What is art therapy?
My degree prepared me to be a psychotherapist and emphasizes counseling. Unlike social work perspectives that understand art therapy as one modality of treatment, a trained art therapist is indoctrinated in the understanding that creative or expressive therapies are deeply connected to the unconscious. Art therapy is a way of approaching treatment based on years of specialized training and integrates the client's nonverbal expression into a deeply therapeutic environment. The art therapist creates an unthreatening space that doesn't rely solely on words. Cultivated and protected, both non-verbal and verbal communication can bring long held, unspoken client beliefs and maladaptive coping strategies to the surface where words can be found in an effective and efficient process.
My Theoretical Approach
I believe that our psyche determines our actions and a psychodynamic theory underlies my postmodern client-centered approach. I am always aware of my white male privilege and aspire to cultural competency and look for intersectionality within a psychosocial perspective. I believe in the necessity of a client/therapist alliance.
When I graduate from the CAAHEP accredited Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Masters in Art Therapy with an Emphasis in Counseling program in July 2021, I will be qualified to apply for an LMHC-A license in the State of Indiana, and will be billable under supervision by Medicare and Medicaid. My recent work (2019-2021) has been through 700 supervised hours of practicum and internships that include Juvenile Detention, an Opioid Treatment Program, and an in-patient unit (IPU) within a community mental health facility. Apart from the internship, I have also acquired Certification as Healthcare Worker (CHW) and I am a Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) in the State of Indiana.
In my most recent internship, I was allowed to design and successfully implemented a weekend program within the 16 bed IPU to provide therapeutic resources for patients. The facility had previously provided an environment of constructive weekday activities with minimal therapeutic access.
My earlier training was as an artist. I have been dedicated, have exhibited widely and have a history of publication in national venues. My other Masters degree is a Fine Arts degree in Arts Administration from Columbia University, a combination of business, esthetics , and law, followed by years on staff at the Metropolitan Museum on Art.