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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > December 2019 Newsletter > Art Therapy Master’s Program: Growing Impact

Art Therapy Master’s Program: Growing Impact

The Master’s program in Art Therapy (M.A.A.T.) at Beit Berl’s HaMidrasha-Faculty of Arts now counts 110 students, up from only 12 when it was launched in 2014, and this year it is cooperating with the U.S. Embassy to treat trauma on the Gaza border.

The Master’s students learn art therapy through the language of art therapy in a dynamic, experiential studio setting. Thanks to pioneering research in the Department, art therapy is being taught using innovative hands-on techniques that emphasize community involvement. The students learn to work with different sectors of Israeli society, with special emphasis placed on empowering the Arab and Haredi communities. During their third and final year, the students, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and from all over Israel, intern in their home communities. 

“Through transformative, dynamic, experiential artwork-based teaching, we provide inspiration, enrichment and expanded horizons for the art therapy students,” explains Dr. Ofira Honig, who heads both the Art Therapy Department and the Master’s program. The curriculum stresses the subconscious impact of working with different art materials. “Each material touches a different part of the soul,” says Dr. Honig. 

This year, the Art Therapy Program is collaborating with the United States Embassy’s Cultural Affairs Section on a year-long course during which a diverse group of students (Jews, Arabs, Christians, Druze, asylum seekers, etc.) learn to be group moderators using the language of photography. The students will run workshops in Arab towns and in communities near the Gaza Strip. The initiative is sponsored and funded by the U.S. Embassy.

The Department also organizes and hosts a growing number of events and conferences. This Chanukah, a special evening will be held at the HaMidrasha Gallery in Tel Aviv on the subject of “Act and Action in Therapy and Art.” The event will feature lectures by a guest artist and a senior art therapist, among others, and will be preceded by a guided tour of an exhibition at Beit Hatfutsot. In January, the Department will host the 3rd international “The Soul’s Echo” conference, which will deepen the discussion on the unique needs of the Israeli Arab community. 

In addition, the Art Therapy Department has recently launched a new Master’s track that is unique in Israel – Group Art Psychotherapy, providing certification recognized by the Israeli Association of Group Psychotherapy to therapists in the field. Another new program trains art therapy supervisors, who oversee the work of young art therapists all over Israel. 

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