Hi there! My name is Sarah Sarli, and I’m in the third year in the Art Therapy masters program. Growing up I had a huge passion for art and loved making gifts for friends and family but as I grew older I stopped, gravitating towards other passions. When Covid hit, I discovered my love for art again, using it as a guide to heal me while igniting a passion again. That is when I discovered art therapy and the Lewis and Clark program. As I am currently in my final year in this program I find myself completing my internship at a continuing care retirement facility working with older adults with an array of diagnoses, including memory loss and Parkinson’s disease. This work has challenged my perception on what therapy is and has begun to shape my identity as an art therapist. I embrace a person-centered, relational, and strengths based approach in therapy. I believe that it is important to meet the client where they are at and being in relationship with one another is where the healing happens.
“Self Reflection, Gratitude, and Growth”
While I was creating this piece I was reflecting on my own experience as a therapist and reflecting on the growth of my clients. Each needle felt square represents something specific about my experience or observations of my clients. I leaned into the process under my own intuition while having an intention of each piece, letting the process take over. The crochet yarn connecting all of the pieces together represents the therapeutic relationship. The yarn being the client putting forth the work to improve or learn about themselves. The jump rings in the corner of each felt square is a representation of the therapist and our abilities to create a contained space for them to explore and learn. The collision of both materials together represent both the client and the therapist coming together to engage in the healing process.
While I was creating this, some of the fabrics used to needle felt on were extremely thin, which resulted in the fabric ripping when the jump rings were placed in the corners. In order to reinforce the corners of some of the fabric, I placed layers of glue to create a stronger edge. This is representative of my journey through this program and my ability to adapt, learn, grow, and reflect on myself both in my personal and professional life as a therapist.