Featuring Professional Member: Mimi Tung

1. What made you choose art therapy as your profession? 

I first encountered Art therapy in 2000. I’ve found it very powerful and transformational and still feel the same ever since. So it has become my passion and perhaps will remain as my lifelong career. 

2. How much does your art therapy training program form your way of being an art therapist? 

My fine art training in college has already paved me the way to become a more open-minded person and allowed me to understand the power of art. The art therapy master’s level program granted me a solid knowledge of what this profession would require. The learning journey has also helped unwinding many questions about life and helped me to become a professional therapist.

3. What is your practice theory in your practice? 

I am eclectic. However, with my marriage and family therapy training, I use family system psychology and object relations theory more than others. 

4. What target group(s) do(se) you serve most? 

I worked with mostly teenagers with acute mental health issues in the hospitals in the USA. I have been working with a wider range of population from children to elderly since I moved back to Hong Kong. Recently I work more with children with learning difficulties, adults with mental illness and elderly with dementia. 

5. What materials do you use the most in your practice? Or What is your favorite materials to use in your practice?

I use a lot of collage and photo images in my practice. I will say mixed media and found objects are my favorite. 

6. What kinds of metaphor(s) or symbol(s) that you can use to describe art therapy? Please explain

How about 3-way mirror?  Mirror helps us to look at ourselves better and “examine” ourselves from different perspectives. This 3-way mirror usually can create a very private space for us. We can look at ourselves clearly in a private manner, whether it is our imperfect body part or parts that we feel shameful to be exposed publicly.  Art therapy is like a contained safe place where we can examine, accept ourselves, and gain insights for change(s).

7. When do you join HKAAT? What is the reason for joining?

I remember being a general member in 2003 when I decided to pursue art therapy. I’ve joined as a professional member since I returned to Hong Kong. 

8. What do you think of the development and prospect of art therapy in Hong Kong?

With increasing graduates from local and abroad, there would be more services available for the general public. However without legal legislation of its practice and poor understanding of what art therapy is by the general public, there is a risk of misusing and causing possible harm and affecting the reputation of art therapy profession.   

9. What do you think HKAAT can offer to support or to further develop the field of art therapy in Hong Kong?

Educating the public what art therapy is and advocating the professional use of art therapy among the mental health practitioners. Perhaps HKAAT could be more proactive in governing the practice and initiating some campaigns that can raise public concern about mental well-being. 

10. What do you think you can offer to develop the growth of art therapy in Hong Kong?

I will continue to conduct workshops and trainings to promote art therapy and its ethical practice. Of course the best and simplest way to help the growth is to continue to provide services for people in need. 

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