Greetings from the President of The American Art Therapy Association
Welcome to Savannah, GA, and the American Art Therapy Association’s 43rd Annual Conference, Weaving a Tapestry: Reflections and Visions of Art Therapy. As an attendee of the largest conference in the world for art therapists, you are part of an expanding and vibrant profession. The next few days promise to be provocative and informative. I look forward to greeting you personally!
Whether you are a first-time attendee, or a seasoned veteran, I encourage you to actively engage in all facets of the conference, from the outstanding educational and plenary sessions, to the Marketplace of Ideas, to the Open Art Studio, to the informal and superior networking opportunities with colleagues and new acquaintances.
In the plenary sessions you will hear from expert speakers and art therapists who will share their cutting-edge experiences in a variety of settings. On Tuesday beginning at 8:00 a.m., we will explore the long-term challenges of those on the Autism Spectrum and the impact on their caregivers and society. On Wednesday beginning at 8:00 a.m., we will hear from experts on eating disorders, with a focus on recognition, etiological factors, treatment challenges, and misconceptions. I encourage you to join us for the closing plenary session at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday for breakfast and an overview on a major research project on traumatic injury. We will also celebrate our annual scholarships and award recipients. Please plan to arrive to the plenary session rooms on time so that you don’t miss any of these exceptional sessions!
In addition to the outstanding educational sessions, there are many other ways to fully participate in the conference including the Marketplace of Ideas─a central focal point where you can catch up with friends, meet new colleagues, enjoy a delicious lunch, purchase books signed by your favorite authors, and learn from exhibitors about a range of services for art therapists. In addition, you’ll be able to review services and products to help enrich your career and visit with educational representatives from art therapy master’s degree programs. Take advantage of the Open Art Studio where you can unwind and unleash your creativity. I also invite you to join me and our Board at the Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday at 11:50 a.m. Don’t forget to attend the Arts & Crafts Marketplace on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. when you can shop for unique creations made by your colleagues! Last but certainly not least, if this is your first conference, I invite you to attend the Newcomer’s Session on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., and I also look forward to greeting you personally at the President’s Opening Reception on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Refer to the schedule in the program guide for the specific details.
I look forward to our journey together throughout the week. Please be sure to introduce yourself and let me know how the Association can support your career and our profession!
Enjoy your conference!
Mercedes ter Maat, Ph.D., ATR-BC, LPC