Hi Everyone, today has been wonderful chatting and I've really enjoyed being in the Reddit Community with you today. Thank you for all the thoughtful questions. I am going to close for the day.

Ask me anything about art therapy, dreams, creativity, or the search for meaning.

My background includes a fine art degree in undergrad (2003), earning a master’s in art therapy in 2018, and earning a national credential as a board-certified art therapist in 2021. I also hold a master’s level dream pattern certificate (2019).

My proof: https://imgur.com/y4MoOpo

I've worked in hospitals, hospice, and agencies, assisting clients from ages 4 to 91.

Currently, I work with adults, using clients’ fantasies, dreams, and art images. Art therapy holds the power to express experiences that words can't capture, helping you navigate complex sensations and emotions, and connect with your inner world.

No talent or experience is needed to benefit from art therapy!

Edit: This AMA was a lot of fun everyone. Thank you for chatting. If you want to stay in touch, here is some of my social info:

If you want to learn more about what I do, check me out on my website.There is a pop-up opt in for my newsletter with a free beginners guide to starting a therapeutic art practice at home here: https://columbusarttherapy.com

and I go into lots of details on these topics on my blog here: https://columbusarttherapy.com/creative-expressions-art-therapy-blog/

I'm also ChironArtTherapy on instagram and facebook where I often post inspiration.

Youtube channel is here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHW347NCd6DsIozrduZ5ckA

I see clients in person in Columbus Ohio, and see people online for art therapy in Ohio, Delaware, and New York. I'm available for dream consultations and creative coaching in other areas.

Disclaimer: I can't provide therapy services on social media. If you're in crisis, please contact the National 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (dial 988 or visit 988lifeline.org) or Crisis Text Line (Text START to 741-741).

Comments: 140 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

Pixieled99 karma

How do you coax people whose ideas are much grander than their skillset?

Chiron-Art-Therapy131 karma

I find that when that's the case, it's an issue of self-criticism or perfectionism. I stick with the process of what's going on in my client's head. "What are you thinking, and how does this crop up in other parts of your life?" The art is a mirror for the rest of life, which is what makes it therapeutic. In the process of making art we start to get more comfortable with the uncomfortable inner world and it starts to get easier.

On another note, I find that as an artist, the gap between what I can think up in my head and what I'm able to actually produce is a tension I have to make peace with.

capetownbrah75 karma

What advice or strategies do you have for dealing with high expectations and perfectionism?

Chiron-Art-Therapy165 karma

Art therapy is great for perfectionism because we are so quick to judge ourselves. In art therapy I do a couple of things with clients to work on perfectionism. Here are some examples:

  1. We make UGLY art. If the goal is to make an ugly mess, how can you go wrong?
  2. I often encourage people in art therapy to set the intention that "there is no wrong or right way to do this. anything goes"
  3. Can we accept what is and use it as a way to learn rather than think of it as failure. I love Angela Duckworth's book Grit where she talks about having an attitude of learning and using falling short of the goal as "practice" and part of the learning process.
  4. We also try to work on self-compassion. How would you encourage a niece/nephew, child, or your best friend? Try that with yourself too.

Clay_Puppington40 karma


Chiron-Art-Therapy53 karma

yes, yay for therapy. I've worked with clients with very similar concerns. We do things like, breathing meditations with paint. I have a video example of me demonstrating it here: https://youtu.be/XLpDTAou6u0

Here's the thing. you wouldn't be battling me. I'm not a teacher and I don't give grades. The perception of the judgement is internal. That battle is within you.

The art would not be what you would normally define as art. It would be more about self-compassion work and acceptance rather than making anything.

I like Buddha Boards for this too. the image you made disappears in a few seconds and you start again. Nothing is permanent.

We live in world where we are tested on everything in school which is absurd. What would happen when there isn't a right answer, or an expectation for performance?

One of my favorite quotes is, "Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us." by Roy Adzak.

Is ugly art something that would offend my mother? or ugly art something that make me respond with "gross!". There's not "right" answer to that.

Thank you for exploring this with me.

Unsd11 karma

Hahahahahahahaha reading your thought process killed me because mine was literally the exact same 😂 oh man it's the worst.

Chiron-Art-Therapy1 karma

you're not alone in that thinking then, right?

capetownbrah6 karma

Thank you so much for this. Your advice really helps me understand the healthy approach to trying art therapy :)

Chiron-Art-Therapy3 karma

You’re welcome!

WilliestyleR7953 karma

I quit my job to pursue a creative business idea, and its going absolutely nowhere because I can't "finish" anything and it feels like I'll never be "ready" to start sharing why I've been working on. No idea what's wrong with me. Do you accept insurance?

Chiron-Art-Therapy38 karma

not being able to finish things and not feeling ready sounds like anxiety. I can't really say what the root cause of it is, however, as that is deeply personal. Therapy would surely help you manage the anxiety and work through what is holding you back. I recommend the book "The Big Leap" for working on internal barriers.

I do not take insurance. My services may be reimbursable as an out of network provider in New York and Delaware. Art therapy can also be paid for from an HSA (Health Savings Account).

WilliestyleR7912 karma

Just got the book, thanks. Is art therapy effective over a video conference?

Chiron-Art-Therapy18 karma

yes it is. most of my clients are through telehealth. It takes more overt interaction between us, such as my client turning their screen down so that I can watch them work, etc. but it is effective.

FurryFeets23 karma

How do I set better goals? One of my biggest challenges is I'm always ALWAYS over ambitious and overly optimistic in how long (short!) It'll take me to accomplish things. Help!

Chiron-Art-Therapy40 karma

As a person with big aspirations I can relate. I recommend Hal Elrod's book the Miracle morning and his podcast, Achieve your Goals. He is great about helping you keep your attention daily, weekly, and monthly on how you are making progress and for checking in to see if the goals you set are achievable and what you really want.

I also want to add there that sometimes what my ego thinks I should want is not aligned with being a balanced person and that can lead to me beating myself up and working myself to death. Sometimes you have to find a balance too and keep in mind the long term perspective. I often ask myself, "am I rested" and "did I play today."

NicholasWFuller19 karma

I often ask myself, "am I rested" and "did I play today."

