Dana Cai McCabe ’20, on Healing Through Art Therapy

by Caitlin Joyce on April 10, 2018

Art therapy has taught me that every image that you make was made that way for a reason. Once you make enough images, you start to find patterns in your own work, and you start to question why they’re like that. It’s not imposing a diagnosis on someone from simply looking at a picture they drew, but using that imagery to prompt the patient as to why they drew something a specific way, which often links the art back to their personal story. You learn how to pick up what energies are coming from the image, and you ask yourself how to bring those messages further.

I have a tendency to make a lot of slash marks in my artwork, which remind me of my own mental illness and battle with self-harm. Art is a positive way for me to rechannel that energy and emotions that are overwhelming and put them on canvas.

I was drawn to art therapy because I want to help people who don’t have the words to describe what they’re going through. I enjoy seeing a group of people come together and help heal each other. My goal is to work with people in their most critical time, something that I experienced myself while in inpatient care."