By offering Art Therapy as a primary or supplemental form of counseling, I help individuals and families improve their communication to build trust in their relationships and enhance their emotional well being.
What can a client do when words are not enough? ...When the English language does not possess a spectrum of vocabulary capable of describing a feeling or experience? ...When a resistive teenager is unwilling or unable to express their emotions or thought processes to an adult? When failed communication between two individuals in a relationship result in a session of arguing, blame, and disagreement?
Enter: Art Therapy.
In addition to being a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC), I possess extra credentials which allow me to utilize art making and the creative process to help clients reach clinical goals. As a nationally registered and board certified art therapist (ATR-BC), I believe human beings possess an intrinsic drive to create; this drive spans the gamut of art, music, entertainment, ideas, and beyond, and is directly linked with mental wellness. Art therapy can supplement traditional talk therapy or take the place as primary methodology for achieving mental wellness. The most common concern I receive in relation to art therapy is: "But I'm not an artist!" One does not have to be an artist or possess any basic level of artistic skill in order to benefit from art therapy. Art therapy provides an alternative mode of communication using hands-on, evidenced-based practices.
The past five years of my post-graduate career have been spent providing community-based therapy to children, adolescents, families, and couples in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. I have taught introductory art therapy and art in wellness courses at the University of Tampa and assisted in developing the university's undergraduate program in art therapy. I continue to lead regular therapy groups at the Children's Cancer Center in Tampa, providing support to families whose child is battling pediatric oncology or chronic blood disease. I have been a member-in-good-standing with the American Art Therapy Association since 2011 and currently hold a position on the board of the state chapter, serving a two year term as secretary (visit the Florida Art Therapy Association at floridaarttherapy.org). I am also a Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT) and believe full-heartedly in the mind-body connection that is stimulated through regular exercise and a healthy diet.
After years of experience across populations and clinical settings--whether working with grade school students at a Title I elementary school, inmates at a maximum security prison, at-risk teens at a substance abuse outpatient rehabilitative clinic, or meeting with the overwhelmed and under-supported single parent in their own home--I've learned several things remain consistent. First, it is important to always meet the client where they are; by taking the time to understand the client's current situation and mindset, realistic goals can be set for treatment. Second, the human spirit knows no bounds; every individual is capable of healing and change, no matter how great a perceived loss, tragedy, or dilemma. Thank you in advance for trusting me to be a facilitator of that personal journey to mental wellness.
- Premarital Counseling
- Couples Counseling
- Gender Identity Issues
- LGBTQ+ Issues
- End of Relationships
- Pediatric Oncology
- Anger Management
- Life Transitions