Fridays are Fun at ITA
July 1, 2019
Week three of my internship at the Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA) was filled with administrative projects. Sessions often get canceled during the summer due to vacations, which is unfortunate for me but understandable from the client’s perspective. I finalized the design for the conference flyer, researched local psychologists, and read someart therapy-related articles for an annotated bibliography.
I learned a lot about non-profit psychology during ITA’s amazing weekly Friday educational meetings. We began with a training session on psychological assessments, which can be given to clients during their first few sessions to measure their baseline functioning. This helps the therapist create goals for the client to reach during their time in therapy. Unfortunately, there are very few assessments that are designed specifically to be used in creative arts therapy, and none exist that can be used across creative arts therapy modalities (e.g., art, music, dance/movement, drama). One of ITA’s long-term goals is to develop this type of assessment, which would be an amazing leap forward for all of the creative arts therapy world.
Next, we had intern supervision. Amanda, one of my supervisors taught us about grant writing, which is very important for nonprofits, like ITA, as well as research labs. As a research assistant for the Cornell College Eating Disorder Institute (ED Institute), a research lab looking at cardiac biomarkers of eating disorders, I found the presentation especially useful. I hope to help the ED Institute write grant applications to fund our research once the grant we have from the National Institutes of Health runs out.
Later that day, Brad, the music therapist I work with for the ADHD and Autism camp, taught me about the assessment he and I will be using to measure the kids’ relationships with others and their coping skills. The assessment uses a Likert Scale (1 is the least interactive and 8 is the most). We will each score the kids separately, and then compare scores and put them into a data set after the session. I am very excited about helping assess the kids because I will have a voice in their treatment like that of a certified therapist!
Outside of ITA, I have been spending most of my free time running. I am training for the fall cross country season by running along Chicago’s lakefront path at 6:00 each morning! The lake is beautiful, even on rainy days, and I love encouraging the other runners I see on the path each morning. This past Saturday, I went home to the South Side of the city to run the Guns n’ Hoses 5K with my parents, where I placed sixth overall, second of the women, and first in my age group! My parents both came in third for their age groups too! It was so exciting; I just love the thrill of racing. I can’t wait for cross country season to start!
Alexa is a psychology and studio art double major and art history minor from Chicago, Illinois.