Kati Hengel

Kati Hengel

Program / Year

Art Therapy ’21


Belgrade, Montana

What led you to enroll at Lewis and Clark's Graduate School of Education and Counseling?

I transferred over after the closing of Marylhurst.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your chosen field of study?

The creation of art can be a very powerful emotional outlet. It has been helpful to me in the past, and I hope to show others how it can be used as a tool to improve their mental health and quality of life.

What does social justice mean to you?

Social justice to me is the equitable distribution of many things such as resources, power, and opportunities to all people regardless of an individual’s age, gender, race, religious views, sexual orientation, ability, etc.

How do you hope to apply your social justice education in your chosen career?

As an art therapist I hope to use my social justice education to address the realities of oppression, social inequities, and privilege in an ethical and thoughtful way. I hope to be an effective advocate for those in need of services who may have a more difficult time acquiring them.

Where have you been working/interning as a student, and what does that work entail?

I work at the Center for Cognitive Health as a Psychometrician/Research Assistant. Our clinical trials research is focused on testing new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). This is unrelated to my coursework as an art therapy student, but is an area of special interest for me as there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, yet.

What is the most fun part of your program?

Movie nights with my funny, amazing, and supportive cohort!

What is the hardest part of your program?

Self reflection and remembering to be kind to yourself as you navigate your personal biases and views. You learn a lot about yourself and who you want to be as you go forward in your career.

How would you describe your graduate school experience in one sentence?

Graduate school has provided me with the opportunity for personal growth, creative processing, and professional enlightenment.

Who has been your most influential professor, and why?

I can’t choose just one; the professors in the art therapy program are special. They are genuine and dedicated to helping us become the best art therapists we can be.

What career will you be pursuing after graduation? Did you intend for this to be your career path when you enrolled?

I will be pursing my ATR-BC and LPC after graduation.

What do you think of Portland?

I miss having more mountains around me, but Portland has its own unique attractions.