Art Alumna Fosters Healing Through Expression
Lebanon Valley College graduate Brittany Flood ’13 is using the artistic abilities she developed at LVC to help others. Flood, an art and art history major, is a psychotherapist at Hoffman Homes for youth in Littlestown, Pa. She is also a licensed professional counselor, so she’s able to combine art therapy and counseling in her role.
“It’s not always about making a super finished masterpiece. It’s about the process of art making, expressing yourself, and attaching meaning to your life and growth,” Flood said.
While at LVC, she explored career options in art, but there was one moment during her junior year when she knew art therapy was her calling.
“In my pastel drawing class, the professor/artist-in-residence, Dan Massad, who previously worked as a psychotherapist, encouraged us to make art that ‘had meaning for us personally.’ That really spoke to me, that’s what art therapy is about,” Flood said.
At LVC, Flood completed the requirements she needed to enroll in the art therapy and counseling master’s degree program at Seton Hill University, where she earned her degree in 2016. She spent three years working as an art therapist at an outpatient facility before accepting her current position.
Since Flood graduated, LVC has launched an art therapy and wellness specialization with the Creative Arts major. The specialization focuses on promoting healing through art and creativity. Even though the specialization wasn’t offered during Flood’s college career, she encourages interested students to pursue it.
“I feel that people get drawn to it because it is another creative way to assist those who need it. I always liked that it combines my passion for art, helping others, and interest in psychology,” Flood said.
Art therapy is an evolving field, and Flood wants more people to become aware of its long-lasting benefits.
“More people need to become aware of art therapy. It’s an established field in the therapy and counseling world. It has a nationally-recognized board and has grown as a respected career in the past 50 years. It’s important because it’s an expressive way to help others when words are not enough to express themselves,” Flood said.
-- Huntre Keip, LVC Marketing & Communications Intern