As spring slowly turns to summer, the timing is perfect for our interview with Ximena Maurial, Directora, TAE Peru, with its beautiful gardens and mosaics. Click here to read the TAE Peru interview in Spanish!
Wendy: What is your vision for TAE Peru?
Ximena: The goals of TAE Peru for the future are to continue developing therapies for the expressive arts that take the healing power of the expressive arts to the community, either in context or in clinical, educational, and community settings and to facilitate social change. Our wish is to continue integrating our previous knowledge, our traditions, rituals, and images through a process tied to the health and welfare of our communities. We are interested in shaping creative, autonomous students, getting them ready to meet and face the environment.
Wendy: Is your program open to the public as well as students?
Ximena: We receive students from different professions who are dedicated to the different arts. People from different provinces of Peru and foreigners come to us, interested in being introduced to art processes related to promoting health and inspiring transformation. Our graduates have created centers in different parts of Lima and have participated in developmental projects with different populations.
Wendy: What are your training programs, their levels, and lengths of time?
Ximena: TAE Peru has three levels. We offer a year-long course of study that awards a diploma in Expressive Arts Therapies. The students in this program are in residence with us for a year. The second level is Preparation to Become an Expressive Arts Therapist, a three-year-long program. The third level is a Low Residency Diploma (two short residencies in two consecutive years). The people who want to become a Therapist after receiving a Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy have to complete two additional years of study. In order to become a therapist in the expressive arts you need to study for three years at our Institution. The third modality we offer is our Low Residency Program. This modality is offered to students who live in different provinces of Peru and in foreign countries.
Wendy: How many students participate each year?
Ximena: Every year we receive close to 22 new students for the Diploma Program. Of that group, about 16 persons continue their studies and become Expressive Arts Therapists.
Wendy: Are you interested in opportunities for becoming a mentor?
Ximena: All the professors from TAE Peru are interested in the possibility of being a mentor to different students. Our work is basically centered in education. The development of our students is constant and as a team of professors we are continually enriching ourselves through seminars, supervision, and artistic practice. At TAE Peru our curriculum is quite broad and extensive, and each one of our professors has specialized in a different aspect of Expressive Arts Therapy.
Wendy: What’s your classroom space like? Is it inside? Outside?
Ximena: Our Center is in the city. I’m sending you some pictures of the two rooms in which we work…Both are connected by a garden. Once a year we create art communities in the field and during the year work with students on art and social transformation projects in the outskirts of the city.
Wendy: Are you interested in more opportunities for communication through social networks?
Ximena: We are very interested in extending our communication through networking. TAE Peru has been working in Peru for ten years. A great number of students have finished their studies and have taken the expressive arts to different fields. There is immense artistic wealth that they are discovering in their work with different populations. Many of our students have conducted very interesting research in expressive arts. We, as teachers, are constantly in development, forming. It would be very interesting to start an exchange through networking through social webs. We believe that this would nourish our discipline. Latin America has much to contribute from its traditions, myths, legends, and culture.
At TAE Peru we are beginning to use virtual learning for the students of the Low Residency program. This is a very important resource because it allows for people who live outside of Lima to be connected. It would be very interesting to connect with foreign teachers and students and begin to exchange experiences. The central work of TAE Peru is education. It would be very interesting to receive students from other places and also to give seminars in different places in Latin America.
Wendy: Would you like to write a blog?
Ximena: It would be very motivating to be able to write a blog. In TAE Peru we are five partners and I’m sure everyone would write a blog with a lot of enthusiasm.
Wendy: What information does IEATA need to present on their website to best represent you?
Ximena: Having the IEATA connection is something we value highly. Participating in its International Conferences has been a very enriching experience. Hosting the 9th International Conference in 2011 was an experience of deep learning, as well as participating in the First Latin American Congress in Guatemala. The information that the website presents about TAE could be more specific and give more details. Since last year we are offering the Low Residency Diploma to foreign students. We think that it would be interesting for this information to be on the IEATA website.