"Our graduate program is special for several
reasons. There is the
intense, individual contact that students receive. Each student is led
through an educational experience that is tailor made for their
particular needs. We are able to do this because of the small class
sizes and individual attention by the faculty members."
Professor of Art Therapy
The College of New Rochelle
Professor Wolf, what is
your educational background?
I was an undergraduate at
Pratt Institute and majored in Industrial Design. I then taught in the
New York City public school system for several years before returning
to Pratt and earning my Masters in Art Therapy and Creativity
Development. I went on for psychoanalytic training at the National
Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis.
How long have you been
teaching at The College of New Rochelle?
I came to the College in 1980.
What are your teaching subject areas at the College?
I teach a broad area of
subjects. For example, I teach courses in Art Therapy Internship,
Phototherapy, Dream Analysis for Art Therapists, Creative Modalities,
Psychology of Art Materials. I have a stone carving workshop for art
therapists called “Workshop in Imagery Transformation.”
Beyond the classroom how
are you involved in your profession?
I belong to the National
Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, The American Art
Therapy Association and the New York Art Therapy Association. I am on
the faculty of the training institutes of the National Psychological
Association for Psychoanalysis and The Institute for Expressive
Analysis where I am a former Director. I am also a psychoanalyst in
independent private practice in Manhattan since 1975.
And besides all that,
there is your art work?
Yes, I am a professional fine
art photographer and sculptor. Please visit www.robertirwinwolf.com. I
work on my artwork whenever I can.
Can you tell us perhaps a
story or two about a creative moment in your classroom, a ‘break
through’ experience, where a student [or you] experienced an epiphany
of understanding or creativity?
Our students have
'breakthrough moments and epiphanies' all the time. We work with
therapeutic techniques that bring forth unconscious material. We
demonstrate these processes by offering experiential exercises that
provide students with an opportunity to experience how art projects,
using a variety of creative modalities from drawing, painting,
sculpting and photography, can be used to uncover unconscious thoughts
and feelings. This prepares the student to understand how their
prospective clients will feel when they apply these techniques in their
In what ways is our
graduate program in Art Therapy special?
Our graduate program is
special for several reasons. There is the intense, individual contact
that students receive. Each student is led through an educational
experience that is tailor made for their particular needs. We are able
to do this because of the small class sizes and individual attention by
the faculty members.
Is there anything else
that is unique about our program at CNR?
Yes, one other unique aspect
of our program is that we offer a specialization in the therapeutic use
of photography that is a more intensive exploration of this modality
than is offered anywhere else on the graduate level. Another unique
feature is that every few years students come to my studio to see
my artwork and also have holiday parties in the studio for the studio
art and art therapy students. These “Open Studio” events offer the
students an opportunity to have a role model that provides an emphasis
on continuing to develop themselves as artists while they pursue their
careers in different paths.
What type of student does
best at CNR?
Students who are mature,
creative, with capacity for insight and dedication to learning and
growing on a personal level, do the best.
Where do your students go
after leaving school?
Our students often find
employment in various mental health treatment settings, ranging from
therapeutic nurseries, to in patient/out patient psychiatric settings,
medical 'Child Life' settings, and nursing homes. Some of our graduates
go on for further post-graduate institute training and eventually
develop private practices. New York State has recently begun to offer
licensing for Creative Art Therapists and we are now, for the first
time, able to apply for insurance reimbursement for our work.