NYU Steinhardt News

Students Gather for Creative Arts Therapies Day Focused on Responding to Natural Disasters

Creative Arts Therapies dayGraduate students from the three Creative Arts Therapy programs at NYU Steinhardt gathered to share clinical experiences within their different modalities for the semester's first Creative Arts Therapies Day.

The event’s theme was Creative Arts Therapies Following and Responding to Natural Disasters. Student representatives from Drama Therapy, Music Therapy, and Art Therapy led discussions and experiential exercises relating to the theme.

Drama Therapy students Tracy X Li and Agathe de Broucker facilitated embodiment work which unified the group around the physical experiences of natural disaster. The therapists located their bodies on a three-dimensional map representing home and crafted body sculptures in small groups to enact the ideas of community and the loss of place.

Creative Arts Therapies dayMusic Therapy students Juliette Candela and Elizabeth Wilson led everyone through a music circle which they called Creating the Band. They discussed the inherent healing ability of repetitive and familiar music in cultivating a sense of community. Direction was mindfully offered while teaching everyone how to use instruments to rediscover their own strength which can be of support in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Celeste Walters, Melissa Alvey, and Jennifer Sever from Art Therapy led attendees through an art-making experience focused on themes of containment and reclaiming. Participants were given found objects on which to paint representations of themselves or something they value and then constructed spaces to hold these symbolic objects.

The therapists in attendance discussed how each modality could be adapted through the different stages of a traumatic experience to serve clinical populations in their healing process.