Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, is on a mission to raise awareness of art therapy. The AP reports that she “has been a passionate advocate of art therapy for many years, including during her service as first lady of Indiana. Now, she hopes to use her new and loftier public profile to raise awareness of the mental health profession and help change the public’s perceptions about what art therapists actually do.”
Karen Pence, who is herself an artist, is accompanying her husband on a trip to Germany and Belgium starting today, and is scheduled to meet with art therapists in Munich and to observe an art therapy program in Brussels, the report notes.
“Art therapists use art, the creative process and the artwork patients create to help them explore feelings, resolve emotional conflicts, manage behavior and addictions, reduce anxiety and boost self-esteem, among other benefits, according to the American Art Therapy Association,” the report notes. “A main goal is to improve or restore a patient’s functioning and sense of personal well-being.”
Said Mrs. Pence: “One thing I can bring to this as second lady is making people aware of what art therapy is and how it works. It’s not arts and crafts.”
She added: “I don’t really see my role as policy maker or policy changer. I just want to make people aware of what art therapy is.”