Marywood University Student Art Therapy (MUSATA) is composed of graduate and undergraduate art therapy students with the support of the Marywood art therapy faculty.
“The main purpose of this group is to network and to share personal, artistic, educational, and professional growth opportunities. This group strives to promote art therapy as a means of life improvement,” said Kaitlin Staples, a second-year graduate student and MUSATA president.
MUSATA seeks volunteer opportunities so that its members can gain experience with a variety of populations while lending a helping hand in accordance with Marywood’s curricular goal of service learning.
MUSATA members organize a variety of events that they facilitate and/or participate in. Some of their club-facilitated events include Creative Café, Cupcakes and Questions, MUSATA Community Mural Project, MUSATA First Friday Annual Art Exhibition, and Geisinger Adult Day Program Art Days.
MUSATA aims to use art as a healing mechanism for its members, as well as the campus and local communities.
Art therapy is split into two key theories: art psychotherapy and art as therapy. Art psychotherapy focuses on psychodynamic approaches to art therapy and it is mainly used in clinical settings.
Art as therapy is the act of making art and receiving therapeutic benefits solely from the process of creating.
“We strive to help our members and the communities that we are a part of to understand the benefits of art as therapy and how they can personally create art to reduce stress, improve their quality of life, and connect with others,” said Staples.
“For me, the best part about being involved with MUSATA is connecting with a variety of individuals,” said Staples. “Connection is really important to me. It is how we relate to others and our surroundings and it is the foundation for leading a full life.”
Staples has been a member of MUSATA since 2008. Since then, she has spent one term as MUSATA secretary, and two terms as MUSATA president.
“I have learned so much about leadership, creating connections, and compassion for others, as well as how great it feels to give of yourself and be a part of something bigger than you. I will be graduating in May with my Master of Arts in Art Therapy, and I am very thankful for all that MUSATA has provided me with, and I will truly miss it,” said Staples.