So what does all of this ETC business mean? It has invited me into a healthy exploration of how I process and create my art and has provided insight into my inner functioning. By utilizing the ETC framework, I am beginning to see from my own experience how art making can provide a gentle process for helping others who may be suffering from such concerns as schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, addictions, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, developmental disabilities, eating disorders, homelessness, medical illness, and so much more. Further, art therapy can be treated in a variety of settings from hospitals, rehabilitation centers, group homes, prisons, schools, art museums, churches, and the list goes on… I am honored this art making can help individuals or groups; whereby, I am a connector of love. I am thankful for what I am learning and for the individuals that I will be working with in my upcoming fall practicum. Learning about art therapy has been a beautiful experience that I cherish. This summer as I worked with clay (Figure 2), this poem, Earthly Aroma, came to me…
Surfaced from frustration
I returned to my earthly roots
Throwing terra firma
Without wearing any boots
No matter how hard the force
I couldn’t break its spirit
Rather it delivered me a wondrous gift
Reminding me to make art and enjoy its lovely scent.
At this point in my education, I want to share that art therapy is love. At the 2016 American Art Therapy Association conference in Baltimore, art therapist Bruce Moon presented, What’s Love Got to do with it? He reminded us that “good art therapy must smell of the studio” (McNiff) and that “we must grapple with love.” In my final project, Three Splendid Priests, (Figure 3), I found myself in the creative flow and was delighted by what can be accomplished when God does his dreaming. Further, the image became a complete embodiment of my purpose right now. My prayer is to follow God’s voice in this flow and to become everything that I am capable of being in mission to help others find his peace.