The Academic College of Society and the Arts, located at a campus in Netanya, Israel, offers unique studies in the fields of Behavioral Sciences, Social Sciences, and the Arts Therapies professions. All of these programs are designed to meet the needs of modern Israeli society. The College was founded out of the vision and belief in the ability and significance of the application of the language of the arts in all these fields. We aspire to educational, therapeutic, social and rehabilitative achievements in Israeli society.
The College's aims include producing graduates who will possess awareness and sensitivity to the variety that exists in the social and communal life of Israel. We will train them to work creatively and intervene effectively with the multiplicity of populations who live in the country. Upon leaving our institution, our graduates will be able to apply the skills and modern theoretical understandings they acquire over the course of their studies. To achieve this goal, our programs of study integrate experiential learning and creative expression through the arts that are used with and for the benefit of others in a variety of fields including education, therapy and rehabilitation.
Below are descriptions of the programs of study offered at the Academic College of Society and the Arts.
The M.A. program in Society and the Arts deals with social change, including in fields that are garnering greater societal attention in the central disciplines of the social sciences: psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, and economics. The program will train its graduates to deal with the problems of distress, discrimination, racism, and injustice, in Israeli society.
The program of study is theoretical and practical and its goal is to design a critical conception of society and to act in order to achieve social change through the arts. The program is based on bodies of knowledge including psychology, sociology, socio-critical analysis, public art, group leadership, and development of community intervention skills.
The connection between expression, creativity and the arts, and social change, is anchored in the recognition that the arts reflect the society in which they are created and at the same time test and criticize the society’s cultural values and norms.
In the program, students will engage educational subjects in courses dealing with a variety of populations including: women, elders and youth at risk.
Art therapy is a therapeutic field that applies the artistic tools of painting, drawing, sculpture, and mixed media with psychological tools in order to overcome emotional blockages, and to diagnose and treat problems and crises.
Art therapy uses creative processes in order to recognize and process conscious and unconscious developments. It gives expression to developmental, environmental, functional, and social difficulties. Art therapy allows coping with states of personal, couple, and family mental distress, as well as various destructive diseases. The field uses non-verbal techniques as well as a focus on the creative and expressive processes through the language of the arts.
Art therapy allows for the discovery of the client’s strength and creativity. It serves as a lever and an inspiration for acts of coping, renewal and empowerment.
The program trains the students to work in art therapy and imparts the theoretical knowledge and understanding as well as applied skills for integrating the arts into the treatment process.
In the course of the studies, the students acquire art therapy tools that allow them to sharpen their abilities of observation, understanding what they see and treating the variety of problems across different age groups.
Drama therapy is a form of interdisciplinary treatment whose origins are in the field of theater, shamanism, acting and drama as well as fields connected to psychology and mental health.
Drama therapy uses techniques, terms and theories taken from the field of theater for therapeutic use. It also makes use of educational, communal, spiritual, rehabilitational, and organizational techniques. The field includes prevention work that strengthens human resilience and capability. It conducts rehabilitational work that assists the client to get free from his/her crises and to overcome mental distress. Drama therapy is applied to individuals, groups, organizations and communities in the private, public, and organizational sector.
Psychodrama is a therapeutic approach based on the active soul (psyche-soul; drama – action). Instead of “speaking” about things, psychodrama “does” things. Through scenes presented on a stage, in the “here and now,” in verbal and non-verbal ways, it is possible to experience repressed feelings and re-enact unresolved situations, internal dramas, fantasies, dreams, opportunities for challenge, testing significant connections, and more.
Through dramatic action, psychodrama allows the identification of sources of spontaneity, enlarging the repertoire of roles (conscious and unconscious), that man fills in life. It allows one to observe the reality through the eyes of the “other,” through openness to the different points of view and processing events through experiences and creativity.
Psychodrama brings the participants to greater interaction that assists in breaking down defenses that are ineffective and discovering difficult and hindering conflicts, with the goal of finding alternative courses of action that will lead to change and improvement in self esteem and the quality of connection to others.
Dance and Movement Therapy makes use of movement psychotherapy to concentrate on the body as the central instrument in expression and change. In Dance and Movement Therapy, it is possible to observe and test the client’s movement patterns that reflect his/her personality. The field starts with the assumption that mental conditions are expressed in the body and in movement. Conversely, bodily conditions are expressed in mental and emotional forms.
The goals of Dance and Movement Therapy are to strengthen the individual and create new connections between emotional experiences and bodily movements that will assist in coping with a variety of life situations.
Movement therapy is a process that focuses on bodily recognition, and checking and listening to the various parts of one’s body, in an attempt to identify the relationships between them. Movement and beat allow the clients to free themselves and release inhibitions thus allowing them to cope better with a variety of difficulties. As the body begins to move, it engages in an experiential process that assists the client to get free of emotional blockages and advance in treatment.
The B.A. program in Behavioral Sciences which integrates the arts is built upon the understanding of the special connection between these fields and the reciprocal relationship between them as regards the individual, society and culture.
The program deals with human behavior as it manifests itself in the individual (psychology), the society (sociology) and the culture (anthropology). The program of study combines theoretical, practical and artistic courses. The various art forms provide students with unique tools to deal with feelings and experiences that the developmental process may have reduced. The program aims to understand and process these feelings and experiences. Sociologists and anthropologists have discovered that this dynamic also operates at the societal level and the use of the arts for these goals characterizes all societies.
The arts influence the way in which society relates to the subjects such as: war, poverty, the environment, gender relations, etc. In parallel, the arts, those who engage in them and their attitudes are influenced by society. The combination of theoretical, practical and artistic studies with the behavioral sciences creates a unique mix that grants the graduates the creative tools to discuss the relevant subjects, research and analyze them, and to act to apply them. All this happens in the course of an academic, experiential and unique journey of personal growth and professional development, in order to create a significant contribution to the individual and to society.