Dr. Mary Andrus, director of art therapy counseling at Marylhurst, presented at the 2017 American Art Therapy Association conference, discussing art therapy law and screening her short film, Bearing Witness.
Dr. Mary Andrus was joined by colleagues from Washington, D.C., New Jersey and Arizona for a panel discussion titled Licensure and Advocacy for Art Therapy: Lessons from the Front Lines. Having successfully advocated for an art therapy licensure law in the State of Oregon, Dr. Andrus shared her insights on lessons learned in the process. Dr. Andrus and other key advocacy leaders talked about the role played by both AATA chapters and individuals in getting bills introduced and considered by state legislators, the strategies and tactics that were most effective, and how to initiate successful advocacy efforts.
In addition, Dr. Andrus’ film produced as part of her Doctorate in Art Therapy dissertation, Bearing Witness, was screened in the conference’s Art Therapy Short Film Festival. Her film, subtitled The Art of Pregnancy Loss and Infertility, explored what happens when individuals processing this trauma move from a private to a public realm – specifically, exhibiting works of art created about the death of a child, miscarriage and infertility. In the documentary-style film, these individuals discuss their experiences with an art therapist, addressing the therapeutic value of being heard / seen, as well as ethical considerations for the therapist. After the screening, Dr. Andrus and a panel explored how the support and strength of a community can create a space for healing.
Dr. Andrus will again present this film, with a panel of the artist participants, at the Cultivating Community: Creative Arts Therapies Conference on April 21 at Marylhurst University. (Early bird registration ends February 28.)
The American Art Therapy Association annual conference is the premier art therapy event connecting art therapists with colleagues from across the nation and around the world.
Mary Andrus, DAT, ATR-BC, LPC, LCPC is director of the art therapy counseling program at Marylhurst University. Her clinical orientation is from a person-centered perspective, and she has completed her Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) training to specialize in trauma resolution with her clients.