Amy Bucciarelli, MS, ATR-BC, LMHC is faculty with the Center for Arts in Medicine teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in arts in health. She also coordinates the UF Creative Engagement initiatives sponsored by the UF Provost and UF College of the Arts, including Creative Campus, Creative B, and Creative Collisions, among other initatives. Amy has nearly a decade and a half of experience as a board-certified art therapist and licensed mental health counselor. She has been with the UF Arts in Medicine programs for eight years. Most recently, she has joined the UF Quest initiative and teaches an interdisciplinary humanities course to first-year UF students called Compassion and the Arts.
Amy’s clinical work focuses on child and adolescent mental health utilizing art therapy in populations with chronic and critical medical issues as well as those being treated in palliative care. She has also worked with people coping with substance abuse issues, eating disorders, psychiatric diagnoses, and behavioral health challenges. Amy has been invited to publish works and present at international conferences on topics such as: art therapy assessments, mandalas in art therapy, the therapeutic use of hand papermaking, technology and art therapy, and the collaboration of the creative arts therapies and arts in health programs. Additionally, Amy has taught creativity, design thinking, and innovation for the UF Innovation Academy since 2013 and is the co-developer of the UF Academy for Strategic Creativity - a solutions incubator and creative thinking training program for university administrators, faculty, and staff.
Amy's research is focused on art-based assessments. Currently she is working with Linda Gantt, the author of the Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale (FEATS) Rating Manual, to finalize an updated version of the manual twenty-years after it's original publication. The revised edition will include a new section for rating children's drawings. The FEATS is typically used with the Person Picking an Apple from a Tree (PPAT) drawing as an assessment tool to screen for mental health diagnoses as manifested in artwork. Amy is currently conducting a large-scale normative replica study with this assessment protocol. Amy also conducts research and continuing education training about mandalas and their symbolic language based on various psychological and art therapy developmental theories.
Overall, Amy’s teaching and clinical work evolves from the belief that creativity is a lifestyle that promotes personal balance and wellbeing. Her greatest tip for people embarking on careers in arts in health, the creative arts therapies, or the arts is to approach the fields with an entrepreneurial spirit and use our greatest strength: creativity!