We follow up here to a conversation on art as therapy started last Summer with the interview of Italian art therapist Paola Loomis. This time Victoria Ayala interviewed artist and art therapist Einat Moglad, who lives and works in Tel Aviv. She openly talks about her experience, her practice, the challenges as well as the rewards, with some advice for the young artists who want to pursue this profession.
What led you to become an art therapist and how did you choose a specific psychological framework?
EINAT: I did art all my life… constantly, from when I was two years old. During high school, I was struggling with a lot of issues, and all I could do basically was make art. It was really lucky that I could study at an Art High School, so half of my week was dedicated to the arts and this really helped me to pull through. I really noticed how I was going through a sense of healing, how I felt much better, how I was going through a process and was having a weird dialogue with what was coming up on paper. I was an intuitive artist, and even more so during that time, and I just thought, well I love art. I really enjoyed learning it in the intellectual sense, but the practice was incredibly important to me, it was life saving.
What it the difference you see between an artist and an art therapist?
After High School in Israel you go to the military. I also volunteered for a year before my drafting and I always kind of asked myself, “well, what will I do when I get older? And what will I learn?” And somewhere I learned about art therapy and I’m like “whooooaaa”, and more than “what is it?” it was “this is a profession!” It showed me that my experience was not just a fluke or even ‘my thing’. It is a real thing, and people practice it. You can give it to others and help people go through an amazing journey using art and it sounded so amazing.
The moment I learned about art therapy I wanted to know what I needed in order to become an art therapist. I needed a Bachelor’s degree and I could go through Art or through Psychology and wondering what will be my path I thought, “I can go through a degree without ever even doing art, just learning from textbooks, that’s not my way”, and even though Psychology is an amazing field of study, I really took Art and Art Education, which also had a lot of Psychology.
I enjoyed doing the art in those four years, and whatever courses I need to take. I did my Master’s degree on the way, so a little bit more courses than I had to, and close to the end of my bachelor, I just went from school to school, saying “I am going to be an art therapist, I don’t know which one of you can get me there” (laughs). It was always about the arts as a matter of healing. It can’t be anything else and visual art really is…. my whole life is visual arts. It’s kind of weird but it’s quite amazing at this point, I feel very much at home with my profession.
And some advice to those who want to become art therapists:
Don't miss the rest of the interview with Einat. More on the methods, techniques, tools, as well as on the personal choices and experiences that make art therapy an amazing profession.