Saturday, July 20, 2013

Training Creative Arts Therapists in India

Welcome to the new batch of Foundation in Creative Arts Therapies (FCAT) students at SMART Studio. As an introduction to Drama Therapy I guided them through trust building activities and used line repetitions as a gateway into archetypal relationship conflicts.

Below is an excerpt from a letter of support I wrote for the FCAT program:

Creative Arts Therapies is a rapidly expanding field, as more students want to pursue this as a profession, and more mental health institutions, as well as individuals, are embracing these treatments, there is a sharp increase in the demand for such training programs. Usually if a talented and qualified Indian practitioner wanted to seek post-graduate training in the Creative Arts Therapies they would go abroad to study. FCAT makes it possible to pursue such studies in India, and conducts the program in such a way that it is accessible to parents and working professionals.  

As a majority of the literature on Creative Arts Therapies is North American/Eurocentric, FCAT stands to make substantial contributions to the culturally appropriate practice of Creative Arts Therapies in the subcontinent. Through dialogue, case examples, and critique of existing practice, FCAT is highly culturally responsive in context and thus is developing cohorts of practitioners prepared to respond to the unique joys and challenges of working as a Creative Arts Therapist in India. In my capacity as a Faculty at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, I supervised two FCAT student interns who lead groups for the Srishti student body. These groups were met with a high level of enthusiasm by the participants who reported enjoying the expressive outlet as well as an increase in self-awareness.

In any of the Creative Arts Therapies there is a need to strike a balance between artistic self-reflection and academic rigor in the domain of Counseling Psychology. FCAT is a well balanced and structured program. By partnering with  Parivarthan, Counseling, Training and Research Centre, FCAT has really curated a program that offers the best of both worlds to produce well rounded practitioners.

It's my honor to be on the Faculty of this new and dynamic program.