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Career Services & Advisement
The potential for employment in the mental health field in today’s world is quite positive. Our art therapy and counseling graduates are finding jobs before or close after graduation. They are working in mental health clinics, hospitals, recovery centers, schools, nursing homes and in private practice. They are working with the elderly, children, infants, families and couples. A number of our students are working with veterans and military families. Others are working with refugees, trauma victims from natural disasters and people challenged by transition and loss. Employers have offered us feedback about the level of confidence, the competency and the leadership abilities of our graduates.
We help our students with career development and their job search through various means. We provide “program advisement” to guide students in meeting their educational goals, while also balancing their lives. We offer “professional advisement” by helping students who are discerning which specialty certificate program to pursue, or the type of internship that would best meet their career direction. Advisors have provided support and guidance when weighing the pros and cons to pursuing a PhD. They have helped students and graduates understand the intricacies of starting a private practice. There is one-on-one as well as group career counseling offered for resume writing, and job search strategies. In addition, there are job postings sent out via email as well as job and resource links researched and disseminated on our website.
One area of advisement that intersects with the financial aid program, is educating students and graduates about loan forgiveness. This information we encourage everyone to become familiar with prior to coming to SWC as well as during their time here.
We are interested in attracting students with diverse spiritual paths and as a result this quiet space holds images of various spiritual teachers, prayer flags, sage, meditation pillows, statues and more. Everyone is invited to leave something symbolic of their spirituality in the room so they can have a touchstone on campus of their spiritual journey and exploration. Although spiritual practice is not a required part of the curriculum in the degree and certificate programs, we invite you to use the spiritual practice room and we provide at least two weekly mindfulness sessions facilitated by faculty each quarter….we also invite people to read and offer writings for our Mindfulness Blog.
Gardens and Labyrinth
The Santa Fe weather is relatively mild with over 300 days of sunshine each year. As a result, students and faculty enjoy time outdoors and we have created space on campus for socializing as well as quiet reflection.
We have a garden in the center of campus where many students spend time. There are prayer flags here from the native American tradition as well as a Quan Yin statue where some meditate. As a student here, you might find yourself doing a class exercise out in this garden during the spring, summer or fall months.
We have recently created a peace and meditation garden adjacent to the art therapy complex that is available for peaceful reflection. The garden has a “zen-like” feel with a pergola, rock fountains and seating to offer respite before or after classes and special events.
There is also a labyrinth on campus that was created by the students from the Grief, Loss & Trauma Certificate program. The labyrinth is used by individuals for meditation and students may also find they are using it within the context of a class. Adjacent to the labyrinth is a fire pit for ceremony and ritual –commonly used in the Transformational Ecopsychology program and during weekend intensives in the Consciousness courses.
Creativity has been an integral part of the curriculum at Southwestern College since its beginning. We offer a solar-run art studio available to make art. Art supplies are included in tuition costs and a kiln is available for clay work. There is an open art studio for the SWC community on a weekly basis. The open art studio offers an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to gather informally to make art and socialize and is a chance for you, as a student, to build and enjoy community here.
Near the end of the MA in Art Therapy/Counseling program, students participate in an Art Therapy Capstone weekend. A group art project is created such as a mural, large collage, or painting and the art making is a great community sharing activity. These inspiring images can be found on our campus next to small seating areas and you can view one of these experiences here.
Conference and Lectures
Each August, we offer a Transformation and Healing Conference.
This conference features a specific theme focusing on relevant topics in the field such as childrens mental health, interpersonal neurobiology, art therapy and PhotoTherapy. Every year we have one or more authors as the keynote speakers and there are five days of workshops that are on current issues in the field of counseling, art therapy and healing. Students receive a discount for the conference and it is a great opportunity for them to meet professionals in the field.