About sophomore year in high school, my dream job began. It has expanded, developed, and became more of a goal. In 2012, I took up more art courses and just art in general. I fell in love with photography, wood carving, and crafts. During this year, I struggled with self-confidence, body-image, and severe depression. Art and expression was my way of escaping the negativity that was in my life, but turned into something greater. Art became my therapy, and somewhat of my identity. By the end of junior year of high school, I sold some photographs, and expanded my range of creativity. At this time, I decided I wanted to pursue Art Therapy in my college career.
This idea of a dream job began with art making in a therapeutic setting. I picture an open light colored building, maybe an old brick mill in New England, with large pieces of group art work hanging on the walls and ceilings. I see a large entry way, which is used to display art work like a gallery. I picture four or five large studios in the middle of the building, with half walls or dividers to keep it open, but also with defined areas for different studios. On the outer walls, I wish to have seven or eight offices, that can be used as offices for assistants, therapists, counsels, or just private meetings. I want a large kitchen and a large conference room on the back wall. I think adding a few sky lights in the middle, above the studios, will add nature light and room for dreaming and creativity.
Now years later after I started this dream, I am at an internship which is very similar in set up to my dream job location. My population has changed since I started. I originally wanted to work teens and young adults with depression, bipolar, and mood disorders. After working with the populations at my internship, I want my dream job to be working with adults, 18 and older, living with development or psychiatric disabilities. I want to be the owner of this place. I want to practice art therapy with individuals and groups. I want to have above four other art therapists on staff, with six other professional counselors and/or therapists. I want to have local high school and college students intern and volunteer work to educate them on the populations at my site.
This will be a place of education, expression, care, love, and building new understandings. I want the artists/ clients to be able to sell their work, like my internship now, but also have guided therapy mixed in, for a more therapeutic experience. This will be an experience for the population, their families, the staff, and community around. Let the dream begin.