This past year I worked as an art therapy intern within the juvenile justice system. This has been a period of immense growth for me, both personally and professionally. I could not have gotten this far without art as my co-therapist, partner, and friend. In my sessions with clients and within my personal art practice I needed to fully trust the art process and my own intuition. I continue to learn how to best meet my clients’ needs by joining with them in the art process and practicing attunement and co-regulation. I am constantly working on the balance of caring for myself in order to be the best art therapist I can be.
Intuitively at first, and intentionally as the year progressed, I have been able to trust and lean into the art process to let it guide and support me in my work with my clients. Before this year, I had very little experience with weaving. As my clients began to gravitate toward working with sensory and kinesthetic art processes, I knew that I needed to try weaving on a larger scale myself. Every few days I sit down, add a few rows, and allow myself to get lost in the rhythm of the yarn. Because I am learning along the way, this piece is imperfect. I use it as a form of response art to ground myself in the moment. I have incorporated different techniques for working with yarn, including: braiding, crochet, hand-knitting, knots, and pom-poms. This piece helps me self-soothe and integrate everything I am learning. I find satisfaction in creating new patterns and I am able to explore creatively without judging myself. This piece has become a way for me to protect myself from the vicarious trauma I experience at my internship site and has become a symbol of my internship experience as a whole.
21”x13”, fabric, wool, and acrylic yarn