#KarenPenceIsNotArtTherapy CONFERENCE CALL, OCT 24

Requested: If you are interested, please let me know if you can prepare a 2-3 minute answer to one of the following questions:
  • “What issues do you see for art therapists and the wider public due to the profession’s alignment with Karen Pence?
  • “How do you understand the efforts by Karen Pence and members of AATA to frame their initiative in non-political terms?”
Prepared Answers:
1. As an art therapist, I work with a variety of peoples. Karen Pence has openly stated, in a letter to the Indianapolis Star, that she would not ever present gender affirming or LBGTQ affirming sources in her art education or educational capacity as a teacher. For LBGTQ art therapists, civil rights are still a hard-fought battle. The supreme court’s ruling on marriage did not extend to work-place protections, housing protections, or hate-crime prevention. Given that art therapy clients are often faced with the complexity of multiple identities I believe it is important that art therapy not be associated with someone who supports and participants in hate speech. We cannot assure clients or potential clients we are safe or supportive while being presented by someone who is neither safe nor supportive of the LBGTQ community.

2. I understand that the AATA wishes to divorce their actions from their ethics. Unfortunately, the AATA cannot uphold AT-CB ethics codes will “embracing” Karen Pence. Registered and Licensed art therapists have an ethical duty to their clients and to the profession to advocate for the health and welfare of participants. Claiming that they are not endorsing Karen Pence, through a variety of synonyms and and carefully worded obfuscations. LBGTQ Americans have been repeatedly gas-lit about the state of our rights and the protections offered to us. The AATA actively gas-lighting LBGTQ art therapists and participants by saying the ‘do not endorse’ but simply ’embrace’ is unethical. It does considerable harm to art therapists and participants, which according to the AT-CB is a violation of our duties as professionals. The AATA’s lack of membership consultation prior to the endorsement, repeated dismissal over the past 9 months, and failure to public contradict or correct Karen Pence’s speech is harmful. Doing so is to abandon the very foundation of the principles of the AATA which is, according to the AATA, to advocate for the profession, for professionals, and for the participants we serve.

“What issues do you see for art therapists and the wider public due to the profession’s alignment with Karen Pence?

Photo: Photo illustration by YES! Magazine via WikiMedia Commons.

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