VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Humanitarian Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling
In this paper I describe an example of the integration of humanitarian art therapy and mental health counseling principles in an approach that provides culturally sensitive post-disaster community support. As a licensed mental health counselor and board certified art therapist for disaster relief psychosocial support community groups, I have worked in the U.S., Canada, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, and the Philippines. I believe the “continuity principle” (Omer & Alon, 1994) should be central to any form of international crisis intervention, and that health and psychosocial well-being of affected peoples can be maximized through expression with the arts. Humanitarian art therapy and mental health counseling integration focuses on preserving and restoring continuities at the individual, family, organizational, and community levels.