My name is Claire Duncan, and I am in my third year of the Art Therapy program at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. My undergraduate degree is in history, with a focus in colonialism and the American built environment. This education and my background in early childhood education inform my theoretical orientation in Object Relations and Liberation Psychology in art therapy. It has been an honor to work with young children and their families at the Children’s Home Society of Washington for my internship. Art therapy has played an integral role in my ability to provide developmentally appropriate, attuned, culturally responsive care to my clients.
Good Enough: My Process Joining the World of Child Therapy
I bound and illustrated a book using mixed media to encapsulate my emerging identity as an art therapist. The learning represented here encompasses my client work from my internship as well as my practicum at the Alliance Counseling Center at Heron Hill.
Good Enough was my way of processing my work with clients, and exploring how I have changed and been changed by becoming a therapist. I have learned how to be more confident, provide parenting support, advocate for myself and my clients, and grow my skills to cope with vicarious trauma.
The title “Good Enough” is a reference to Winnicott’s concept of the Good Enough mother, who doesn’t need to be perfect to support the healthy development of her child. Working with young children has pushed me to delve deeply into theory, particularly psychoanalytic Object Relations Theory has helped me “listen” to my clients on multiple levels, without requiring verbal communication. This art was a way for me to apply theoretical concepts to my real ongoing clinical work.