Good Essay On Career Counseling 719
The first interview was with:
• Gloria S. Eslinger. Associate Professor, Art Therapy. MFA-IA, MA, ATR.
• UWS Art Therapy program director
During high school period, Gloria had no idea what major to choose. Her grandmother wanted her to be a nurse nun, while Gloria wished to enter an art school. Her experience with school counselor was not successful because he had lack of knowledge or had pour sources of information. She took some career assessments at school and the results showed that her future career is whether a nurse or an artist. That is why Gloria Eslinger decided to combine them and to study for an Art Therapist.
Her education histories are: Master of Fine art from Goddard College, Master of Art therapy from UWS, and finally, Bachelors of Fine Art and fashion design from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She had worked 700 hours after graduation, which enabled her to register in American Art Therapy since 1998 – current as a professional art therapist. Gloria advised me to find a job as soon as I get my master degree, so that I can finish my hours and be able to be registered as an Art Therapist. Eslinger recommended students to work on their hours after graduation by finding a job, so that they can apply for art therapy license. Looking for a job became easier for graduate students, as now they have a possibility to search the American Art Therapy website. She also mentioned that working under art therapist supervisor is compulsory, in order to be registered.
The reasons, why Gloria studied Art Therapy are obvious. She loves to help people, enjoys creating art, and finds herself comfortable and confident in this major. That reminded me of myself, as Gloria and I shear the same interests, goals and causes in choosing Art Therapy as a major. For years Gloria Eslinger used to tell people that her major occupation is therapy, instead of saying Art Therapy, because it was a new major and people lacked of knowledge, they have never heard about Art Therapy. Choosing that major was a real challenge for Eslinger, as no one knew such a profession as an art therapist. I faced the same problem – in my country this kind of a major is also something new for an ordinary people.
Her job experiences are: working for one year and half in children hospital, and nine years at the mental health hospital. There she worked with children and adults, low and high function clients, coordinated indusial and group sessions. As an art therapist, we are work with different people under various conditions in different environments, in order to get experiences in each field. It is advisable to have more than five years of working experiences in each field, so that to save ourselves from a burnout. Therapists also should take care of themselves, in order to help their clients; otherwise, they will fail in their jobs. They should change the institution and the patients every five years, when they feel that they have no empathy for their clients – that is a wakeup call to make some alterations.
According to Gloria, being an art therapist has both advantages and disadvantages, as any other profession. The positive side of being an art therapist is to see people getting and feelling much better and healthier. On the other hand, there are some negative sided of art therapy, that is when people decide to leave the art therapy sessions forever, and when sometimes the person’s condition gets worse. The most difficult and challenging is to work with people with borderline disorder, especially when there is no progress. In some cases, therapist may face situations where clients act and behave aggressive by throwing things at the wall or at others.
When art therapists start working in the real world, they will face some situations where they have to deal with ethics codes. Eslinger gave an example. Once she faced a situation when the other therapist was working unethically and made harm to clients. At first she notified the therapist with his attitudes, but as he refused to response, Gloria had to report on him to the supervisor, so that she was obliged to fowl the code of ethics steps, in order to solve another ethics issue.
In art therapy, we should consider diversity of clients’ culture background and do not make any assumptions when we work or talk. Making art is a fun process for all people regardless of race, color, religion, gender expression/identity, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, military or veteran status, age or disability – art is universal language. Therapists should enrich their knowledge about others cultures: to read special literature, to be involved in art therapy workshops, and to ask clients for more information about their cultures.
For Eslinger, the most difficult and challenging case was working with a Native American, a Caucasian person. Working with people who have a rough and sad life history, as Native Americans, is a situation when therapists challenges themselves. So they are to be professionals in their sphere, so that they know how to cope with such sensitive situations. That is why therapists have to be more sensitive, delicate and sympathetic.
In order to develop skills and knowledge of art therapists, we should continue education to extend our strength in helping clients. Involving in art therapy workshops can enhance our abilities as therapists to work with different types of clients and their background. Therapists must attend art therapy conferences to build their knowledge about new researches, treatments, disorders, techniques, and assessments.
During studying at school, therapist will learn the basic things and theory, while job experience will be the practice and the most effective in preparing us for work with various clients. Eslinger sees herself as a successful art therapist in her field. It is very challenging for her to teach Art Therapy in UWS, to work in mental health hospital as an art therapist and to write a research based on her job at the same time. Therapists should not limit their work experience to one side when it comes to improving their skills and abilities. The professional art therapist gets a lot of positive reviews from his co-workers or supervisors. As Eslinger’s co-workers said that she is an excellent professor and a very talented and motivated person.
Education history and work experience enable Eslinger to be a UWS professor and art therapy-programing director. She sees UWS job as a gift for her long job experience, self-education and researches, which is an example to follow for any art therapist, including me. I believe that her work experiences enable her to bring it to the classroom and to educate students. Nine years of work experience in mental health faculties is inspiring to all art therapists who consider teaching in college as a career goal.
As therapists we should identify our strength to enhance our abilities in working with clients. On the other hand, we should recognize our weak sides, to work on them in a way to improve them. Eslinger positive features are: self-motivation, flexibility and good attitudes, while her weak sides are empathy, taking too much care of others, so that people take advantage of her generosity. Knowing our greater strength and weaknesses enable us, as art therapists, to self-growth and self-improvement.
In our job as art therapists, we have some disappointing moments when we see no effectiveness in the clients’ condition, so that when we have to consider the limitation of art therapy. Therapists must learn how to work under pressure and admit expectations failure, to adopt some self-improvement exercise such as deep breathing, in order to reduce anger and stress, to recognize the burnout sings, as being less social and having depressions, while working with others.
We must find motivation in life, in order to work effectively with clients. Eslinger sees her motivation in doing good things for her clients, giving the pure of her and being as helpful as possible. Actually, she is looking for an art therapist assistant, who does not have the same talent and competent, easy to work with and with big motivation. Observing clients artworks, seeing them making progress – are the most wonderful and pleasant things for an art therapist, because he or she knows that therapy is effective. But also it is important to deal with dissepiment, when we are aware of the cases when art therapy does not work or failed to help people in need.