I am very busy. I am finishing up my supervision for my ATR and LPC here in Oklahoma. Even cooler, my supervisor is also a SWC grad! I am working Full time for the Cavett Kids Foundation, the same foundation I completed my internship with in 2012. With the Cavett Kids Foundation my title is “Art Therapist, Director of Diversionary Play.”
The Cavett Kids Foundation is a non-profit benefiting children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses. The Cavett Kids Foundation is most known for its summer camps where they use the “3 C’s” (Character, Coping & Connection) to teach these kids that their illness does not define them. The campers are taught to dream big, build character and learn from their diseases.
My job has many parts! At the camps, I work with the kids in the art room and base the art around the theme for the camp… This year’s theme is goals! On a day-to-day basis I am working out of the OU Children’s Medical Center running one of Cavett Kids’ many ongoing programs. For Cavett Kids I am not only the first Art Therapist for their foundation, but also the first Art Therapist ever at this hospital! I work directly with the kids here at the hospital/clinics. I mainly work with the long-term patients utilizing the art as they learn and grow! Sometimes we are working on big issues and fears, maybe about surgeries, dying, etc. Sometimes, we are jamming out to music, painting and just talking about life! Each day is different, but I love it!! I also work as the Director of Diversionary Play for Cavett Kids. Diversionary Play is a program which operates all by volunteers. Volunteers go to the floors of the clinics and make arts & crafts with the kids while they wait for their appointments. This helps this to not be sitting, building fear and anxiety, but instead to have a good experience at a sometimes scary place!!
Personally I am enjoying my life here in Oklahoma… it’s tornado season here and after spending years in the desert with its lack of rain, I am actually looking forward to the stormy weather! I am also building my first home here in Edmond, Oklahoma (a nice suburb just north of OKC) and it’s expected to be completed December 1st!
What stays with me most from my experience at SWC is the love. At SWC there was a true safety net where it was okay to cry and it was okay to tell people that things are NOT okay! I loved the sense of community and love, there is a true bond at SWC. I work hard to let my patients and campers know that confidentiality is key and they we must learn to love each other, no matter how different we may seem.
Ashley M. Simpson, M.A.
Cavett Kids Foundation & OU Children’s Physicians
Art Therapist, Director of Diversionary Play
1200 Everett Drive | Oklahoma City, OK, 73104
Phone: 405.271.2271 ex. 1 | Fax: 405.271.5348
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com
Learn how you can help children battling life-threatening and chronic illnesses by visiting www.cavettkids.org.