Hi, my name is Mary Edson and I am a first year art therapy student at Southwestern. I moved here from the lush mountains of North Carolina. Enjoying a bit of a nomadic life style, I have lived in many states in the U.S., have traveled to many others and have spent a good bit of time abroad in Mexico, Guatemala and Ireland. I consider myself to be a lifelong student, as my fascination with the world only seems to grow larger. I am curious about people’s stories, culture and beliefs. This curiosity has propelled many of my travels as well as my interest in art therapy.
My interest in counseling and art therapy primarily developed during my teens. I found fulfillment in observing others, which quickly led to a desire to know both more about what they were thinking and to understand myself better. I began painting and drawing as a means to ruminate on more of these details I was intrigued by. I began to understand art as a bridge, creating a connection between the polarity of emotions one can experience, conflict that can arise between people, and complex social and environmental issues such as racism and poverty. After using art in my personal and work life for many years, I felt ready to take the step into the ever-evolving field of Art Therapy.
My experience at Southwestern has been thought-provoking and enriching. I have been learning an incredible amount about psychology and the human mind, and just as much about myself. My days feel very rich. They are full of emotion, mystery and contemplation. I find myself laughing and crying more than I ever have before. It is this vibrancy of life that I am experiencing that fills each step I take with gratitude. I feel a deep sense of satisfaction in my studies. I am learning profound information from students, faculty and staff on the daily and have felt supported throughout my process of learning. I am so eager to step into the work of an art therapist, but I am happy to take my time getting there as I believe the journey will enhance and inform my work.