I love that! I'm going to check out that podcast. :)

Chiron-Art-Therapy4 karma

you're welcome. Have fun with it! ;-)

makinglemonade21 karma

How should over achievers or those with significant amounts of talent best interact with others made to feel insecure by any perceived talent gap?

Chiron-Art-Therapy35 karma

I used to have a bumper sticker on my first car that said, "those who abandon their dreams will discourage yours." There are always sour grape people out there or people who are envious or self-conscious.

I go to a couple of ideas. 1. is the 4 Agreements, with the rule of "don't take anything personally." Whenever anyone is acting out or upset it is about them and not about you. Every time!

Another way to deal with this is take it as a compliment. I was so inspired by Michelle Obama's statement of "when they go low, we go high." I try to always raise people up, stay in my own zone of genius, and I want to make things better for the world in whatever way I can. If I can approach someone with grace, understanding, and encouragement, who knows how much that will ripple out into the world.

geistererscheinung20 karma

Any strategies for taming indecision and acknowledging what you "really want" in the moment?

Chiron-Art-Therapy37 karma

Yes, I work with my clients with this in a couple of ways:

  1. we do a doodle, drawing, or collage on your options. You are focusing on sitting with that decision and how it might feel, trying to hold onto that feeling and "sit" in it. Then a couple of days later go back to both visual images and see how you respond emotionally to them. A lot of times you'll get new insight from this.
  2. Journaling. I start to explore what is connected to how I feel about things, often asking the question "why is that?" as you explore, sometimes you will get down to "because my mom told me I SHOULD" or "Please no don't make me do that!" will suddenly pop into your writing.
  3. See how each decision feels in your body. I recommend sitting and exploring what your body feels like. Or you can do a "body scan". Look for youtube guided meditations on this if you want more details, or you can just explore what things feel like. Do I feel cold, sweaty, "what is this tightness in my throat". When you get connected to a feeling, start to be curious and ask questions about it, "what might this be about, what is it trying to tell me." Then hold it in an attitude of listening to it, your imagination will help you get clearer.
  4. If none of that works, sleep on it. Creativity research shows that often new ideas are synthesized when we quit consciously thinking about something and go do something else. I learned how to parallel park in my dreams. I woke up one morning and crashed into the kitchen, announcing to my mom "I can do it!" I was right. I had synthesized it with my unconscious, not when I was practicing.

1canmove16 karma

That’s so cool how you were able to parallel park after a dream, but I’d imagine that was overshadowed by the damage to the kitchen… was anyone hurt?

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

HAHAHA! I didn't even realize how that metaphor played out. Thanks!

Only my pride was hurt as I had already failed the driving test because of parallel parking previously. THAT was a good life lesson.

Sneha6220 karma

What to do when you feel like you're not enough?

Chiron-Art-Therapy54 karma

I have found that feeling not good enough comes from a couple of different places. Often, people had a critical person in their life growing up and they have internalized this person's criticism as part of themselves. Often in art therapy, I do inner child work with my clients so that they can be the "good enough parent" for themselves. I provide an encouraging environment for them to work on building their confidence and feelings of self-worth. Then we make a doll that represents their inner child. What does a child need? Hugs, encouragement, words of love, feeling safe and cared for, and feeling seen. In making and working with the doll that nagging, gaping feeling starts to feel nourished.

the other way to look at it is having really big dreams, goals, and a sense of destiny. This happens for a lot of intelligent, gifted, or ambitious people. I recommend the book the Gap and the Gain that talks about measuring yourself from what you've accomplished and where you've come from rather than measuring your present against some sort of imagined ideal.

Progress not perfection!

I hope this makes sense.

Sneha6211 karma

Thanks a lot. This helped me in someway to look at what I feel

Chiron-Art-Therapy7 karma

you're very welcome!

IrridescentNarwhal18 karma

Do you have any strategies for underachievers to get out of our guts and into our heads?

Chiron-Art-Therapy38 karma

anxiety and depression can make us feel unmotivated and like we don't have the energy we need to concentrate or get things done. When things feel overwhelming, start with what you think it the smallest micro movement toward progress. What is one thing you can do today? Take a shower? start a load of laundry? go for a walk? Whatever feels right is the first thing. Everything that is accomplished in life is done one moment at a time. If you did one thing you can call progress today, then it was progress. Progress not perfection. Then start over the next day.

IrridescentNarwhal9 karma

Thank you for this very thoughtful and thorough reply. I will keep this in mind when I am overwhelmed.

Chiron-Art-Therapy7 karma

you're welcome. take care.

blackkluster2 karma

I was thinking "none of micro movements help/progress me" but then I started focusing on the "progress" word and it really popped my burntout-bubble. Thanks:)

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

You’re welcome. Gotta love that moment of shift.

bsenftner12 karma

I just want to say, your career sounds unbelievably cool, despite my dislike of the over use of "cool", you career fits.

I'd have to admit I'm an over achiever. I'm not going to list my over achiever creds; but anyway, I found creating art to be therapy myself, incorporated that into my career, and then proceeded to over achieve there for a few decades. I bet we'd have quite a bit to share, I've been in the technical digital arts for decades now. However, I'm actually busy on a technical creative project. Imagine that?

I do have a question: how to you find work? Sounds like you see a wide variety of people and types of organizations, how do you manage such a wide variety of clients?

Chiron-Art-Therapy10 karma

Well thank you! I tend to think my career is pretty cool too, if I don't say so myself.

It does sound like it would be an interesting conversation, indeed!

I'm involved in my local community and network with non-profits, schools, and hospitals. I've invested a bunch in to my website with SEO, etc. that has made it easy for people to find me if they are searching for art therapy, LGBTQ therapist in the area, dream interpretation, and grief and art therapy as search terms. That's how most people find me. Also, most therapists post to therapy directory boards for people who are looking for the perfect fit for a therapist.

jokeyELopez511 karma

I find it hard to “allow” myself to let go and let art come out of me. I have a lot internal barriers that stop it. But some of my best guideposts are pieces of art I created for myself and I come back to. Do you have any advice I could use to feel more able to create art more often?

Chiron-Art-Therapy12 karma

I am a big fan of showing up to the blank page and making space for that in your life without the expectation of a finished piece.

When you make an intention to write down your dreams every morning, you start remembering more dreams.

