Art Therapy Intern – Bre Wallace

“I like the colors you chose.” “Thank you!” “So pretty.” BRE: My name is Bre Wallace, I am the RS at Upper 55th and I have started an Art Therapy group for ACR residents. It’s been 5 weeks long, and we’re ending next week with an art show; kind of like a gallery for all the residents. “So I have picture frames out for you guys
to decorate…” BRE: I shadowed a few art therapists around
the Twin Cities. Working with Epilepsy Foundation and Lifeworks, doing art therapy groups with them, and I loved it, and then I wanted to start my own group here at the company that I love, so that’s how that got started. Meeting the residents the first time helped
me get a vision of what different art projects I wanted to work on each week and different goals we wanted to work on as well. Because it’s more than just–we’re not just
sitting around doing art. We’re working on different things and getting in touch with our emotions. And at the end of each session, I have each resident share what they did and what they liked about their artwork. And everyone else is, like, so intently listening, so they’re learning a lot of other skills and practicing them as well. Each week we are working on different skills
or just getting in touch with your feelings. So the first session we had, I had everyone
paint a picture or do a collage of things to describe themselves to the group, and at
the end they shared. And that… I think a picture, obviously I think a picture
is like a thousand words, it’s just a whole different way of communication. So, yeah. Going to different art classes and groups, you learn even if you know how to use the materials; just learning a different way. And they can do it more at their home. Learning more coping mechanisms for when they
have a stressful day and they come home and want to do some art, they know how to use
Model Magic, and it helps them soothe. I love teaching other people how to do art
therapy, like the hand-over-hand. Yeah, one time, I kind of held the paper,
and, moved it a little bit, and she kind of moved a little bit too. But yeah, all the figures she wanted came
out. She knew what she was doing, she just needed a little assistance. One week I had them pick, like, I had them
pick a feeling and then picked a color that went with that feeling. And then, whatever feeling that they picked, draw it or paint it on that colored paper. And this one lady, she likes to do art, but a lot of times her staff would kind of do it for her, and she’d just tell them what she did, but this time, I kind of interrupted them and just helped her do it herself. And I was really surprised at all the images that
came out, just holding the paper and her moving her hand a little bit. Like, ‘Yeah, that does look like a person, like, that’s what you’re saying is your mom! That does look like a cat, or something.’ So, things that made her happy. So it was cool that that came through. My favorite part is seeing how much they love
it and the smiles that they do with, like, the finished project and just the process
of doing art. It’s my favorite day of the week, absolutely,
and I love it. I’m so excited that I can eventually do this
full-time as an art therapist.

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