As an artist and Registered Art Therapist I use expressive arts processess if clients are open to it. In non-verbal activities they are encouraged to access inherent ceativitiy to address problems and to improve the qualitly of their life. Art therapy is particularly effective in helping children and teens exxpress themselves when they are unable to express themselves verbally.
Therapist as Artist
As an art therapist and artist I find it essential that I spend time working on my own art. When I was working with chronically mentally ill older adults in community mental health and nursing home settings I began using my clients as subject matter for my art work. Working with that population is difficult in many ways and it was through my own creative expressing that I was able to deal with the strong feelings that I frequently experienced. I also felt that I was putting a face on the individuals who no longer had an identity or never had one in the first place.
Prior to becoming an art therapist I created and exhibited my art work in galleries and museums both locally and nationally. This included The Smithsonian Institution, The Seattle Art Museum and the Pheonix Art Museum. In this endeavor, emphasis was placed on producing objects of value that could be appreciated for how they looked rather than the feelings expressed in the process.