Cedar Crest College will host a special lecture with art therapist Sondra Rosenberg, ATR-BC on Thursday, October 24 at 7 p.m. in Alumnae Hall. Her address, “Understanding Trauma through the Lens of Art Therapy,” will examine symptoms of post-traumatic stress and how art therapy can facilitate the healing process. The event is free and open to the public.
Prior to the lecture, current Cedar Crest undergraduate and graduate students will have the opportunity to have dinner with Rosenberg and discuss her artwork and perspective in greater detail. Immediately following dinner, students and the public are invited to attend an artist reception where Rosenberg will describe her artwork and answer questions. Cedar Crest assistant professor and director of the art therapy program, Rebecca Arnold, will also be in attendance to answer questions about Cedar Crest’s Master’s in Art Therapy program and share insight into what new students should expect.
“Students often ask about how art therapy is introduced into an individual’s treatment and what kinds of jobs exist after graduation. I think this event will help begin to answer those questions,” said Arnold. “Having a presenter like Sondra helps our graduate students see that art therapists are hired in facilities and doing the work taught in class.”
Cedar Crest’s School of Adult and Graduate Education launched its Master’s in Art Therapy program this fall, with courses open to both men and women. The program allows students to develop their knowledge and skills in the field of art therapy through working with individuals, groups, and families in a number of therapeutic settings. The program is taught within a new art therapy studio classroom where students are able to explore art materials with emerging therapeutic intent.
“Sondra has done much to promote the profession of art therapy, specifically with individuals who suffer from eating disorders,” said Arnold. “Because it is such a prominent issue in health care, I believe our undergraduate, graduate and prospective students, who may be interested in working with these individuals, are going to get a real sense of the connections between non-verbal communication, the importance of imagery, and how creativity can support treatment.”
Sondra Rosenberg, ATR-BC is a registered and board certified art therapist and the Director of Art Therapy at the Renfrew Center of Philadelphia, which has been a pioneer in the treatment of eating disorders and is the nation’s first residential eating disorder facility. Rosenberg leads art therapy groups that address issues including body image, trauma, self-injury, media literacy and mindful eating. She received her B.A. in visual art from Oberlin College and her M.A. in art therapy from New York University and has presented regionally on the use of art therapy in the treatment of eating disorders, self-injury and trauma. She has also curated a traveling exhibit of patient artwork called “The Art of Recovery,” which has been featured at universities, galleries and community centers around Philadelphia. Her article “Birthing the monster: The transformation of a demonic self through voice dialogue and art therapy” was published in the Voice Dialogue Newsletter in 2007. Rosenberg brings a deep passion for art and a strong commitment to empowering women through creativity to her clinical work.
Prior to the art therapy presentation, Sondra will also have a series of paintings on display and will provide an overview of the content. “Her images are powerful,” said Arnold. “Each one provides a compassionate view of a person in need of understanding.”