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About Hofstra

In Focus: Cassandra Oswald

How did you become interested in Art Therapy?
I have always been interested in art. When I was younger, my mom worked at The Museum Company, a retail store, so I grew up surrounded by little Degas ballerinas, statuettes of Bastet and Horus, canvas-faux-painted prints of Monet’s water lilies and Matisse rooms with a view. I got to play with sand art kits, mosaic kits, sarcophagus-maker kits, etc at the store’s demo table. Holiday shoppers would ask me questions about the kits, and I would talk about how the materials felt to use, how the process of making the art made me feel, and my learned “secret” departures from the kit instructions that yielded the coolest and weirdest results. The process of art-making was the important bit, and I think that’s really where the art therapy of it all begins for me.
I became interested in art therapy as a career by way of living through these last few years. Things took a turn nationally and culturally. I mourned the death of my heroes and two of the greatest artists of all time. I lost dear friends. I saw other friends struggle to stay. Nothing felt right, and I couldn’t get my bearings. And I knew art was the way through.

What did you study in your undergraduate degree:
I studied Geography at University of Miami, with a minor in Fine Arts.

What brought you to Hofstra?
I was looking for a graduate program that put the creative in creative arts therapy. I knew I wanted a program that valued the process and spirit of art, and looked to find this value reflected in the curriculum. Icing on the cake: proximity. It’s a university between the ocean and the city.

What are the things you like about being a Hofstra CATC student?
I am a big fan of CATCH! I feel lucky to have found a program that offers a student-run graduate club — it’s a great resource for supplementing our studies and training, and the comradery really helps keep us sane during full throttle weeks.

What is the best experience you had as a CATC student?
Attending this year’s AATA conference in Miami! The conference sessions were fascinating, and I enjoyed getting myself acquainted with the art therapy community at large.

What populations do you like to work with?
I like working with emerging adults/ Millennials.

Cassandra Oswald

M.A. in Creative Arts Therapy Counseling ‘19
Babylon, NY