We Love Our Grads: Jill Levenberg ’19, Marital and Family Therapy

“My favorite thing about LMU is the classes I have had the privilege of taking. Every time I came to school, I learned some information that I did not know or had a shift in my perspective.”

With graduation upon us, we spoke to some of CFA’s talented #LMU19 graduates as they gear up to leave LMU and take on the world. In our We Love Our Grads series, we asked a graduating student from each of our departments to share some words about their time here, as well as their plans for the future.

Jill Levenberg ’19
Program: Marital and Family Therapy with specialized training in Art Therapy
Next step: Private practice and public sector therapy work

How did you decide to pursue art therapy?

I chose art therapy because it is the intersection of two things I love- art and psychology. I painted in an open studio for several years and was also fascinated with the human mind and possible causes for some behaviors. Also, there are times in my life that art has been therapeutic for me and I was interested in learning more about that and being able to offer that experience to others.

Tell us a little about your time at LMU.

My time at LMU has been both rewarding and challenging. I love the art therapy department and feel grateful that I have been able to learn from the amazing professors who have been guiding my journey through the program. I have found most of the classes stimulating, and several have changed the way I view the world. I had two practicum placements that taught me more about interacting with clients then I could ever learn in the classroom. One was at a drug rehab, and the other was at a school for children with special needs. However, as a mother, I had to learn how to juggle the demands of school and practicum with the needs of my family.

What are your post-graduation plans?

My post-graduate plans are to continue to gain client hours, so I can take the licensing exam and become a licensed therapist. I would like to continue to work in the public sector with children in addition to a small private practice. I also have plans to travel with my family.

Did you have a particular experience that led you to this path?

My practicum experience with children at the Kayne Eras Center, which is a division of the Exceptional Children’s Foundation, influenced this decision. I enjoyed working with children and saw the value art therapy can have in helping them to process and understand their feelings and experiences.

Tell us a little about your career goals and aspirations.

Eventually I would like to work part-time in a non-profit organization, and part-time privately. Non-profit work can provide the chance for me to work with populations that have a great need for therapeutic interventions. Yet working privately can allow me to have greater control over the therapeutic space and creating an environment for my clients.

How do you feel you experience at LMU prepared you for this next step?

The art therapy program at LMU exposes its students to social justice through art therapy. This idea resonated with me and I hope to bring change to my community. The program also emphasized cultural awareness. I hope to continue to work on my cultural humility when interacting with cultures different then my own.

What is your favorite thing about LMU?

My favorite thing about LMU is the classes I have had the privilege of taking. Every time I came to school, I learned some information that I did not know or had a shift in my perspective. I will miss being in such an enriching environment on a regular basis.

What advice do you have for new MFT grad students?

Embrace the personal changes you may experience in an MFT program. Introspection and awareness are natural effects of the material. Welcome this. Also, try to read as much as possible, because it is both essential and fascinating. However, when you fall behind, which is likely, don’t sweat it. You will do fine anyway.