Integrating Expressive Arts into the MA in Psychology & Counseling Program
In 2009, Goddard formally integrated the arts into the curriculum of the MA in Psychology and CMHC programs. We began by offering an opportunity for students to exhibit artworks created in conjunction with coursework at our “Art Exhibition of Student Work” during residencies. Work presented includes both visual art pieces and performance art. Students also have the opportunity to discuss your artwork with members of the larger Goddard Community.
In this process, four main streams of creative work have become apparent:
- Some students use the creation of art pieces as a way to engage the senses as they contemplate psychological and counseling theory. They report that creating an art piece as they reflect on the theoretical material enhances their understanding.
- Students use an art piece for personal exploration and work that is part of training to begin to work with clients. Creativity is especially helpful in considering interfaces and experiences with persons who are different from the students themselves, as an aspect of diversity training.
- Students return to campus after a semester’s work to share the work made by their own clients in the contexts of practica and internships.
- Students use art work created as part of a final product, the creative thesis. Examples of student work include a screenplay and a memoir that explores lives lived fully by persons with a diagnosed mental illnesses; another thesis integrated poetry and images with theoretical discussion.