Amy Bucciarelli, MS, ATR-BC, LMHC is the Assistant Director of the Center for Arts in Medicine and teaches as faculty with the Center. As Assistant Director, Amy helps with the operations of the Center and oversees curriculum development. Amy teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in arts in health courses such as Foundations in Arts in Medicine, Human Development and the Arts, and The Arts and Compassion. Amy also teaches a Quest humanities course for first-year undergaduates entitled Compassion and the Arts. 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 nine years.
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 published works, presented at international conferences, and been invited as a keynote speaker on topics such as: art therapy assessments, mandalas in art therapy, the therapeutic use of hand papermaking, technology and art therapy, self-care and burnout prevention, and the collaboration of the creative arts therapies and arts in health programs. Additionally, Amy taught creativity, design thinking, and innovation for the UF Innovation Academy from 2013-2019 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. Most recently, Amy was selected as a Quest Inquiry Scholar for the 2020-2021 academic year and is reasearching the pedagogical question: How might one be a compassionate teacher while teaching a class on compassion?
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!