Art Therapy

Art Therapy

An Interview with your Art Therapist:


What the heck is art therapy?

Making art, in any form, takes you beyond the limits of language so that you can “tell” your story without talking. Because of your sensitivity, intensity and intelligence, you may need something different than what others need. That’s part of what brought you to my site and to this page, right?! You might not want to admit that making art in therapy sounds appealing and at the same time baffling!

So then how will you use it with me?

We might make art together in session for the whole hour. Or perhaps you’ll make one mark per session on the same paper over the course of our work together and in the end you’ll have a completed piece. Or I may assign you homework like working in an art journal or painting for 5 minutes each day.  There’s no pressure to “make” or “do” anything and sometimes it takes a while to give yourself permission to pick up a paintbrush.

Isn’t art therapy just for kids?

Nope, art therapy is for everyone! Plus, don’t we all have an inner child that wants to come out and play more often?!? Have you ever found yourself more relaxed after some adult coloring or spending the afternoon taking photographs? Creative activities help to relieve stress, soothe anxiety, provide enjoyment and pleasure, and overcome troubling feelings.

I’m not an artist or very creative….

All of us are creative in a lot of ways and all of us have a creative function that wants to be used. Most often if you don’t identify yourself as an artist, you’ll have easier access to the raw unconscious material that art-making can evoke. Making art in therapy or for therapeutic purposes, it’s a lot about the process and less about a perfect finished product. Making art in this way

Why would I do art therapy vs. just talk therapy?

I often hear from my clients that they have tried a few different therapy modalities like EMDR or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and that they didn’t quite get to the heart of things. According to one of my art therapy gurus Cathy Malchiodi (check out her books in the creative resources section) art therapy is unique in the following ways. It allows you to:

  1. let your senses tell the story
  2. self-soothe your brain and body; self-regulation
  3. engage your body
  4. strengthen non-verbal communication
  5. recover self-efficacy
  6. imagine a new beginning
  7. rescript the trauma story
  8. restore aliveness

Because art therapy is all about accessing the creative function (which we all have) you have the opportunity to literally illustrate your reality the way in which you want!

Art therapy helps you to express what words cannot.

If you’re an art therapist, do you offer just talk therapy too?

Short answer is yes, of course! Even though my training was in art therapy and I continue to invest in art therapy trainings, I’m also trained and skilled in a variety of talk therapy techniques. I listen to your needs and meet you there!

Long answer is that my background in art and creativity come out even in talk therapy. I use metaphor, analogy, and imagery to help you see your situation differently. So even if you don’t ever pick up a paint brush or mold a piece of clay in my office, you will still feel the effects of the creative force that lives inside of you.

Why would I want to work with you and not another therapist?

I’m going to let my friend and collegue, Miranda Hennes MN, ARNP, PMHNP-BC, answer that question:

The decision of picking the right person with whom to embark on your therapy journey is an important one. It is so important that the underpinnings of therapy actually is the rapport you have with your therapist. The modalities that each therapist uses enhances the process of healing by externalizing the emotions and thoughts that are often kept repressed in the unconscious.

Maggie’s modality of using art therapy is stimulating and creative, allowing your mind to take softened emotional ‘risks’ to dive deeper and deeper into the root cause of suffering. She enjoys the uniqueness of humans yet understands the dynamic process of healing.

Maggie’s compassion and ability to form relationships with her clients is natural and authentic. She makes people feel accepted and normalized in their understanding of themselves by offering a soft maternal holding environment for you – allowing you to venture out to painful territory while having steadfast emotional safety and recovery. Maggie will individualize treatment to your needs yet gently guide you on new paths toward emotional freedom.

Maggie is raw in therapy. She can hold emotions with you so you can bare the intensity of them, softening them to manageable experiences in which you can easily integrate.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Maggie as a colleague and friend for several years. I highly recommend her to the person who is ready to experience the mess that is inherent in life and be led to a place where acceptance and peace overcast suffering. 

Click here to schedule your FREE 15-minute phone consultation and get started today.