My Journey

 

As a child, I remember spending many hours’ drawing, painting, and making things for friends and family. I enjoyed every moment of it and felt art came naturally to me. I decided to become an artist after I participated in a student art show which gave me a sense of accomplishment and confidence.

During my undergraduate studies, I felt I wanted to do more with my art and began to explore visual communication and graphic design to find ways where art can be more interactive. I helped start the first Visual Communication program in Chennai at Loyola College. I believed that art connects people and I wanted to relate to people in a deeper way. It was a hot summer afternoon in Chennai when I came across a book written by Edith Kramer on “Art Therapy with Children” at the U.S. Embassy library. Every word in this book spoke to me. I realized that art therapy was my calling.

My journey into art therapy began with entering the graduate art therapy program at George Washington University. I was taught by some of the pioneers in the field, and every day was exciting and exuberating. On completing my studies, I worked in India for a year at Bambino school, and then worked for 16 years with children, adults, and seniors with mental illness at various jobs in the United States. During my visits to India, I introduced teachers and counselors to art therapy and loved how excited they felt about this wonderful way of connecting and understanding people. This journey inspired me to write two books since there was a need not only for art therapy, but art education within the Indian curriculum. “Creative Expressions: Say it with Art”, is a book for parents and teachers to understand how children draw as well as an introduction to art therapy. When looking at the various training programs in India, and globally it was evident that a comprehensive book on art therapy from a multicultural perspective was necessary. I joined hands with Paula Howie and Jennie Kristel to write the second book, “Art Therapy with Diverse Populations, Crossing Cultures and Abilities”. We invited experts in the field to write about the various micro and macro cultures that art therapists work in.

Today, it is my goal to share this knowledge in as many ways as I can. I hope to inspire those who love art and psychology to use art therapy as another way to reach people and help them grow.  Along with a private practice in Fairfax, Virginia, I paint, write, teach, volunteer and travel.  As a director on the Board of the American Art Therapy Association, I hope to help the association serve the membership and advocate for art therapy in accordance with its strategic plan. Through a private foundation, I help create funding sources for art therapists to work in various places, nationally and internationally. I am especially interested in bring art therapy to India, where my journey began.

Links to Media coverage

Art as Therapy in The Hindu newspaper

Crusader for Creativity in The Hindu newspaper

Colour Me Happy in The Hindu newspaper

Art Therapy Credentials Board Review, Fall 2013 issue

George Washington University Art Therapy Graduate Program

Videos

An Interview with Art Therapist: Sangeeta Prasad, A film made at the 2008 AATA conference:

TV Potluck Art Therapy: Potluck’s new co-host Meera Narasimhan interviews Sangeeta Prasad, Tracy Councill, Jennifer Baldwin, and Gina Alfonso, four practicing art therapists in the DC area.