Welcome from the Editors
By Ilene Serlin, PhD
We are delighted to bring more updates to the Psychotherapy and the Arts newsletter. Most important, we will be collaborating with Div. 10 (the Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts). We’d like to thank their current president, Paul Sylvia, PhD, and president-elect, Mary Gregerson, PhD, for their enthusiastic support and encouragement. We hope that this partnership between Divs. 32 and 10 will help bring an expansion of interest and collaboration among the many psychologists who are artists or interested in the connection between psychology and art.
Next, with help from APA, our format will change. The newsletter will be posted on the Div. 32 website, as well as being sent to the Psychotherapy and the Arts Listserv. It will be available on a continual basis, with rolling submissions to it.
Finally, our editorial staff will now include Pamela J. McCrory, PhD, and Allyn Enderlyn, PhD, both active members of Divs. 10 and 32. They bring wide experience with the arts and special projects that will bring new levels of creativity to this newsletter.
Ilene A. Serlin, PhD, BC-DMT,
Founder Psychotherapy and the Arts Special Interest Group and Newsletter
Meet our new editorial team
Pamela J. McCrory, PhD, is a licensed psychologist in independent practice in Calabasas, California, and assistant clinical professor in the University of California-Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine. She serves on the Executive Committee of Div. 10. As co-chair of the task group for the community art project constructed at the APA’s 2014 convention, she helped to create an opportunity for attendees to share their hopes, vision and passion for psychology. She is past president of Los Angeles County Psychological Association and is co-curator of the Mirrors of the Mind: The Psychotherapist as Artist project, which is currently in its sixth year in Los Angeles.
Contact her via email.
Allyn Enderlyn, PhD, FSP, has a long history in psychology and the arts, which she combined as a dance therapist at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in the mid-1970s. She is currently in private practice as a psychotherapist licensed in both Switzerland and Maryland (LCPC-ACS) and an adjunct professor teaching assessment on the graduate level in Switzerland. Enderlyn has been a performing artist and is a photographer and curator of photographic archives. She is an avid writer and holds an MBA in Finance from The George Washington University. She was head of a United Nation agency’s resource mobilization division for a decade.
Contact her via email.
Since 2005, the Psychotherapy and the Arts Special Interest Group has served to connect psychologists and allied professionals interested in the healing power of the arts. It began as a Special Interest Group (SIG) from Div. 32 (Society for Humanistic Psychology) with a focus on the therapeutic use of the arts. With over 125 members now, it offers a free e-newsletter in which resources, reviews, recent creative works of members, upcoming conferences and organized events at APA promote the theory and practice of the creative arts therapies; the role of the arts in conveying humanity’s deepest hopes, fears and dreams; the art of living; and the art of psychotherapy. Membership in Div. 32 and Div. 10 is encouraged but not required.
The very act of living or of forging a meaningful and coherent life is a deeply creative act. Besides having an innate drive to create, human beings also have an innate drive to communicate and to symbolize. Art has, throughout the ages, carried the symbols of humankind’s highest dreams and deepest fears.
Art is crucial for the therapeutic journey because it touches and expresses the whole complex human person, including levels of mind, body and spirit.
The arts can provide a diagnostic image of culture and the individual as well as often serve as a revolutionary path for freedom and transformation. Because the arts have given a vision of the human soul, art psychology is rooted in culture and the humanities. Art is associated with psychological and physical health and involves the physiology of the whole person. Art also provides access to multiple modes of intelligence (Gardner, 1993), thinking, communicating and problem solving. Aesthetic inquiry is a way of knowing through images, similar in structure to philosophical, psychological or spiritual inquiry.
Art can open us up to new creative possibilities and untapped powers of the human spirit. It expands our states of consciousness, helping us understand our waking reality, mindfulness, altered states and dreamtime. It connects us to the imagination and bridges the conscious and the unconscious mind. And in many cultures art takes us to the sacred.