It is my pleasure to feature this interview with Victoria Scarborough, MPS, New York art therapist and blogger for Art Therapy Perspectives. After being invited through Twitter to participate in her Interview Series on her blog, I was curious to learn more about Victoria’s own perspectives about how she uses social media as an art therapist. Her Interview Series that started in September is a great resource and promotion for the art therapy field! Thank you to Victoria for sharing her reflections below, as well as tips & suggestions for art therapists looking to become more involved with social media.
Victoria graduated from the School of Visual Arts’ Art Therapy masters program in 2011. Throughout internships and volunteering she has facilitated art therapy groups and individual sessions in a broad range of settings that include inpatient medical units, school for developmentally delayed students and various special projects. Victoria has shown work alongside clients in two School of Visual Arts’ Art Therapy art shows entitled Counterbalance and Creating Dialogue. Prior to art therapy she worked to produce strategy, planning and execution of national media plans for big name brands. In her free time she enjoys cooking and entertaining for friends and family. The image above is original art created by Victoria.
What motivated you to begin interviewing art therapists on your blog Art Therapy Perspectives?
My purpose for starting the blog was originally to connect with and learn from other art therapists. I was also interested in advocating and educating people about art therapy. The field is still growing and changing, and so is art therapists’ use of technology, networking sites and social media. It was and is a way for me to be at the forefront of that change. The title came from the idea that every art therapist has their own perspective, and brings new insight into the field. I also hope to feature other content in addition to interviews on occasion. That might be away I grow the blog in the future. An example would be a post I did which was on an open letter I wrote to hospitals informing them of the importance of having an art therapist on medical units. Medical art therapy has been an interest of mine since interning in a medical setting from 2010-2011. I am always getting asked what art therapy is, and who can use art therapy, so I wanted a place to share that information. Since I am early in my career, it made sense to me to begin interviewing other art therapists who have experience in areas in which I may not. My hope is that each art therapist brings a unique perspective, and I am looking to interview art therapists with all different backgrounds and experience. In addition, I noticed after attending various lectures and art therapy conferences, I always left feeling a sense of renewal and inspiration from listening to and learning from my peers and predecessors. It is my hope that this blog brings some of that same feeling to me and to it’s readers. I hope it challenges the way people think about art therapy, I hope that connects people and if nothing else helps inspire me to keep exploring.
What do enjoy the most about interviewing the art therapists you have featured?
I really enjoy learning from their stories, their challenges, and their successes. I enjoy hearing about different populations using art therapy, and about various approaches and styles. I also enjoy being able to share their stories, and make the information available for others who are interested in learning more.
Where do you find the art therapists that you have interviewed?
I have interviewed art therapists that I know, as well as those introduced to me from other art therapists. I have also been able to connect with art therapists through networking sites such as Linkedin, and more specifically through groups on Linkedin such as Art Therapy Alliance.
How has social networking helped you as an art therapist?
Social networking has been a learning tool for me. There is always something I can learn from the people that I interview, as well as the people I come across through other social channels. Twitter and Pinterest have been good resources for finding and sharing articles and my interviews. It has also helped me to connect with other art therapists and mental health professionals that I may not know otherwise.
What helpful tips would you give to an art therapist interested in starting a blog?
When I was starting my blog I read a really great book called “Blog, Inc.” by Joy Deangdeelert Cho. She outlines all the information you ever need to know about starting a blog, and has really great examples of successful blogs. I would recommend it to anyone thinking of starting a blog no matter what the content of the blog. Another tip I would share is to be flexible, don’t just have one set idea of what your blog will be and it will evolve over time.
What are some of the challenges you’ve found with blogging?
One big challenge I faced at first was having enough content. I wanted all of the information to be new and relevant. The interviews have turned into a great content provider, and I hope I can continue on with this series of interviews for a long time.
If an art therapist is interested in being interviewed on Art Therapy Perspectives, how can she/he submit their request?
She or he can leave a comment on: http://www.victoriascarborough.com
Read Victoria’s interview on Art Therapy Perspectives featuring the Art Therapy Alliance here.