"I see art therapy as a healing vehicle for change. Many of the integrated art therapies such as dance, music, and writing aim to provide the same benefit; however, I feel the best of these is art therapy, because it engages all of the senses in a very dynamic way," shares Bob Davis, Lourdes Pre-Art Therapy alumnus.

After graduating from Lourdes, Davis went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Wayne State University, as well as a Masters Certification in Art Therapy. He currently works for the Victory Center, an organization that supports those going through cancer diagnosis. He uses art therapy for the caregivers that support these individuals and families.

"The natural aspect of making art becomes the vehicle that builds upon an individual's self-esteem, as well as encourages a restoration of hope for those suffering from many serious physical ailments such as cancer," he says. "Art can also be a family counseling tool for distressed families and specifically, the children within that dynamic."

Nathan CeglioCurrent student and member of the Air National Guard, Nathan Ceglio hopes to use his degree in Pre-Art Therapy to help veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and physical mobility issues. As a student at Lourdes, he also serves as President of the Pre-Art Therapy Student Organization.

"Art can break down barriers and help veterans put the imagery behind their feelings into an observable, concrete medium," explains Nathan. "It can help those with disabilities too. For example, the act of drawing, or painting, develops fine motor skills and also builds confidence."

Another Pre-Art Therapy alumna, Shanon Walker Bostater, is working at Harbor Corporation, and is part of the Master of Art in Counseling Program at Wayne State University.

"My experience at Lourdes gave me the opportunity to see first-hand the impact as well as the possibilities that art therapy has to offer. Without the tools and experiences that I had as a student at Lourdes, I could never have imagined the possibilities of a career in this field."

Davis adds, "Many consider Art Therapy a new field, but it's actually a very ancient way of communicating by visual symbols and sensory responses — with Art Therapy, seeing really is believing. It's such an important component of treatment and healing."

Read more about Pre-Art Therapy student Nathan Ceglio in the print edition!

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Williams (Released)