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Expressive Arts and Psychology and Counseling at Goddard College

Wendy Phillips, PhD, MS, LMFT's picture
MA Psychology-Counseling Blog
Expressive Arts and Psychology and Counseling at Goddard College


(Painting at left by Cherie Crowninshield).

“The Expressive Arts combine the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing, and other creative processes to foster deep personal growth and community development. IEATA encourages an evolving multimodal approach within psychology, organizational development, community arts, and education. By integrating the arts processes and allowing one to flow into another, we gain access to our inner resources for healing, clarity, illumination and creativity.”
       - International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA)

What does an Expressive Arts Emphasis in a Psychology and Counseling graduate program informed by principles of individualized education presented in a low-residency format look like?

At Goddard, we believe that the Expressive Arts together with Psychology and Clinical Mental Health Counseling practices are very effective ways to work with clients of varied ages and from diverse cultures and communities. We also understand that The Expressive Arts are a vehicle for community-based work informed by principles of social justice, liberation psychology, and the honoring of the individuality of each person.

Mushkan Identity DeconstructedIn our program, Expressive Arts are integrated into individually designed coursework. This means that students together with faculty mentors plan their learning experiences for each course of the semester. Students choose the source material they will review and also the course products they will create. For example, a course product could be a reflective study journal discussing what has been read or what has been experienced in an internship or practicum or a critical analysis of theoretical readings in the form of an essay.

Courses may also include expressive and reflective art pieces made as theoretical material is "digested." In our Low-Residency format each semester, students spend eight days on campus in Vermont where they develop collaborative and mentoring relationships with other students and faculty members, attend workshops and seminars, and plan their coursework for the semester.  Then they continue their coursework in their home communities. Students meet the requirements for the Expressive Arts Emphasis concurrently as they complete the requirements for the MA in Psychology or the Clinical Mental Health Counseling degrees by incorporating Expressive Arts theory and practices content into their individualized courses. 

Here we share images of works created by students in the Psychology and Counseling Program as they reflected on material from individualized courses that they completed with their faculty mentors. These pieces were inspired by their consideration of theory, work with clients in practicum and internship, and also their own lived experiences during the semester. 

Tamara Liaschenko Painting

Timothy Andres Painting

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