“I have additional training in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and the Gottman Method for couples therapy.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I’ve always loved art and began my career as a graphic designer. As an unexpected byproduct of art school, I learned that art can be a powerful tool to help us tap into our emotions and process past experiences. This led me to seek training as an art therapist. I earned my master’s of professional studies in creative arts therapy and creativity development from the Pratt Institute. Before opening my private practice, I worked in inpatient mental health care, outpatient rehabilitation, and school counseling. I have additional training in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and the Gottman Method for couples therapy. Being an art therapist allows me to bring this practice to people like you; combining my love of art-making with my passion for mental health has been a true gift, and I look forward to continuing to help people embrace the messiness of life in this way.
What should someone know about working with you?
My approach to therapy is led by curiosity and collaboration. If you’re looking for a therapist with a formal, structured approach, I’m not the one for you. Our work together will be infused with creativity and humor. I’m also a firm believer in showing up as my authentic self. While I value professional standards and integrity, I also know how important the human element is in creating a successful therapy experience. Our relationship will be the foundation of our work together, so it’s important that you feel comfortable being your genuine self as well. I offer free 20-minute consultations so we can get a better sense of whether we might be a good fit for each other.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
Growing my experience and knowledge base is part of my professional responsibility. Luckily, I also love what I do, and my own curiosity and passion drive me to learn as much as possible, even beyond what my license requires. My professional development is extremely important to me so that I can ensure I’m providing care that is up-to-date with the evolution of the mental health field. Beyond my own personal education, I also collaborate regularly with other mental health providers. I enjoy hearing about each clinician’s unique approaches and perspectives. I also meet with a clinical advisor weekly to hone my skills and get feedback on my work.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
Empowerment is one of my biggest personal and professional values. When I work with clients, my goal is to help them transform their pain points from something that feels all-consuming to manageable stressors. I do this by helping folks tap into the inner wisdom and strengths that they already possess. I feel so grateful for these tender, vulnerable moments. These are leaps of faith that require so much bravery, and I’m lucky to support people through them. Diversity and inclusion are also personal values that I bring to my practice. In both areas of my life, I work to dismantle the systems of oppression and connect with others who do the same.
Will we make art in every session? What if I'm not an artist?
Many people can feel intimidated by the concept of art therapy. You might worry if you'll be "good" at it or if you're creative enough to give it a go. While these are common concerns, I believe that anyone can do (and enjoy) creative arts therapy primarily because the focus is on the process rather than the final product. During our time together, we may use different forms of art, like painting, collage, and sculpting, to both explore and express. It might be hard to put your experience into words or even identify how you really feel. The creative process is a tool to help you reflect and gain insight when you’re looking for clarity. It’s also possible that you know exactly how you feel but don’t trust your inner wisdom to guide you to make choices that support your well-being. It can be hard to step out of the ruminating thought process. Art-making is one way to break up cyclical thoughts and gain access to the present, thus giving you your life back. If you prefer a more traditional approach to therapy, you're under no obligation to be constantly engaged in making art just because you choose to work with an art therapist. Your experience in therapy should be tailored to what you want and need, not what someone else wants for you (even a professional).
“Being an art therapist allows me to bring this practice to people like you; combining my love of art-making with my passion for mental health has been a true gift, and I look forward to continuing to help people embrace the messiness of life in this way.”