When you make the space for art in your life, the spirit of creativity shows up more often. You are saying to your whole being, and to the "muse," I prioritize and make space for this in my life. I feel like it has a compound effect when we do this. Even if you make one mark, one little doodle, sit for 5 minutes a day, or whatever, it grows on itself.

I also give myself permission to play with prompts just to get started, turning a bent page into the first line, starting with a blob of color the represents being worn out from a long day and seeing what it can turn into, scribbling like a little kid and seeing if I can "make it into something," ect.

Sneha626 karma

Any art therapy that you would suggest to anyone in general? What kind of art therapies I can include in my daily life?

Chiron-Art-Therapy13 karma

I think art therapy is good for anyone. I really wish that mental health was considered the same way that physical health is where people get wellness check ups and work on being more mentally and emotionally fit and well.

That said, I also want to say that art therapy requires a trained, graduate level art therapist for it to be actual therapy, similar to talk psychotherapy. Much of art therapy is about the relationship between the therapist and the client.

However, there are a ton of things that you can do with therapeutic arts on your own. Some of these things would include art journaling, mindfulness activities, affirmations, and things like ZenTangle(tm) or SoulCollage(tm).

I have a free resource on my website for starting a therapeutic art practice as home which might be a great intro to this sort of practice and fits really well into what you were asking about. you can find it here: https://columbusarttherapy.com

Throwforventing4 karma

Do you ever work with professional artists? If so, are they more difficult to work with them hobby artists?

Definitely asking for a friend.

Chiron-Art-Therapy9 karma

Yes I work with a lot of professional artists. I don't find that they are harder to work with than hobbyists.

Art therapy is different than traditional art making so we undo a lot of the formal training that artists go through. I found that I had learned some really bad habits from people pleasing my professors and in formal art critiques.

When I went to graduate school for art therapy I was overjoyed that if we thought about the assignment, did art relating to the assignment, and then shared our process, that we had satisfied the requirements. No more critiques; only curiosity questions and support.

Formally trained artists come to me to work through creative depression, internal critic issues, and creative blocks. Sometimes they find that addiction, anxiety, or limiting believes are holding them back. Sometime even trauma is getting in the way of creating. We work through those things and the art naturally blooms. The research has shown that mentally and emotionally healthy artists thrive.

I hope this helps you friend.

everydayisstorytime3 karma

I'm getting stuck working on writing that I do feel strongly about. How do you encourage folks to get out of a rut especially when it feels like it's self-inflicted?

Chiron-Art-Therapy11 karma

I had a big complex around writing for a long time. The way I've gotten around it is a couple of ways:

  1. just writing. not expecting it to be "good" or organized, or whatever, but just doing the thing. I can throw 75% of it away if I dont' like it, reorganized, keep what works and keep going. Pablo Picasso probable made 50,000 art pieces but only about 1% of those are considered important or famous. It's a numbers game. The more you make, the more will sooner or later hit home.
  2. I recommend Morning Pages, an exercise from Julia Cameron's The Artist Way. She says write 3 pages of free form, long hand, stream of consciousness writing. You aren't trying to make anything, just sit and write. It helps purge the garbage thought monkeys from messing with your head. It also takes the pressure off as well as creating a habit of writing.
  3. If you feel like your rut is self-inflected, it is probably related to a limiting belief that is holding you back. psychoanalysis helps you uncover these unconscious limitations or emotional barriers and work through them. A therapist can really help.

ScoobeydoobeyNOOB3 karma

What would you say to someone who is haunted by the missed opportunities if their past?

Chiron-Art-Therapy4 karma

We change our expectations on the art making.
Try to make bad art Try to play with it and enjoy the process rather than the product. I have a deep belief that we have to do something badly a lot to get good at it. Refer to Angela Duckworth’s book Grit. I also like The Gain and the Gap where it talks about measuring progress from what you accomplished than where you want to go.

I really believe that how I see myself and my own art work is not an accurate way that other people view it. I have gotten feedback from people where they love a part of a painting I thought was a mistake. Bob Ross was onto something.

Everything worthwhile takes time. It’s that whole you have to have 10,000 hours in something to master it. It’s just putting in effort to it to fuel the system over time.

hillyhue3 karma

Art Therapy and Psych undergrad here, thinking of taking a gap year after i graduate this upcoming school year before i pursue a master’s in AT. Any recommendations for staying “on-track” / not forgetting everything while i take some time off and save some money for grad school ? :)

Chiron-Art-Therapy5 karma

YAY! Go you! I hope you love your eventual career path as much as I do!

Gap years are great. I was not mentally mature enough when I graduated from undergrad to go right into a therapy career. I needed "life experience." I was also really burnt out from school at the time. My gap was great for me, even though it went on too long but I didn't have the goal to pursue art therapy until about 2008.

I would recommend a couple of things:

Volunteer with art making whether it be in a mental health setting or a community arts setting. It helps keep you involved, engaged, and you'll learn something. You also need volunteering on your resume for grad school anyway.

Also, make a commitment now to a personal art practice. I come back to this over and over and it is so rewarding and important for an art therapist to also uphold their identity as an artist. It is also super important as self-care too. You can't expect clients to do the hard work in art therapy if you don't also have this practice with yourself.

If you haven't started personal therapy yet, that is my number one recommendation for art therapy students. You can't know your blind spots working with clients if you haven't worked through them personally.

Good luck to you!

kmfdm19743 karma

How does drawing or painting pictures actually help someone? I just don't get how it would

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

studies show that drawing and painting can be relaxing and a way to unwind and enjoyable.
a lot of times people don't feel like there are sufficient words for how they feel, but art has a way to expressing confusing, complex, or paradoxical emotions around a subject.
drawing and painting engage psychomotor and visual parts of the brain in a way that talk therapy does not. Studies are showing that accessing the visual parts of the brain are an effective way to treat PTSD, which is also stored in the visual centers of the brain. PTSD symptoms often include flashbacks and nightmares, both visual symptoms.

Using your imagination to engage in creative problem solving activates neuroplasticity and often will help someone experiencing depression start to feel better sooner than with medication alone.

Painting and art making often gives people a sense of satisfaction, enjoyment and sense of mastery from learning something new. For those I've worked with in palliative or hospice care, it gives them something positive to talk to their family members about and create legacy projects. Then they have something to talk about that they makes them smile, rather than just talking about their illness.

