Part 1: Personal Statement for the Expressive Arts Institute

            In the book Art Heals, Shaun McNiff writes, “Art adapts to every conceivable problem and leads its transformative, insightful and experience heightening powers to people in need.” Reflecting on how art kept me safe when I was in my time of need as a youth, and how it’s insightful powers heal me as an adult, my belief in the importance and efficacy of Expressive Art Therapy grows deeper. Therefore, I am compelled to give people creative opportunities to find solace, to heal and to thrive.                      

            My spirit lit up and is incredibly motivated since attending the 101 course at the Expressive Arts Institute. I will be forever grateful because my sense of purpose and confidence expanded there. So much so, that I accepted a volunteer position directing an Expressive Art Therapy program at the Rancho de los Niños children’s home in Baja. Four full days at the UCLArts and Healing Summit further confirmed my commitment to this work and so I began facilitating expressive art practices one on one with my friends and family members.

            In regards to professional work, I recently co-directed and facilitated a two day transformative arts experience in Rancho Santa Fe. I led a group of 15 in painting, book making, and clay exercises that assisted participants in re-scripting old stories of self. I was also able to perform business aspects of the profession in marketing and budgeting for the event. These opportunities have been incredibly informative and beneficial as I choose to move forward with my education and career in the field.

            As a San Diego resident who witnesses the extreme juxtaposition of wealth in North County with the poverty across the border, I seek to cultivate balance in a business model that serves both communities. Volunteering and fundraising to combat human trafficking has been so meaningful to me that I’d like to continue serving populations vulnerable to that industry. In contrast, my history as a domestic employee and in home-educator in upper net worth estates, grants me an ease with high profile clients as well. I am designing a business plan where I can manifest abundance by providing premium services to the upper class and offer pro bono services to those who lack key emotional and financial resources to keep themselves safe. I also am dedicated to delivering expressive arts services online in a way that is effective for my clients and sustainable for business.

            Academically, I’d like to learn from the program how to create a safe space for clients to express themselves freely and improve their quality of life. More specifically, I have a strong interest in honing my skills at assisting people with healing and ending the cycle of sexual trauma through drama therapy. I especially feel called to master, then introduce to others, the inherent power of creative play to shift troubling memories to manageable and valuable narratives. I see how creating, directing and performing scenes can serve clients as they rescript old stories in ways that best serve their soul.