Frances W.

Integrating Response Art and Documentation: A Method to Support Continuity of Care for Boarding Patients

Artist Statement

Through my internship at a pediatric urban medical hospital this year, I experienced the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and systemic flaws on children and adolescents’ mental health crises. Engaging with and witnessing patients stay on medical units for up to three weeks following suicide attempts and self-harm ultimately shaped my art therapist identity. It was through my experience of disbelief, sadness, and frustration that I began to explore my role within the system. As a result, my artwork conveys my navigation of providing brief acute art therapy, while exploring themes of isolation, therapeutic containment, and continuity of care. Through this process, I developed a ritual of response art and an approach to art therapy that supported me in understanding the value of embodying my professional identity across all tasks of clinical work including documentation.