You don’t have to be an artist or feel like you have any kind of particular artistic talent to do art therapy or benefit from it. Art is inherently therapeutic in that the creative process is a way to express aspects of ourselves that sometimes words alone cannot encompass. In this way it often easily breaks down our defenses in a gentle way for a more honest look at our lives.
Art therapy is for all ages and I believe that all people are inherently creative. Part of the process is being taught new art skills and mediums which can be fun as well as inspirational, insightful and helpful. It’s also extremely therapeutic to go outside of your comfort zone with art and practice making mistakes or not meeting expectations.
Art is also an integrative therapy: you are experiencing your mind and cognition, your body, and your emotions all at once while you create. In this way art and creative process can unblock, integrate, regulate and heal us in ways that talk therapy alone cannot. I find that if we follow our own personal symbology we can open ourselves in ways we never knew were possible, but always somehow knew we needed.
I invite you to explore you own voice and creativity in my big yellow art studio with me.
Simplified, I look at this as a strengths based approach. I look for the inherent health and resiliencies that a person has and build upon that. This does not mean that problems and issues are not deeply explored, but that they are balanced in a way that also acknowledges what is going well and how to live with the totality of our experience.
Transpersonal psychology also addresses a more holistic view of the person incorporating mind, body and spiritual aspects of being. It advocates various mindfulness practices and meditation as a cornerstone to insight and healing. More and more research shows the strength of the mind-body connection and how stress impacts us and how mindfulness based and body based somatic-integrative approaches can help to regulate our nervous systems, release strong emotions, gain insight and heal.
Finally, this theory also takes into account the many world wisdom traditions and different states of consciousness and explores all possibilities of the human experience for transformation and even transcendence of the ego. I look at this and practice it as a celebration and exploration of diversity and have a very open mind when it comes to perspectives on the human condition.
I do not believe in completely objective therapy as there are two (or more) people in the room. I understand my own subjective viewpoint and personality impacts the therapeutic process. With that in mind, I take great care in continuing my own personal and professional growth outside of my work in order to be as present, authentic and available as possible with the people I work with.
I believe in taking a here and now approach to the therapeutic relationship and try to demystify the process of therapy as much as possible in order for people to not only be informed but also have as much choice as possible in their journey.
I strongly believe that I am not here to “fix” anything, I am not looking directly for “pathology”, I do not know you better than you know yourself. I am here to listen deeply, to care about your well being, to be a support, a guide, and a mirror so you can know yourself better and find your own path of health and growth.
Part of my relational style is that I listen very carefully in order to understand and learn your unique language, symbology, and patterns and suggest whatever clinical modalities that might work best for you. In this way I am eclectic and use techniques from attachment theory, psychoanalysis, jungian dream work, evidence based practices like cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical-behavioral therapy, as well as sand tray and play therapy, existential therapy, body-centered somatic techniques, expressive arts modalities and more. I am constantly learning new therapeutic techniques to add to my understanding and implementation of this amazing work we call psychotherapy.