Earlier this month at the national art therapy conference in San Antonio, I was able to spend time dialoguing in a focus group I led about one of my favorite topics: the role of social media in creating connection, community, and sustaining creativity.
This group time was a very nice opportunity to talk with art therapists and art therapy students about how they use social media, what interests & challenges them, as well as the different ways social media can be used within the art therapy community for networking, collaborating, art-making, and inspire one another.
In comparison to a focus group I led on this same topic at the national conference 5 years ago (2009), the awareness and use of social media seemed to be a lot more integrated into our regular professional interactions and activity. This included, but was not limited to: connecting with other art therapists, inspiring & supporting our own creative process with art-making, taking to the social media air waves to promote what we are passionate about in art therapy (through blogging, creating Facebook pages, using hashtags, QR codes) and keeping updated on worldwide happenings and news in the art therapy community. The increasing use of smartphones, tablets, and apps (vs. 2009) to access social media in mobile form definitely has contributed to this day to day practice.
Challenges voiced included understanding how to leverage the most out of different social media sites, having a mindful awareness of ones personal vs. professional life online, and keeping up with the constant changes, new developments, and activity in the world of social media.
Check out this SlideShare inspired by this focus group’s topic:
This was a great time to gather together about this topic off the grid! Thank you to everyone who attended! It is inspiring to learn more about how we as art therapists continue to use social media to strengthen our professional connections, enhance the relationship with our creativity, & create online opportunities for supporting our work, interests, & practice.