Meet Patricia MarzecJuly 25, 2008
Patricia Marzec, a 2004–05 Career Development Grantee, recently obtained certification as a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), the completion of a journey that began in 2003 at Loyola Marymount University. Six years after graduating from the University of New Mexico, Patricia entered the marital and family therapy master’s program at Loyola with a special focus on art therapy.
Today, Patricia works with children and families at an outpatient community-based nonprofit. Serving primarily low-income clients, she uses art as a way to discuss conflicts metaphorically and teach self-control. One new project is a therapy group aimed at helping pregnant teens talk about parenting issues through an art journal.
Patricia ranks receiving her license and supervising other art therapists as some of her biggest accomplishments of the past three years. According to Patricia, AAUW’s role in helping her achieve her goals was “more than just financial support. It made me feel that my research mattered to more than just me and that others would have a chance to learn from what I did.” Although her climb began in 2003, Patricia hiked a challenging, yet insightful path to get to the point of returning to graduate school.
After receiving her undergraduate degree, Patricia worked with runaways and homeless youth in a street outreach program. She joined HealthCare for the Homeless in 2000, where she was a “sounding board” for women working and living on the streets and/or battling drug and alcohol addictions. As a volunteer with the Free Arts for Abused Children program, Patricia experienced the healing powers of art, witnessing firsthand the ways “art can assist family members in their efforts to heal and connect with one another again.”
Working with the homeless to help make life on the streets easier was an impetus for Patricia to return to school. “I became frustrated after realizing that handing out food and socks was not enough to create the change necessary to improve people’s lives. I realized I needed more education if I was going to be an advocate.” Now that she has her LMFT, Patricia is able to be just that — an advocate for those in need. She explains, “In the long run, I am helping to make small changes that will have an impact on the larger community. That’s what keeps me doing the work.