Chris MajorChris Major became an art therapist after working for 20 years as a marketing consultant specializing in brand identity, product development and consumer experience for such clients as Disney, Rockefeller Center, AOL, Hilton, Unilever, Embassy Suites, Radio City, Boeing, Madison Square Garden, Madame Tussauds, New York City Ballet, and UNICEF.

After helping these companies and many others, Chris decided to help people directly. Hence the change in careers. Having earned a Masters in art therapy from New York University and qualifying for a doctorate from Mount Mary University, Chris continues to work as a Psychosocial Rehabilitation therapist at the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic in New York City.

At Payne Whitney, Chris has studied the phenomenology of psychiatric patients, and has initiated multiple projects that have enhanced the patient experience. Some of these projects addressed concrete issues such as patient orientation and environmental coping in the form of an enhanced comfort room. However, nuanced inquiry into intangible qualities of the patient experience proved more promising. Again and again, patients referenced interpersonal interactions with staff as defining their experience. But how do we characterize the optimal interaction? How do we disseminate knowledge about the subjective aspects of clinical interactions, and how do we teach skills that can optimize those interactions?

Chris has begun to formulate these concepts, and is now able to share these new insights with organizations who seek to optimize the patient experience with the complex psychiatric patient population.

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