. I am in my second year working towards my masters in art therapy and mental health counseling. I got my BFA in Illustration from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and hope to use those skills both as an art therapist and as a children’s book illustrator. I am excited to be this year’s intern and am grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from the different populations served by the church.
As I come into the end of my internship with Emmanuel Church, I am reflecting on what I can take away from this experience. What am I taking with me from this internship beyond the indelible impact of resilient, artistic, and caring individuals? Undoubtedly, the ways I have been impacted by others and the wonderful memories I have made with people in this internship will be something I carry with me for the rest of my life. In addition, I have been reflecting on what growth and new skills this internship has given me. I believe that one of the most important skills I have gained from this internship – something that I can take with me into future career opportunities and life in general – is the ability to sit with my own discomfort. This is not to suggest that I should sit idle if I feel like my personal safety or the safety of others is at risk, but I am suggesting that it is okay and maybe even essential to therapeutic presence to be able to sit with and process the emotional discomfort that can arise in difficult situations. Continue reading