Other studies are showing, and I've seen this working in rehabilitation hospitals for those in acute pain, that the art can help alleviate pain both in acute cases as well as for chronic pain.

Creativity research shows a correlations for those who have a creative outlet and an overall sense of wellbeing.

We have a lot of defense mechanisms with habitual ways of talking. Art works around some of those so that we can get down to what your unconscious is trying to tell you.

kmfdm19743 karma

Thanks for your answer. I draw but don't do it often and the therapist I am seeing told me to draw a picture and I said no I don't feel like it and just got labeled resistant

Chiron-Art-Therapy1 karma

I'm sorry to hear that. We're ready when we're ready and sometimes things don't feel right. You have a right to say something doesn't feel right or feels like too much at the moment.

kmfdm19741 karma

Yeah this whole thing is making think therapy isn't worth it

Chiron-Art-Therapy1 karma

or you don't have a therapist who is a good fit for you. I don't blame someone not feeling like they trust me on my client. I would be concerned about a therapist calling their client "resistant."

kmfdm19741 karma

I get what you're saying but the more I think about it I don't think therapy is for me.

Chiron-Art-Therapy1 karma

That’s okay too.

whiskytamponflamenco3 karma

Is there any actual science behind Dream Patterning, or is it just a belief system? If it's the former, can you post some peer-reviewed studies in accredited journals that have been done in the field?

Chiron-Art-Therapy0 karma

Actually yes. I just came across this meta analysis of Jungian psychoanalysis, which leans heavily on dream analysis, on its long-term efficacy. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-328X/3/4/562


spikeflare3 karma

How does one get into this line of work? My fiancée has a BFA and is thinking of furthering their art education,and would like to know how you got into the job you did and what paths you took.

Chiron-Art-Therapy4 karma

I got an undergrad in fine art.

Then I had to get some psychology prerecs that I didn't have in undergrad.

you have to take the GRE's. I studied for those because I hadn't taken a geometry course in 20 years. LOL.

Then you get a graduate degree. There are differing requirements per different states for licensure and practice so the type of program you get into can make a difference. For example I got my degree as a Masters of Science in Art Therapy. Other people get a counseling degree with a concentration in art therapy or an expressive arts therapy degree if you also want to study creative writing and music therapy.

After graduation you go through at least 2 years of supervised experience to get licensed, and nationally credentialed and pass a board certification test.

It can be a long process but I can't imagine doing anything more satisfying in my life.

youeyg962 karma

How do you reconcile the difference between achievable and the attitude of "we can do anything we set our minds too?" Because there are people who have achieved such incredible feats that it seems nothing is impossible?

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

Well there are always limitations between time and energy. We can do so many things but there are limits to what is safe, what you have time for, and what is physically possible. For example directors James Cameron and Hayao Miyazaki were both great visionaries who were very difficult to work with. Both of them pushed the envelope of what was possible and there were great sacrifices and costs due to the pursuing their vision for them, their projects, and their team.

We can push ourselves too hard. Maybe it is possible to be the most incredible athlete or artistic in a field, but I also ask the question of “what is a life well lived?” Am I balanced? Does it matter what I’ve achieved in life if I estranged my family and they bore the brunt of my success? If we break our minds or bodies, we’ve gone too far and it goes back to the myth of Phaeton. He was the son of Helios and took the sun chariot out for a joyride. The power was too great and it burnt him up.

LateTaro8632 karma

is art therapy in any way similar to tripping on psychedelics?

Chiron-Art-Therapy8 karma

Art therapy engages more of your brain at the same time than talk therapy because it activates sensory-motor centers, visual, and emotional parts of the brain.

The parts of psychedelic research that show how there can be benefits for depression and trauma treatment are aligned, however, with art therapy outcomes.

You can be more connected with parts of your unconscious, similar to when you are day dreaming or night dreaming. Ever had an idea or inspiration suddenly pop out of nowhere? That's what I'm talking about.

Sometimes, in my practice we do guided meditations which can be similar to meditation and trance practices.

I would not say that in art therapy any of my clients wind up having a mind-altering experience that could be similar to tripping or being high.

Literary-Throwaway2 karma

Hello! First off, thank you for coming today to answer everyone's questions. I've been an overachiever all my life (still kind of am), and I wanted to ask for some specific input from both an art perspective and a therapy perspective. I'm somebody who is very driven in terms of career, academics, volunteering, and athleticism, but art was something I used to enjoy for myself that I had lost on and off as my life got busier with college and work. Aside from my overbooked schedule, however, my perfectionism just gets in the way of any inspiration.

When I was in middle school, I was always the kid who doodled in my planner and carried a sketchbook with me. There were times that I would practice with landscapes or still-lives, but the bulk of what I drew were characters from media I liked. I also used to avidly create my own characters, but of course, as an adolescent who didn’t have much technical experience in creativity, the characters weren’t very well-written.

I want to have the joy and contentment I used to have while drawing, but all I can think of while putting pencil to paper is, "What's the point of making this if I'll be ashamed of it in one, two, or five years when I'm more aware of the mistakes that I am blissfully ignorant of now? What is it about this creation that will reveal to more experienced artists that I am an amateur clearly motivated by emotional fulfillment, to which they will be amused by and maybe even joke about behind my back?"

It’s not just about technical aspects of the art either. If someone tells me that all the colors I’m using are too saturated and that I need to balance the colors better, that’s something I can work with. What I’m deeply afraid of is that my interest in drawing the things that I really enjoy because they will betray deeply personal flaws to others that I will be blind to, if that makes sense.

Usually, I come across well-intended pithy quotes like, "Don't listen to the haters! Your art is not for them! Draw what you love!" Which I politely accept because I know that they're given with love, but they're not as convincing as full comment threads of people taking other people’s art to nitpick and criticize - sometimes with valid criticisms in good faith, but oftentimes to insult the creator because they are seen as cringeworthy (especially if the creator is neurodivergent, particularly autistic). Is this something you’ve encountered from clients before?

Chiron-Art-Therapy4 karma

I always try to think does this feedback help me progress with my work or does it get in my way and hold me back?

