Art Therapists on the Grid: Art Therapy Meets Social Media Conversations is a weekly interview series this summer featuring a variety of art therapists and how they use the power of the Internet and social media in relationship to sharing their work with others, professional development, nurturing creativity, cultivating community and more.
This week’s chat features Theresa Zip, MA, BEd, a Registered Art Therapist practicing in Edmonton, Canada. Theresa always has loved making art. She got 3/4 of her BFA in art (from 2 different schools!) then switched to art education. She began teaching in 1983, back when technology was the hand-cranked purple-ink spirit duplicator! She remembers her first foray into word-processed exams, students freaked out that they wouldn’t be able to recognize familiar content in this weirdly professional looking format. Teaching for over 20 years (mostly high school, with some elementary and junior high sprinkled in) it was two years teaching art in a maximum-security juvenile detention facility that convinced her to make the shift to study art therapy.
For the past eight years, Theresa has had her own private practice. For the past six, she has focused exclusively on working with children and youth referred through her local Children’s Services department. Her studio, The Big Picture, is a modest basement hideaway, chock-full of a wide range of raw materials for making art. It is a tiny wonderland of exploration and empowerment for clients and art therapist alike!
The flip side of the perks of being independent, hidden away, and working one-to-one also has its drawbacks: among them can be feelings of invisibility, self-doubt and professional isolation. While nothing can replace face-to-face mutual support, Theresa has found valuable encouragement and community in several online art therapy related groups, projects, mental health resources, and art communities. In this conversation, Theresa speaks to how she has accessed and benefitted from these resources for professional development, support, and self-care as an independent art therapy practitioner.
Listen to the interview:
Inspiration & resources mentioned in our conversation:
- Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA)- Become an Art Therapist
- Materials and Media in Art Therapy on LinkedIn
- Zur Institute Online Resources for Mental Health Professionals
- National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC) eLearning
- The AATA’s Institute for Continuing Education in Art Therapy
- Dirty Footprints Studio
- Art Hives: arthives.org | Facebook Page
Some of the projects Theresa has participated in:
- Art Therapy: Helping Others, Communities, and the World Artist Trading Card Swap
- Favicards on the Go with Theresa Zip
- Random Acts of Art Adventure Finishes Tour in Canada
- Creative Fun in Review: 6 Degrees of Creativity Workshops
Theresa also recommends:
- Expressive Art Inspirations and Workshops
- Inner Canvas– Creative Continuing Education for Therapists
- Lani Puppetmaker’s Blog
Many thanks to Theresa for sharing her experiences with the resources she accesses online and its impact! Interview #6 goes live next week! 🙂