Photo of Zahra


I felt blessed to be accepted at Goldsmiths, and I still feel blessed, everyday, as I am enrolled in the program and it is asking me to work harder and reach further at every turn.


Main details

"I have always been a dreamer, with a strong connection to the lives around me, particularly to those most in need: people, animals, and even plant life. This deep connection, having led me to engage with the arts from a very young age, has taken me through winding and unexpected paths. I have studied degrees, quenching my immediate thirst, while learning that I need more, and sometimes in quite different directions.

My love for the earth and for plant life, and for utilizing plants for the greater good, led me to study Agricultural Engineering at the University of Tehran for my first degree. However, I could not sympathize with the strict engineering atmosphere in the college, though I studied the degree to the end. I felt that this “greater good” was calling me through a different vocation. I decided to pursue a path in art. After studying for the national examinations for entry into graduate study, I received the first rank in the country for Advanced Studies of Art at University of Tehran. This second course allowed me to familiarize myself with the vast domain and potentials of art. I wrote my dissertation on the psychology of intuition in art, as a “knowing” that can be deemed the exclusive property of art. This “knowing” could be utilized through art to reap many benefits for those who were in need of it.

After graduating and having in mind what I had learned in my thesis, I worked with diverse clients, from children with severe autism, to people with physical disabilities and also normal children, using the arts to educate, entertain, and heal. Nevertheless, I saw that in order to correctly unleash the powers of art with people, I need to have a proper knowledge base in psychology. Thus, I pursued my second BA degree in Psychology, online, with a university based in the United States. This first experience of studying at an overseas university transformed my life in so many ways, leading me to appreciate and cherish the value of a first-class education. During this time, I started my own art class for young children, while I also received commissions for paintings and worked at such odd jobs as sketching faces in a café as a resident artist.
After I graduated with my Psychology degree, I started working at a neuropsychological clinic with children and adolescents, using play, arts and crafts according to the prescriptions of a very innovative child psychologist who ran the clinic. Notwithstanding, during this peak of my career in Iran, I felt that there are so many gaps in my knowledge, and also in the general practice, of using the arts for psychological ends. I knew that art therapy was being taught and practiced overseas for many years, with an established basis. I decided that I will not be able to properly work with art towards my goals, unless I learn it from those who have learned it best. And as I knew from the first, the Art Psychotherapy department at Goldsmiths College has been a forerunner in the region since its inception. I felt blessed to be accepted at Goldsmiths, and I still feel blessed, everyday, as I am enrolled in the program and it is asking me to work harder and reach further at every turn.

My goal after graduation is to be able to use my acquired skills and knowledge in this field where they are most required. One of my greatest wishes is to be able to transfer a part of all that I will learn here, in basics, methods, and content, to my own country, using it in the domains of science and practice. I feel that this is just the very beginning of my journey."

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