2nd Lady Karen Pence unveils art therapy initiative at FSU

2nd Lady Karen Pence unveils art therapy initiative at FSU”

Mrs. Pence also started a blog Wednesday to chronicle her visits to art therapy programs.

Following today's announcement, Mrs. Pence toured Florida State University's art therapy program. She since has met with numerous art therapists and observed programs in the United States and overseas.

Prior to becoming first lady of IN in 2013, Pence was an elementary teacher.

She told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview before her formal announcement that she didn't "think a lot of people understand the difference between therapeutic art and art therapy".

Encourage young people to go into the profession.

Karen Pence unveiled art therapy as her personal initiative as second lady Wednesday, saying she hopes to educate people that it's a "mental health profession, and not arts and crafts".

"Art therapy is for everyone-especially because we all need support as we face life challenges or seek to improve ourselves", said Dr. Donna Betts, President of the American Art Therapy Association and an Associate Professor of Art Therapy at the George Washington University.

Second Lady Karen Pence brought 100 pounds of clay with her to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

She provided anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of art therapy, telling the audience her experiences and observations from meeting those who've participated in the unique healing process. The brainstorming session served an important goal in the development of the Second Lady's initiative as she gained invaluable insight, ideas, and encouragement from the group to move forward with shining the light on art therapy. Florida State University houses one of 35 graduate degree programs approved by the Association. Now, FSU says it's one of just five institutions in the US that offers an art therapy doctorate. "I chose one initiative to champion, and it is art therapy, which is near and dear to my heart", said Mrs. Pence. "Florida State is proud to be a national leader in art therapy research and in the educational and clinical preparation of highly qualified art therapists".

As passionate as she is about lifting art therapy's profile, Mrs. Pence is interested in several other issues. "I'm really enjoying the activities and programs that we do here". "I have been fortunate to see some of the highest caliber professional art therapists come from our program". The invite-only event began with an introduction from former House Speaker, state senator and current FSU President John Thrasher, followed by Florida's own first lady, Ann Scott. Since then, she's visited programs and spoken with art therapists around the world. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.

"Florida State University has a nationally acclaimed awesome art therapy program", Pence said.

Pence chose FSU to announce her initiative because of the program's national and worldwide acclaim.

She has a master's in art education, taught for 25 years, including as an elementary school art teacher, and is a watercolor artist. He said, I don't go to that dark place anymore.

Second Lady Karen Pence chose one initiative to champion, and it is art therapy.

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