Interview with TATP Young Professional Suzy Mage


Suzy Mage is a senior research associate in life sciences at Gerson Lerhman Group (GLG), New York. She was introduced to for The Art Therapy Project by college friend Ahn Hee Strain, an art therapist, and has volunteered for the 5-year anniversary and happy hour events.

Why are you interested in supporting TATP?

I think the work the group does is very important, as traditional therapy doesn’t work for everyone, and as many of the populations supported by TATP cannot afford these services. Since all of the therapy sessions are free to the clients, trauma survivors can get the help that they need without having to consider any financial loss. As part of the Young Professionals Board, I hope to help raise awareness and funding for art therapy through helping plan and organize social events.

What's been your experience with art making, if any?

I love art and theater but consider myself art-illiterate, so this is a fun way for me to connect to this world in a way that I can find value and also help others.

What surprised you about the work TATP does?

When I heard stories of trauma victims who found benefit of art therapy it really blew me away . . . that this type of outlet was real and helped people cope with traumas and return to some sense of normalcy.

Have you or anyone you know experienced trauma?

Yes, I have friends and family who have experienced trauma and have found non-traditional therapies as viable outlets. For example, a loved one of mine is a recovering addict and has lost many friends to overdose and suicide. In order to cope, he found learning and playing the guitar to help him get through his addiction very helpful. Another close family friend was incarcerated and uses meditation and yoga as her therapy.

Why do you think art therapy isn't better known?

I think it’s twofold. It can be hard to understand non-traditional forms of healthcare, and most people probably think you have to be “good” at art to have art therapy be effective.