An Art Therapist’s Tips to Support Students Through COVID-19 Collective Trauma

In the face of the collective trauma related to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools need to pivot quickly to ensure all personnel follow trauma-informed approaches. During this sharing session, a licensed art therapist draws upon research in the value of a STEAM education and the significance of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and utilizes SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach to lead a discussion on the critical role of arts education in supporting students’ emotional health. Presenters will guide attendees through a brief drawing activity focused on feelings of isolation to inform a robust discussion on how arts educators can help students address this collective trauma.

Presenter Bios

Margaret Carlock-Russo is the president at American Art Therapy Association and has over 25 years of experience as an art therapist working with individuals and groups. Much of her career has been spent working with people with health conditions or impairments, learning disabilities and dementia. Most recently, she has developed Chroma Soul Arts, an organization focused on providing community groups and retreats, addressing issues of aging, social connection, self-care, and wellness. Margaret is also an associate faculty at Prescott College, teaching in and coordinating their Expressive Arts Therapy Post Master’s Certificate Program.

Clara Keane leads the strategy and implementation of the American Art Therapy Association’s public policy agenda to expand access to art therapy services and also manages partnerships in the wider mental health and arts communities. She serves on the Public Policy Committee of the American Society of Association Executives. Previously, she worked as a research analyst at a health economics firm.

Access additional 2020 AEP Virtual Gathering resources here.


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