Clinical Art Therapy Majors Assist at Russian Orphanage
Rita Langdon,Associate Provost for Communications, Public Relations & Marketing
Long Island University, LIU Post
Brookville, N.Y. - This winter, LIU Post’s Clinical Art Therapy Program solidified its position as one of the leading graduate programs in its field by providing services to children with disabilities in Russia.
For five days in March, 2013, 13 graduate students worked at State Children’s Home #4, an orphanage in Pavlovsk outside the Russian city of St. Petersburg.
Dr. Christine Kerr, who is director of clinical art therapy at LIU Post and led the trip, additionally conducted Master Lectures in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia.
Building on the program’s 2012 visit to Nicaragua, during which LIU Post students engaged children aged 4-18 with disabilities, members of the party this year demonstrated the diagnostic and therapeutic value of painting, drawing, photography and sculpture for children, adults and individuals with disabilities, to clinical professionals and health care planners in Russia.
“Our goal is to practice art therapy where it isn’t being used, for those individuals who might benefit from it,” said Kerr, who has been a practicing clinical art therapist since 1974, with 39 years of clinical experience. “Additionally, we hope to expand awareness of art therapy to different cultures where it is not currently being practiced.”
The Clinical Art Therapy program at LIU Post offers a creative educational experience that leads to a Master of Arts in Clinical Art Therapy. The 54-credit program, approved by the American Art Therapy Association, is a New York State educational training program for licensure to practice art therapy in New York State.
The trip to Pavlovsk was coordinated by Anna N.Shestakova, a Fulbright scholar and former graduate student at LIU Post.
During the visit, students in the program had an opportunity to apply the latest research findings, theories and techniques in their field in a practical setting, and ‘give back‘ in a manner consistent with the international nature of its profile, said Dr. Kerr.
“America’s one of the leaders in art therapy internationally, and our program -- with its international profile, is very well thought of,“ she said. “It‘s a global world out there, and at LIU Post, we‘re a global student body. There are other art therapy programs with international satellites, but I don’t know anyone that’s going to places every year.”
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