Edna Manley makes plans for art therapy
The visual and performing arts have been an essential part of the culture in the Jamaican society, extending to the wider Caribbean.
Ongoing research has supported the benefits of using the creative arts as therapeutic and treatment tools for children and adults.
This is especially valuable for populations with both physical and emotional distress. Against this background, the Edna Manley College hosted a two-day art therapy seminar with health professionals, children advocacy personnel, social workers, early childhood and special education teachers, as a prelude to the College's collaboration with the New York University (NYU), Steinhardt, to offer programmes in art therapy in 2011.
The programmes that will be offered include a master's degree, a professional diploma and a certificate for persons in related fields.
The seminar was conducted by NYU faculty members who included Professor Tom Ettinger, Dr Claudia Williams and the head of the Art Therapy Department, Dr Ikuku Acosta.
"Art therapy is a growing discipline across the world and we in the Caribbean don't want to be left behind. Edna Manley College wants to make sure we are not just artists and teachers trying to figure out how children and adults act and think but that training will inform our decisions."
During the seminar, the NYU faculty conducted sessions on the history, principles and current status of art therapy as well as research and employment opportunities.