First and foremost, I believe every individual is the expert on him or her self. With all clients I work from an empowerment model that honors clients’ self-knowledge and ability to search within to find their own answers with the guidance of a trained professional… no matter what their age! Since I view the counseling process as a shared journey, my clients and I work as a team to find what works best for them in accomplishing their wellness goals.
My integrated approach combines the visual arts, play, sandtray, and movement. While all forms of therapy encourage self-exploration, the expressive arts also emphasize self-expression, active participation, imagination, and mind-body connection. Paint, clay, music, and yoga become tools for communication, emotional release, and ultimately, healing. Expressive techniques may actually speed up the process of counseling because they invite people to experience themselves differently.
Expressive arts counselors like me use the arts to establish an open and supportive environment. This practice works especially well for children, tweens and teens, older adults, and survivors of abuse and loss, and anyone else who might benefit from an active, experiential approach to self-exploration.
Overall, my approach is light-hearted and warm, with an emphasis on practical strategies clients can apply to their lives outside of therapy to meet their mental health and wellness goals. Clients have told me that they had no idea counseling could be so much fun! It is my hope that everyone working with me comes to understand that the process of becoming more joyful through self-exploration with a professional helper is a rewarding one about which they can be excited.
Here are some of the latest entries from my blog.