Sometimes art is just for the sake of having fun, because I enjoy it. There are several things I do in life where I will never be great at it but I do it because I enjoy it. Sometimes there is that for a motivator. I like the idea of getting the opportunity to engage with the creative process and being less focused on the product of that engagement.

I have seen people with a lot of blocks focused on the negative thoughts. I think this is something to be worked through as it is usually getting in your way.

Mary Oliver said something to to the tune of, "It's none of my business what other people think of my art. My business is to make art and put it out there."

I also think you're talking about imposter syndrome, of thinking that you don't have a valid seat at the table of art making. I believe that to be creative is to be human. We all have the innate interest and capacity to make art until someone tells us to stop. Creativity researcher Csikszentmihalyi found in his research that the healthiest, most satisfied people have a creative outlet of some sort.

flipflapslap3 karma

"It's none of my business what other people think of my art. My business is to make art and put it out there."

I love this. I'm learning a lot about myself from this thread and want to say thank you.

I have a love/hate relationship with music. I love making music, growing up that was all I wanted to do. But my perfectionism, fear of failure, feelings of never being quite good enough, has always blocked any sort of progress I could have made. This turned my passion into stress and resentment.

I'm getting back on it this year after taking a 3 year break. I will keep in mind everything I've learned on this thread today. Thank you again!

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

that's wonderful. I hope it is fruitful for you! When I get really in a bad place its time for a break. Then I can pick it back up again when I feel refreshed. Slamming my head into a wall when I get frustrated will only make me feel bruised.

Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate it.

Miathemouse2 karma

My question pertains specifically to people who are known to have both anxiety and depression, because they are common comorbidities.

How do you get a person from feeling like a project needs to be perfect- thereby prolonging the amount of time and energy that the project takes, to the point where they can look at something that they have done and say "it's good enough"?

I ask because I have had to put my education on hold due the toll that it was taking on my mental and physical health. I've been off for two school years, now, and I still get stressed to the point of nausea even thinking about going back, because I know how overwhelmed I get.

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

In therapy, we look at where the psychological energy is. If a client was working on a project for a while but comes into the office with a different concern not related to that project we switch gears and follow the what seems most important that day. In art therapy it doesn't matter if we finish a project (unless that's the main goal we are working on).

The art is often a tool for listening to our emotions and bodies and therefore also the language of the unconscious. We often aren't striving for a "finished art piece."

With school, in undergrad I had to take a lower class load because I was also working and struggling with untreated anxiety at the time. It was a good way for me to manage being able to take care of myself and not get overwhelmed. Even one class at a time would get a degree finished, it would just take longer. That's the thing about getting overwhelmed, what good to crashing and burning do? It's better to get to where you can be gentle with your body, mind, and soul's needs and take care of yourself rather than push too hard to the breaking point.

Depression and anxiety often go hand in hand. I work with my clients to find a middle ground between ramping up into a panic driven productivity, and then running out of energy into a total crash. Often this pattern is related to lack of support in childhood and can be realigned and sorta smoothed out to a more manageable rhythm.

To get there we use a lot of physical sensing check ins to see what your body needs. My worst negative thought patterns happen when I'm just tired and need sleep! My thought patterns are due to my brain not functioning when I'm sleepy. The actual thoughts aren't realistic, necessary, or true.

Ok-Feedback56042 karma

If society keep admiring my work and my subconscious mind taking it as proud than and gradually turning into narcissistic mindset. Then how can I make my mind to prepare it for (if in near future) failure or negative result?plz guide

Chiron-Art-Therapy3 karma

Ah, vanity. Your question brings to mind the Queen from Snow White, striving for praise. It also makes me think of larger than life pop stars like Michael Jackson. A myth that comes to mind is Icarus.

Carl Jung considered the second half of life when we start to turn from the outside approval of the world and increase our attention in an introverted way to what is going on inside our selves and searching for internal validation and alignment with an authentic sense of self rather than our public personas. I'm sure Jung actually dealt with this a lot as he had quite the public notoriety during his career.

In the case of Michael Jackson, he was larger than life on stage. It was said he almost seemed to be a bigger person when he stepped into his public role. However, this was so far from how he felt about himself on the inside that he was tortured. He felt estranged from himself.

With the myth of Icarus, he was warned not to fly too close to the sun or the sun would melt the wax holding the feathers on his wing. Furthermore he couldn't fly too close to the sea or his wings would get wet, and again, he would fall. He got so exhilarated with the feeling of flying that he flew higher and higher toward the sun, and ultimately fell to his death. Psychologically this is a story about hubris and feeling too Godlike, also called a psychological inflation. In an inflation, we take on qualities that are not really ours, bigger than a single human life, the narcissistic inflation you are talking about. The best way to avoid this pit fall is to have as much of a normal human life as possible. Jung felt grounded by his family and his work during his most creative years. Other people feel grounded in a close group of friends, membership in a church or similar social setting, their families, or just the daily schedule of making a living. I find it through things like walking my dog, doing the laundry, and having to take care of my physical needs such as taking care of my blood sugar and arthritis.

I highly recommend the book After the Ecstasy the Laundry by Jack Kornfield which talks about adapting to the boring, tedium of regular daily life after having peak experiences.

BarakatBadger2 karma

What's the best way to get into art therapy? I have a BA in Visual Art and a MSc in Psychology and I'd really like to put these to good use. I'm really on board with the power of art therapy, I just need to know how to find employment in this field!

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

I answered some of this question here: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/13scpb6/comment/jlpihha/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

So, you need a master's degree first.

However, I should add that many art therapists work at hospitals and community mental health counseling agencies. Many places in the country are interested in art therapists and can't find enough of them. It's a growing field with a high demand for art therapists.

BarakatBadger2 karma

Thank you!

Chiron-Art-Therapy1 karma

you're welcome!

Mike2 karma

How could I go about finding a great art therapist near me? This sounds awesome.

Chiron-Art-Therapy1 karma

In the US, you can go to atcb.org or artherapy.org to do a "find a provider/art therapist" search to see who is available in the area. Also googling "art therapist near me" or art therapy [insert your city or state]. A lot of art therapists are listed on therapy posting boards too like zencare, psychology today, therapy den, etc. You can filter who you are looking for by specialty such as art therapy.

