the Spirit of Art Therapy 3

the Spirit of Art Therapy 3

Encounter with Art Therapy


I enrolled in the Creative Arts Therapy Department (Graduate School) of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 1985 to study art therapy.


The Pratt Institute's Department of Art Therapy was founded in 1970, along with five programs starting around the same time: New York University, George Washington University, Emerson College, and Hanemann Institute. They made a major current of art therapy in the United States.


The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) was established in 1969, and the first conference was held in 1970 - the following year. Since then, the spread of art therapy has been enormous, and during the seven years from 1971 to 1978, 14 specialized courses in art therapy at the graduate level and 21 courses at the undergraduate level were established with great momentum.


I once asked Judy Rubin, an American art therapy tycoon, what happened there. Her answer was shrugging her shoulders and saying, "A miracle has happened."


Brooklyn, where the platform is located, was once the image of a high-class residential area that was also chosen as the setting for Hollywood movies, but by the time I stayed, most of the inhabitants were bitterly poor, and the security in the town was very bad at that time. Even when I was in school, there was an incident in which a female student on her way home from a part-time job in Manhattan at night got mugged and shot dead with a pistol when she resisted. the man, who was later arrested and turned out to be drugging at the time.


I myself have been mugged three times during my student days. Once on the way home from shopping at the supermarket, I was chased by a group of about 10 black kids and surrounded in front of the dormitory entrance.


Another episode was a young black man got into the dormitory by following me tight and demanded money by pointing the muzzle of of the gun at me.

At that time, it was said many junior high school children had pistols.


Causally, when I later worked at the Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, I was exposed to many people who were living in such a difficult environment in those days and had been admitted to the psychiatric ward. I met those people close through art therapy. 


By the way, do you have any experience of being pointed the muzzle of the gun?

I do have an experience.

When the mugger pointed the gun at me, my eye cast was fixed on the muzzle of the gun.

To me, it's hole was pitch dark, or, in other word, sheer black which was so deep as to reach the bottom of the underworld connecting to the hell.


I got a vivid archetypal image of the color black through this experience.

Later on, however, I was to learn another side of the meaning of black.