Areas of Expertise
problem behaviors in children
Art making is life enhancing. The making of art within the therapeutic relationship of counseling is an effective way of accessing and addressing challenges. The use of art making enables the quicker resolution of problems and can be more enjoyable than verbal therapy alone. You do not have to be an artist to participate in and benefit from art therapy; no artistic talent is required. Creating art and then talking about it connects the two sides of our brain and allows for greater understanding.
I became interested in art therapy many years ago. I was an artist for as far back as I can remember, drawing prolifically during childhood. As a teenager, I attended nursing school and became a registered nurse. Over the years, I gravitated towards the healing power of art and sharing that with others. In 2002, I graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School Graduate Art Therapy Program. Since that time I have worked in emergency departments, outpatient group practices, psychiatric units, and taught both art therapy and nursing at the university level. I continue to be a working artist and am involved in the Juneau Artist's Gallery, an artist co-op in Juneau, AK.
When a person or family enters counseling, often times they are feeling discouraged and sad that they have not been able to solve their problem or challenge. Often this problem has persisted for many years. They may have tried counseling or verbal therapy and not found the answers they were seeking. Utilizing an art therapy approach offers a new perspective on the challenge and can be an enjoyable way to communicate and work through problems. Using art therapy allows all the members of a family to have a voice. Art therapy can be an effective way to address trauma that occurred at a pre-verbal level. Art therapy can also be used to practice problem solving and trying out new behaviors or roles.