Also many art therapists are able to work remotely. It depends on the particular state regulations and licensing requirements. I see most of my clients remotely.

batmansmother2 karma

Hello! I'm a school counselor in k-8 school. The superintendent decided art was not a priority and we will not have an art teacher next year. I want to make sure that my most vulnerable students still have the opportunity to express themselves through art. Any suggestions for creating small groups that use art as a tool to process emotions?

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

Oh, that is such a tragedy! I am so sorry.

Some of the tenants of art therapy are informed by Lowenfeld and Montessori. I recommend the text Creative and Mental Growth by Lowenfeld as a resource. I also recommend Art for All the Children as another text.

If you are interested in mindfulness worksheets the Mindful Doodle book by Patricia Isis is great for copying. The Coping Cat Workbook is great for kids to learn coping skills and deal with anxiety.

Here are some ideas to incorporate:

Art, at its core, is about self expression and creative problem solving. Being able to copy proportionally is about draftsmanship and not creative or self-esteem building.

Anything that you do that encourages processing feelings and movement in the body, visual self-expression and creative play and exploration will be helpful. This world needs all the creative expression we can get. Here's other prompts:

Drawing emotions, going beyond sad, glad, mad, and scared

Creating themselves as super heroes

drawing a response to a piece of music.

bodyscan guided meditation. then you draw out how you felt.

Drawing your safe space

drawing a rainy day and talking about being sad

creating an animal out of model magic, talking about how it might symbolize qualities of yourself. creating an environment with all the animal needs on a piece of paper.

Working together with recyclable found objects to create a city together as a group project and talking about the different parts that need to be incorporated. This could be done as a mural relating to a story or an environment, etc.

Thank you for the work you do and for valuing art. I really appreciate it!

swanson_skim_milk2 karma

I have very detailed dreams and often remember them. I'm a perfectionist at times. Is my brain trying to tell me something?

Chiron-Art-Therapy3 karma

Dream are always trying to tell us something. Remembering them means that you are ready to listen. Dreams are a way for us to work through things, process, and alert us to where we need to make changes, course corrections if you will. They can be incredibly powerful tools for self-awareness.

So yes, I would bet they are.

murphykp2 karma

Hi Maggi, I work in a creative field and often feel like I don't have the energy to make art outside of work. As a result, I feel like my own personal likes and dislikes are being flattened by catering exclusively to my job's commercial tastes. How do I get out of this rut?

Chiron-Art-Therapy5 karma

it sounds like you're a bit drained from your work. I felt that way when I was working in commercial insurance. It certainly wasn't creative but I felt like a flat tire at the end of the day.

Are you giving too much of yourself? This is sort of a rhetorical question. I find that I am drained when I am having a boundary issue with myself such as; working too many hours in the day, not taking a break when I need it, or skipping lunch or not taking enough breaks. If we give what we don't have emotionally or mentally to give of ourselves we are like a dry well. That's the boundary piece to ponder. It's so easy to give too much.

The other thing is that creativity can't always be monetized or have a value placed on it according to the market. The Gift by Lewis Hyde blew my mind about two ways to look at creativity. He talks about the nature of engaging with the spirit of creativity for its own sake in the first half. The second half he talks about capitalism and the commercial market. They aren't always in alignment with one another.

I also find that when I am drained, I have an unfulfilled need that's coming from deep inside me that I'm ignoring or devaluing. When you approach this internal need as legitimate and prioritize it as serious, you start to feel better. My first therapist said, "I do know this, that when creative people don't create bad things happen."

Oh man he was right I think.

Chiron-Art-Therapy3 karma

sorry Reddit was glitching and I replied to this 3 times.

Chiron-Art-Therapy5 karma

I was listening to someone the other day who mentioned a man that found his most creative times were between 8pm and 2am. He would leave a party in the middle of it to go pay tribute to his sacred creative time. One of my favorite authors gets up at 3:30am to spend the wee hours in his office writing and reading. It is a sacred discipline for him. This is the level of deference to your creative time that I'm talking about.

I have several hours every morning that I spend walking, reading, and working with my dream and art journal. I feel off and get really cranky when I don't take care of it.

Likewise when I overdo my work. For example, I had a feeling well up in my a couple weeks ago that I wanted to go take a nap, do art, or take a walk in the middle of the day. I told myself to shut up and get my paper work done. When I finished my paperwork, my back went out. That little voice that needed a break was serious. It was by body begging for some love. Learning this process of surrender to the internal movement of psyche can be a struggle, but is so rewarding when you are able to let go.

Chiron-Art-Therapy3 karma

For me I feel like this is often a boundary issue. If I give too much of myself or don't take care of my needs then I pay for it and feel depleted. I felt like a flat tire most days while I worked in commercial insurance for 15 years. It was not feeding my soul!

I was blown away by the book The Gift by Lewis Hyde on this topic. In the first half of the book he explores the archetypal nature of engaging with the spirit of creativity. In the second half of the book he talks about art from a capitalist commodity in the marketplace. These two modes are often at odds.

I would bet that you have an unmet need that you are not prioritizing. Psyche's are tricky. When we prioritize our internal needs as just as important as the demands of the world, we gain access to our energy again.

Easier said than done, I know.

GimmickNG2 karma

What is being impatient with art a sign of? Far too often when I'm learning how to draw, I want to draw something good but then I see the time it takes and stop. Same with things that I'm more skilled at, I see the time it requires and decide it's not worth the bother. How do you tackle this with your clients?

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

I think regrets give us really potent opportunities to learn from our mistakes. When we can grieve what went wrong, we also are able to decide what is important and look at what we have control over and what we do not. Then we can choose what we want to focus on in the present and for our future. I’ve made some doozy mistakes in my life and have some big regrets. Doesn’t it seem like that’s not popular to have regrets? I am able to look at that and try to really not let myself down in my future endeavors. It’s like bottoming out your car on a pothole, but the next time, remembering the pothole is there and navigating around it.

B00merang_80542 karma

I have two questions! How do you do art therapy for dream interpretation? And do you have a go-to art therapy practice for anxiety? I tend to ruminate when I'm anxious, so any tips in that area helps!

