By Meghna Girish, a student of MA program in Art Therapy, 2016-2017 Cohort.
As part of the Master’s degree in Art Therapy, along with the theoretical classwork, we’re supposed to do field training at an institution on a weekly basis. Every week, along with my roommate we travel to the neighborhood in Haifa. It’s a 40 minute bus travel to the center where I’m placed. It’s an institution for people who are diagnosed as having IDD (or Intellectual Deficit Disorder ) along with other difficulties. The institution is an adult day – care center with staff who help out with the members’ needs. They have different kinds of therapy like occupational, music, snoozelan.
The field training has been an enriching as well as an emotional experience. I get to translate what I learn in my classroom to the real life, where art therapy proves to be very effective. At the same time, just to be there with the members and trying to understand their difficulties, their joys and experiences makes me swell up with mixed emotions. Some of the staff that work there are high functioners who have IDD.
At the field, we have a supervisor who helped us get started and has been working with us, guiding us, giving much needed counsel for the setting and the population that we are dealing with. Art is a language that all speak and it is fascinating to see the progress in each member of our group. The previous academic year at the center saw a member who was on the wheelchair, who according to the staff had to be assisted in everything, started moving by herself and attempting to do things on her own which is a great leap, considering the fact that we spend only around 9 months at the center.