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Kellie Murphy


Interim Director of Masters of Arts | Art Therapy

Introduction to Art Therapy


I can’t remember a time when I did not use writing and drawing and movement to explore and understand my environment, my beliefs, and my dreams. It makes sense then, that I found art therapy. I think of art in the art therapy context not so much about the art created as about who one is—or becomes—when making art. My art keeps me company and reminds me to pay attention to my inner life as much as to the life that goes on around me. While I favor chalk or oil pastels in my personal work, I have opportunities to work with media that I am not as familiar or comfortable with as a clinician and as I teach in the art therapy program. Lacking skill and being uncomfortable reminds me how my clients likely feel in their first sessions. In my art, I work to address the complexity of the human condition in a way I am hopeful is accessible and uncomplicated. This same hope is rooted in my role as a clinician and as an educator.

I am currently serving as the Interim Director of the graduate Art Therapy Program at Edgewood College. I have a Master’s Degree in Expressive Therapies with an Art Therapy concentration from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Directly out of graduate school, I worked as the program director, expressive therapist, and case manager for an adolescent day treatment center. I have also consulted with Hospice Care teams; built a private practice; supervised graduate students during their first and second-year field work; served as a thesis reader for graduate students; presented to the UW-Madison Integrative Medicine fellows; presented at the UW-Madison Integrative Medicine rounds; facilitated workshops for UW-Madison medical students; and, remained committed to creating my own art. In addition to my work at Edgewood College, I am in private practice at Peace of Mind Therapy, Madison. I have been an adjunct faculty member in the Edgewood College undergraduate art therapy program since 2014. I am a member of the American Art Therapy Association as well as the Wisconsin Art Therapy Association.