I am in an internship class with 8 other art therapy majors (most of them are girls who have been in my classes all these past semesters which is awesome; it makes the class comfortable). The first place we went together this semester is Life Geisinger, a nursing home located on campus.
Here our art directive was to make flags showing ones heritage or just simply about oneself. This was to get them talking about themselves with us. Before hand we collected supplies and cut out items and quotes from magazine to use for collage. As we got there, there was more people than I expected, personally, but that was okay there was enough of us to spread out and such. While getting started some of the people were more enthusiastic than others, some didn’t want to participate at all.
To my right was a woman with the name of a color, let’s call her Pink. When I learned that was her name I said it was ironic that when given the option between the green and pink she chose green; she laughed a little and that was all. There was a very talkative woman next to her that was clearly her friend. Pink was a very good listener she was very interested in what her friend was saying rather than talking herself.
The woman to my left choose not to participate in the art making; she was there to just watch. I decided I was going to talk to her simply ask about her heritage. I asked her where she was from and that threw her off some, she asked me why and how did I know she wasn’t from here. I simply explained to her I had no idea where she was from but since we were making flags I thought I’d ask her as well. After this we got to talking some and I learned all about her and the foreign country she was from. I felt bad because I could hardly hear her small voice therefore I kept having to ask her to repeat things but she didn’t seem to mind too much.
In the end, I learned that the art in art therapy is not a crutch; it is there to be a facilitator in the end talking is what matters. Sometimes people just simply want to talk and that’s what’s going to help them. A good wise lesson learned for all times to come.