By Wes Saylors
Dr. Karen Caldwell is interested in the interrelationship between the mind and the body. A professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling, she teaches graduate students counseling and family therapy. Her specialty is expressive arts therapy.
Caldwell views expressive arts therapy as a way of supporting health and human development. “I do this by using an interdisciplinary, integrative, arts-based approach to counseling,” noted Caldwell.
Graduates of her department’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program and Marriage and Family Therapy Program provide mental health services in a variety of settings, including college counseling centers, community agencies and private practices. “I also teach an undergraduate Tai chi class,” Caldwell added, “which is quite a bit of fun for me and also a way to introduce students to mind-body exercise modality.”
This modality is evident in the classes Caldwell teaches: “We use a combination of imagery, symbols, storytelling, ritual music, dance, drama, poetry, visual arts and movement during class.” And, as if her passion for the tools of expressive arts and their therapeutic value weren’t evident, she added, “I feel very alive when I’m engaged with students in those classes.”