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

I did my final graduate project as a dream group for the community utilizing art therapy. I believe that much of art therapy was influenced by Carl Jung and his own process with working with images from his fantasies, or active imaginations, and his dreams. He theorized that the archetypes come to us as images that are driving the instincts. He also said our dreams speak in the ancient language of images. Another way to look at it is that we start processing visual images before we learn the symbolic uses of language. So, the visual centers of the brain are developed first. Our earliest learning around us is a visual language. So the images that we get from our dreams often relate to a very early part of ourselves. Getting in touch with that visual language directly through art therapy is a way to access a deeper level of the symbol and process it with the parts of the brain where the images came from.

I often find with a dream that if I draw it, I get a better perspective on it, a get some reflected distance as we say in art making.

AaronJP12 karma

I work as a psychologist in the UK and my service struggles to recruit our typical practitioners e.g psychologists, cbt therapists etc. I am trying to convince my senior managers to try and change recruitment to include other professionals like art therapists that provide our patients with more options. Sadly my senior managers point towards the lack of large scale randomised controlled trials on the efficacy of art therapy. In your opinion, what are some of the strengths or skills Art therapists possess that could set them apart or be of value that I could put forward?

Chiron-Art-Therapy3 karma

In agency work I was often getting clients who: Were bad historians Not talkers Non-verbal people People with severe dementia People with apraxia People who were stuck and ruminated on a particular thing and could not be “talked out of it.”

Art therapy is effective for those whom talk therapy isn’t working very well. I think there is a lot of building research showing that the way that art therapy effects the brain is especially efficacious for treating PTSD. It might be worth looking at what resources the British Art Therapy Association has on their website.

ineedtologout2 karma

Have you ever worked with someone with aphantasia? Do you believe art therapy would be beneficial to someone who does not think with mental images?

Chiron-Art-Therapy3 karma

Yes, we would interact with art materials from a more sensory perspective. The engagement could be about how the interaction with the materials make you feel. Art can be completely abstract so it doesn't have to have an image.

A lot of times it is in the process and being able to verbalize to someone who is deeply witnessing for you, what your experience of the world is.

Edit: I just thought of something else to add. I have had dreams that don't have images but more sensations and emotions. They can be powerful and moving. Art engagement can be the same way.

ThighWoman2 karma

I have a lot of vivid dreams that I can often connect to my real life, often giving me clarity or raising questions on certain scenarios. I have one that I keep thinking back on and wonder if you have any thoughts about it you could share - what I can take from it or do with it.

In the dream my ex (who I had a traumatic breakup with, he ghosted me after 7 years together) shows up at a party I’m at and I overhear him tell all my friends that he knew our relationship was over when I gave him my sea urchin. And then a picture flashes of my hands a light green porcelain sculpture of a shell into his hands.

If you have any thoughts on that specifically I’d love to hear them. Generally I wonder if you have any thoughts on what people can do with their dreams - processing them or using information from them? I tend to either receive clarifying messages in dreams very late after events unfold or I get question raising dreams about current events that are confusing and later on seem to be almost predictive of what will happen, but i do not usually understand the connection until it’s too late for me to use anything I “learn”. An example is the month before my partner disappeared suddenly, I was consistently dreaming that he had moved out without me noticing. My deeper mind seems to have understood some distance he was displaying before my waking mind accepted it.

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

I completely agree with you about dreams connecting to our waking lives and how our deeper mind seems already connected to something that your conscious mind has to take a while to accept.

I can't get into the specifics of the symbols of the particular meaning of the dream here. I have found that even a little bit of dream analysis with a dream often connects current patterns to past traumas in a really visceral and pertinent way. This goes into therapy work, which due to safety, care, and privacy, can't happen on social media.

Clients find that they are more connected to that deep part of themselves once they start doing dream therapy. Sometime we can pinpoint what energy is moving and brace for its manifestation as it gets ready. Other times, the energetic shift happens within us in the dream in a way that we can tell what it relates to in the outerworld before we are caught unawares by the shock wave.

For basic dream knowledge, I recommend using google or wikipedia as a start for what a symbol means in the real world. I am sure that sea urchins have characteristics particular to them as a species.

Another good place to start would be reading Inner Work by Robert Johnson. I especially enjoy his chapter about rituals and responding to a dream by an action in the world. I have done this several times and found that the meaning became clearer when I performed an action in relationship to the dream image.

ThighWoman1 karma

Thank you, this is a good guide for me to look deeper. ☺️ I had not heard of dream therapy and am super interested to look into that too. I will be picking up a copy of Inner Work!

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

you might want to check out my blogs on dream work too. https://columbusarttherapy.com/category/dream-interpretation-posts/

blackkluster2 karma

I just see info package for courses for free, where is the actual free guide for art therapy in general? Kinda scammy bait smell in here right now.. i'd be more clear about the free thingies if yoy link the website

Chiron-Art-Therapy0 karma

It’s an opt in popup on the first page with the newsletter. The newsletter is also free and provides blogs, articles, and art journaling prompts too all for free.

Arcade_Maggot_Bones1 karma

Is everything gonna be okay?

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

that's a pretty broad question. I think it can only really be answered on an individual basis and not a societal one.

Crillmieste-ruH1 karma

Why do i recognize your name?

Chiron-Art-Therapy1 karma

Can't help you there. I don't know who you are.

vooffle1 karma

I'm searching for my shadow at this time. You seem like you might know something about such. While I've found much general information online, including about seeking one's shadow in creativity, I'd ask if you have any specific or practical pointers?

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

The shadow is the parts of us that are suppressed or the parts that we can't see. Our blind spots. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet that talks about it being the dark parts or the parts we don't like. If you can see that it's a part you don't like, it's something you can see and not in your shadow. In dreams, the shadow shows up most often as a peer that you are in conflict with. In the world if shows up through projections with people's actions that irritate you or attitudes, behaviors, etc, that you are opposed to.

Think of a book or movie character you hate. draw or paint the image. then dialog with it, being curious about the conversation and sit with a listening attitude, you are preplanning the conversation, you are waiting for it to spontaneously arise in your mind. That can give you a little insight. Jung called this technique active imagination. My favorite book about it is called Jung on Active Imagination edited by Joan Chodorow.

The work I did that I thought was shadow work on my own paled in comparison to when I started doing personal Jungian analysis. It is just so hard to see your blind spots on your own. It's also hard to keep shadow material in your consciousness for every long and actually think about it. Has someone said something ever and you've had to get them to repeat themselves cause you for some reason couldn't process it? It's like that.

