Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

Topics I’d Love to See at an Art Therapy Conference

Every year I get excited to see what topics will be presented at the various expressive/art therapy conferences around the world (such as AATA, IETA, etc.).


The very first AATA conference I attended as a student, I remembered wondering where was the magic, the creative fire, and soul of art therapy? Many of the presentations focused on case studies or small scientific studies (I now understand that the art therapy field is doing this intentionally to be more grounded in research).


As a new student, I also wanted more inspiration and presentations that were packed with ideas and novel ways of doing things*.


As I’ve graduated and advanced in my career, I’ve found myself wanting different kinds of education. Here are some of the topics I would love to see at art therapy or expressive art therapy conferences or workshops:


Watercolor image of a grey circle with dots emanating outward
"Emanating Ideas" Watercolor by Jackie Schuld

Neurodiversity

  • New lens looking at autism, ADHD, high sensitivity, etc.

  • Examining how neurodiversity manifests differently in women


Business as an Art Therapist

  • Marketing

  • Negotiating salary/benefits

  • Setting ourselves up for a sustainable career and life

  • Charging premium fees

  • Art therapist as entrepreneur

  • Making money and retaining social justice values

  • Funding strategies


Life as an Art Therapist


Fat Neutrality

  • Body Neutrality

  • Intuitive eating


Career Development of Art Therapists

  • Examples/opportunities of partnering with other fields

  • Where to begin with doing research if you’re a practicing art therapist

  • PhD opportunities (I attended a great presentation on this last year at AATA and I’d happily attend again)

  • Working with the community


Relationships

  • Improving romantic relationships

  • Polyamory

  • Kink/BDSM


Eco Art Therapy

  • Anything would be exciting!


Unexpected Topics

  • I’d also love to hear fringe topics that I would never consider (like how a past AATA presentation talked about the meta-verse)


I’m publishing this list right now because AATA is about to accept new proposals for its 2022 conference. The process of applying to present can be intimidating, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought (I presented in 2019). If you want some encouragement to do a presentation, I’m happy to provide it!


I’d also like to hear what topics you’d love to see at conferences. If you’re planning to present, I’d love to know on what! Also, if you’re aware of any upcoming workshops on the above topics, I’d love to hear about them.

 

*Two years later, I co-presented two presentations at AATA (thank you to Nicole Randick) - I tried to give what I was seeking.



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