Over the last month I have been sharing a weekly interview series featuring different art therapists and how they use the power of the Internet and social media in relationship to sharing their work with others, professional development, nurturing creativity, cultivating community and more. It has been so fun to chat with everyone– many of the conversations have had crossover themes and topics, but at the same time uniquely different! I definitely recommend checking out and listening to the interviews- lots of inspiring reflections, resources, and experiences!
Below is my top 10 list of great takeaways inspired by this series:
- Even though the Internet and world of social media can seem soooo big- online communities, social networking sites, and groups create amazing opportunities for us to easily connect to others that share similar interests…. or can introduce us to new experiences and resources— no matter where we live!
- Activate your online experience! While there is a lot of value in obtaining and connecting to information shared in digital groups, communities, and virtual spaces- don’t be afraid to reach out to others, respond with feedback or questions and share your own experiences with others.
- Connecting with other art therapists online helps strengthen relational support and decrease isolation, especially for those in private practice, who work independently, or interested in expanding their professional community.
- Social media is a great tool for sharing our enthusiasm and drive for educating others about the field, art therapy, promoting services, and the work of art therapists.
- The amount of knowledge, resources, and information available at our fingertips makes researching information about art therapy, how to become an art therapist, and special interests so easy and accessible. Lots of great resources were shared and recommended during each interview!
- You don’t have to use every social networking platform out there. You can manage your resources and time on social media with platforms that best fit you. Pacing yourself to develop a professional presence on different platforms over time can also be a helpful strategy.
- For many of the art therapists I chatted with, social media has been an inspiring place to connect with other artists, art-making, and art communities. Social media has helped positively motivate personal creative expression and art practices.
- Creating a social media strategy for sharing content can be an effective way to stay engaged and committed to ones professional digital presence.
- Blogging is a great way to share what inspires you, connect with others, and take stock about your work as an art therapist and artist.
- Everyone can contribute something valuable for others to learn from and be inspired by– you don’t have to be an expert, early adopter, or technology guru to start!
Thank you to Carolyn, Petrea, Rachel, Lani, Theresa, and Jade for sharing their thoughts and experiences in this series. I am also honored and so excited to include their work and many others in my forthcoming book.
In addition, if you are planning to attend the 2017 American Art Therapy Association conference in Albuquerque New Mexico, this November I will be offering an Advanced Practice Course, The Art of Creating a Professional Digital Presence on the conference’s first day. If this topic interests you, the course presents practical content about how art therapists can create a strong professional digital presence through the use of social media. Participants will be introduced to strategies and considerations for cultivating a presence online that aligns with ones professional work, passions, values, and career interests.
- Discover ways an individual art therapist’s digital presence can positively impact the art therapy field at large;
- Learn strategies to use for professionally sharing content on social media;
- Identify approaches that social networking can help create or enhance a professionally focused profile or activities for art therapists.