I hope this helps some.

vooffle2 karma

Thank you for your answer! Outlining that the shadow isn't what we know to dislike is very helpful, as that's something I've struggled with reconciling while reading about the shadow.

I'll have to take everything you've said onboard, and probably take a look at that book. Thank you again so very much!

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

You’re welcome. The shadow is one of my favorite topics.

hteultaimte691 karma

How can you tell a creative project is authentic or imitative?

Ive been “creating” for basically my whole life but I worry that everything I’ve ever made has been an imitation. Ive been experimenting with my media diet and it deeply impacts what I’m inspired to create.

For example, i’ve been watching a new genre of YouTube videos, and now I find myself wanting to create videos in that genre and stopping the channel I dedicated to another genre.

I was journaling recently, and wrote about it, saying that passion for a creative project is like a flame and must be tended to. Would you say this is an accurate analogy for thinking about passion and motivation related to creativity?

Chiron-Art-Therapy1 karma

I am a huge fan of the book Steal Like and Artist by Austin Kleon. His premise is that we are imitate things and are influenced by others but as you take a piece of this and an influence of that, your take, your style, what sticks with you becomes what is your particular variation, that's what makes it yours.

Yes, I believe that is true. In Elizabeth Gilbert's Ted Talk about Genius, she tells a story about Mary Oliver where sometimes she would have to run home as fast as she could to catch what she wanted to write before it passed through her. If we don't tend the creative spirit it, fizzles out. The more we show up to make things, the more energy we get to make more and it feeds all sorts of parts of our lives. Don't worry about the quality of it. As I mentioned earlier, Mary Oliver also said something to the tune of "its none of my business what people think of my art. my business is to make art."

You may also be interested in the book Art Matters by Neil Gaiman or the Big Magic Podcast by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Happy creating!

1canmove11 karma

Thanks for this it has been amazingly helpful and just what I needed right now. I especially appreciated what you said for dealing with the feeling of not being good enough. How would you help someone who is really on the verge of achieving their dreams/goals, but is afraid to move forward and maybe has a tendency to sabotage themselves?

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

sounds like there's an unconscious limiting belief somewhere in there that is acting as a saboteur. A part is at odds with the achievement. I recommend reading up on the idea of the set-point. My favorite book about breaking through these sorts of limitations is the The Big Leap by Gay Hendrix.

I also often see fear as denoting that I'm in foreign territory and something is changing. It's natural to feel afraid when something new is happening. Our brains are designed to protect us which is instinctually at odds with achieving or experiencing anything. I also see that fear as potential energy that I can channel into what is about to happen.

First day of school, stepping onto a stage, going to a job interview, etc. All of these things make me nervous, but if I wasn't nervous, I would be worried that it wasn't important or I wasn't taking it seriously.

Pupgradek91 karma

So many dog trainers need someone like you! We are very often perfectionists and then burn the fuck out. It's causing pretty massive issues in the industry as a whole.

My question is, how can we find professionals who specialize in our brand of struggle such as yourself? Is there a specific term for for those who specialize in perfectionists?

Chiron-Art-Therapy1 karma

I'm sorry about the perfectionism and burnout. I find that interesting that it is part of the dog training field. Could you tell me more about why that is? I'm curious.

I think that a lot of therapists include descriptions like perfectionism and burnout as things they treat on therapy directories and their websites so goggling "perfectionism therapy near me" or "burnout therapy" might work for you. If you were trying to narrow it down to a diagnosis, anxiety, depression, and self esteem might work.

Unfortunately, the dominance of usage of the DSM for insurance reasons forces a lot of treatment into diagnostic categories that don't really fit. Burnout might include symptoms that feel like anxiety and depression but is not the core issue, like you said.

Lexicontinuum1 karma

Hopefully this question is not too late, but:

I've done some art therapy and find that when the emotion is anger, it prevents me from creating. Although, I suppose technically, a paper with 10 pencil holes stabbed in it is a type of art. But that's not really the direction I was trying to go in lol.

Do you have any recommendations when the emotions themselves cut a person off from being creative?

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

I think we have to get anger out and express it someway that doesn't hurt us or other people. I have at times encouraged people to destroy things as their "art making". It can be cathartic to "get it out" and then feel like it's no longer trapped inside you. I've been known to put a bunch of angry, splattery paint on something, rip up art, write a letter and burn it, or encourage people to smush a clay sculpture. I also enjoy wedging clay for this because its loud, you get to throw something, and it feels physical.

there can be destruction before something can arise from it. I think about this when I'm weeding in my garden too.

I'm also reminded of the litany of fear from Dune. I think it could apply for anger too. Some say fear is underneath what we feel as anger.

The Litany is as follows:
"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

Only when we disallow ourselves to feel or bottle up emotion does it create a block... like a pressure cooker. If we let it flow through in a way that isn't destructive to society, then we remain after we've experienced it.

Lexicontinuum2 karma

Clay!! What a wonderful idea!

Thanks for the reply :D

Chiron-Art-Therapy2 karma

you're welcome!

Saffronsc1 karma

I'm planning to be a play therapist, do you have compassion fatigue sometimes?

Chiron-Art-Therapy1 karma

I used to get compassion fatigue when I was working in community mental health 65 hours a week and exhausted all the time or working 12 hour days on every Saturday at a psychiatric hospital. That's one of the main reasons I work for myself now. I get to set my schedule, take time off when I want, and when I feel listless and drained, I rest, do art, and take care of myself.

It's about boundaries and prioritizing resting. The community mental health world does not seem to treat clinicians as sensitive, caring human beings who have needs.

NumerousGur9747-11 karma


Chiron-Art-Therapy7 karma

Helping people heal from trauma and manage mental health is a rewarding career. I choose to work for myself so that I can take care of my own self-care as I struggled with burnout at the agencies and hospitals I work at. This was definitely true while I was working at a hospital during the pandemic.

Before I went back to graduate school for art therapy I worked for 15 years as a commercial insurance risk manager. That was certainly a more traditional employment situation and I was bored and miserable.

I feel that everyone should do work they love. For me, I found a lot more life satisfaction helping people through things like grief, trauma, depression, and anxiety. Some people are also more suited to be small business owners than work for corporations which was the case for me.