The Adler University Vancouver Campus welcomed two new faculty members to lead its Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy program, a field combining the arts and psychology to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
The University announced in August that it named Keturah Welton, Ph.D., as program director, and Heesu “Jinnie” Jeon, Ph.D., as the program’s director of training and an assistant professor.
“My interest in joining Adler relates to the unique emphasis of their social justice work,” said Dr. Welton, who most recently served as an assistant professor at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. “Many schools and programs have written policies and procedures related to these practices, but I found there is a significant difference with a school’s statement and actually seeing them provide a space and opportunity for their students and faculty to be active in the community.”
In addition to her role at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College’s art therapy program, Dr. Welton also previously served as an adjunct professor at Seton Hill University’s art therapy department and founded Almond Blossoms of Hope, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based art therapy and counseling practice that utilized a trauma-focused multicultural competent expressive arts therapies approach.
Like Dr. Welton, Dr. Jeon, a registered clinical counsellor, art therapist and artist, shares Adler’s vision of educating socially responsible practitioners who engage communities and advance social justice.
“As embarking my teaching journey at Adler, I look forward to being continuously challenged and inspired by colleagues and students and collaborating with like-minded community members who share my passion for real-life experiences to continuously raise standards in academic excellence,” said Dr. Jeon, who has over 15 years of combined professional experiences in art and art therapy. Her clinical experience includes work in community, elementary schools and geriatric settings. She completed her Ph.D. in art therapy at Dominican University of California in 2022.
Dr. Jeon’s current dissertation work investigates the effectiveness of art therapy in improving cognitive decline for persons living with dementia. Dr. Jeon’s research interests also include using classical drawing techniques as a third hand in the therapeutic space working with older adult populations, and exploring relationships between art therapist and client and images in virtual platforms.
“With the support of the Adler community, I will endeavor to prepare students through a balance of theoretical and practical knowledge and a supportive and action-oriented academic culture,” Dr. Jeon said.
The Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy program trains graduates to be socially responsible practitioners who work with words and images to treat individuals facing trauma, stress, and other life transitions. Graduates are prepared to be counsellors and art therapists who serve diverse populations in a range of settings including clinics, correctional facilities, private practice, and more.