• WHAT IS ART THERAPY?

    Art therapy is a counseling practice that incorporates the creative process and personal imagery into the process of resolving conflicts, healing traumas, and learning new cognitive and emotional skills. Art therapists must have a Master’s degree specializing in art therapy. In addition to verbal counseling theory and techniques, art therapists are trained in how to use different media and techniques to best support clients in addressing their concerns and meeting their therapy goals.

  • IS ART THERAPY LIKE ART CLASS?

    Art therapy is not art class. There is not an art teacher, grades, critiques or art skills focus. No art skill is necessary. Everything you need to know about using art materials for art therapy you probably knew before you were ten years old. The images in art therapy are highly personal and are covered by HIPPA confidentiality laws as part of your medical records. Unlike art class images, these images are not posted on instagram for the world to see.

  • HOW IS ART THERAPY DIFFERENT FROM DOING ART IN A TRADITIONAL THERAPY SESSION?

    Art therapy is also different from doing some art in a session with a verbally-trained therapist. A therapist who is not trained in art therapy might offer some visual journal techniques or some relaxation image making. These are valid therapeutic art making activities that can assist with emotional regulation and stress relief. However, art therapy with a trained art therapist will likely involve making more than one image or making changes to an image in the session based on the work the client is doing. A trained art therapist may choose particular media or offer specific topics or steps for making imagery in the session that will best support the changes the client wants to make. A trained art therapist may also facilitate an intentional, in depth inquiry of the imagery made to support additional insight or cognitive practice. Art therapists are specifically trained to understand how to use media as a therapeutic tool. For example, a trauma-informed art therapist will choose media and methods of using that media that will support the client in expressing emotion without becoming flooded and overwhelmed with those emotions.

  • WHAT DO YOU DO IN AN ART THERAPY SESSION?

    Typically, a private or group art therapy session involves both verbal process and image making. Clients check in verbally, the therapist may lead a couple of minutes of a grounding, mindfulness practice. Whether the art therapist asks the client what they want to work on in that session or is prepared with a directive for a group, the art therapist facilitates a section of image making. Some sessions may involve 5 minutes of image-making and some may involve 50 minutes.* Once the image or images are complete, the art therapist typically asks the client what they see. During this verbal processing of the image, the art therapist will facilitate further inquiry with the image and the topic, may invite a change to the image or another image based on the information the client now has about the issue. 

    *Once in awhile, an art therapist may provide a therapy session in which no image is made.

  • DO I HAVE TO MAKE ART IN COUNSELING WITH YOU?

    Using imagery and the creative process are most often a part of each session as a way to explore an issue or dynamic. Depending on the client, however, some sessions may contain mostly image-making time and others may only include a few minutes of imagery with a majority of talk therapy. Creative arts therapists and expressive art therapists are trained, skilled, and practiced in both non-verbal and verbal therapy processes.

  • I CAN’T DRAW OR PAINT. DOES THAT MATTER IN ART THERAPY?

    No, it doesn’t matter if you have drawing skill or not in art therapy. Art therapy is about visual expression and creative process to help you see yourself and dynamics in your life in a different way. Your art therapist will cater materials and interventions to your needs and skills.

  • WHAT HAPPENS TO ART THERAPY IMAGES I MAKE?

    Typically art therapy images are kept confidential and locked in the art therapists’ office location. Sometimes a particular image may be taken home right away because the client and therapist see that it will act as an important reminder or perhaps continued work between sessions. Some images stay safe with the therapist because they may be re-traumatizing or triggering to have in a personal space or the risk of being seen by others.

    At the end of treatment, the client and therapist ideally have a closing session to review progress made and name next steps for the client. At this session, they will review all of the imagery made by the client over the course of treatment, celebrate the changes seen, and decide what to do with the imagery. Ultimately the imagery is the property of the client who made it–like your xrays.

  • CAN YOU TELL ALL ABOUT ME BY MY PICTURES?

    Art therapy is not fortune-telling. The art therapy process gives you meta-verbal ways to communicate your human experience. You are in charge of the communication. Your art therapist will help you explore the personal meaning in each image or creative process.

  • DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?

    We do accept insurance payment. Some of our therapists are in-network with different insurance companies than others. You can call your insurance company to find out what they cover and we will verify your insurance coverage before your first session.

    We currently accept the following insurance providers:

    • Jackson Care Connect
    • BCBS Regence and HMA
    • Providence
    • Aetna
    • Moda

  • HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE OPENINGS?

    We regularly have a waiting list and are working to bring more art therapists into the area and into our group. Openings are dependent on staffing and current client need. Please contact us to find out what openings currently exist.