I have learnt to identify and be more accepting of my flaws.

What has led you to apply for an internship at The Red Pencil Singapore?

Being a part of an Honors programme and in the final year of my undergraduate studies, I started to explore various career paths with psychology as its focus. Therapy has always been an interesting field of study to me, and I proceeded with that as the search for my internship. I was fortunate enough to land a great opportunity not only to understand how therapy works in a community setting, but also to gain more knowledge about art therapy, an exceptional and niche area of therapy!

How has your experience as a Programmes & Administration intern with The Red Pencil Singapore helped you to grow personally and professionally?

My time as a Programmes & Administration intern has led me to become more responsible and meticulous. It allowed me to take pride and acquire a sense of ownership in the work that I produce. Tasks that were assigned to me empowered my understanding in what art therapy is and how it works with a myriad of communities. For professional gains, I have built a strong portfolio with the immense research-based work. I became more proficient with various applications such as Microsoft Excel and Mailchimp etc.

Do you think having a creative outlet is important for self-expression?

Not just creative but being receptive and accepting are key for self-expression! In my free time, I enjoy painting and because I am such a HUGE fan of Pokémon, I would trace the outline before painting it. I realised that I would only stick within the boundary and even become upset with myself if I went out of the line. After a chat with Christine, the Programme Manager and Art Therapist at The Red Pencil Singapore (RPS), it dawned on me that I do not allow myself to make mistakes and am tunnel-visioned about the perception I have of myself. I have always had a fixed idea of who I was strived towards it, but it was not who I am. 

With my experiences at RPS, I have learnt to identify and be more accepting of my flaws. It includes being open to learning more about myself. I have also understood that self-acceptance and openness are key components of self-expression. It can be comforting to let strings loose sometimes.

How successful do you think The Red Pencil Singapore has been at using art therapy to connect with people?

My time at RPS has convinced me that verbal communication is not the only way to connect people. More often than not, individuals may find it hard to verbalise themselves because they find it difficult to put their emotions into words. This is where art therapy fits right in! With art therapy, they are able to express themselves and bridge a connection with others who could potentially be facing similar struggles, forming a sense of support. Other times, art therapy can uncover some of our unconscious thoughts and bring them forth into our conscious state, sparking more conversations. Not only that, but art therapy is also suitable for all ages!

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to contribute and be a part of The Red Pencil (Singapore) in their efforts to assist individuals from all walks of life. Art therapy is truly an unconventional yet exceptional avenue to help people manage their struggles.

What has been the most eventful part of your internship journey so far?

Firstly, I was shocked to be tasked with researching and designing a deck of slides for the National Counselling & Psychotherapy Conference. In a short span of 3 weeks, I read about 70 articles that elaborated various concepts and approaches adopted for art therapy. More importantly, I got to understand the obstacles individuals face when they struggle to seek help. Not only that, but I was also given the opportunity to participate in the conference and acted as a co-facilitator in the open studio. These experiences are unique to RPS and will definitely help me in my endeavors to raise awareness about the importance of reaching out.

Secondly, I was partnered up with a fellow intern, Joan, to plan for the Christmas party for our team. It was a fulfilling adventure as we braced through a thunderstorm to get to the location. Through the bonding session, I have learnt so much more about everyone and their motivation for serving the community. I am comforted and glad to be part of a team with a strong passion for the things that they do!

What are your hopes for The Red Pencil Singapore?

I aspire for RPS to reach more individuals who are struggling to express themselves and let them discover and experience the life-changing elements of art therapy. 

How has working with The Red Pencil Singapore helped you in your understanding of art therapy?

It isn’t just about the final product that one has created, but the process of its creation plays a key role for the art therapist to identify and understand in order to facilitate healing. 

“ I am truly grateful for the opportunity to contribute and be a part of The Red Pencil