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Career Profile: Art Therapist

Career Profile: Art Therapist

Megan Robb, Art Therapist, Clinical Research Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Education

What I like best/least about my work…

What I like best about my work is seeing a patient experience an “aha” moment, which is when one gains self-awareness. I also like the day-to-day contact with people from a variety of backgrounds. In several of my previous positions, I worked with emotionally disturbed children in a school setting, adults and children in a psychiatric hospital, and children in an oncology unit. Since I started working here at NIH, I enjoy the challenging work with the diversity of the patients’ medical and mental conditions.

What I like least about my work is dealing with end of life issues. After getting to know the patients and families, it can be tough going through those times with them.

My career goals are:

My career goals are to continue to hone my therapeutic skills, publish again and present on the theoretical framework of art therapy within NIH. I have been working as a therapist for about 5 years, with experience in different stages of recovery, with different types of cases. I believe that with more time and experience gained, I will learn what works best, and become a better therapist.

I previously published a professional paper in the American Art Therapy Journal about a case study I did with Russian orphans. I hope to publish more work in the future.

People practice art therapy in different ways. It runs the gamut from very clinically-based to very community-based. I’m proposing to do an art therapy program that will promote community building. If successful, I hope to present the program at the national conference of the American Art Therapy Association.

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