Art Therapy

Art Therapy is a therapeutic service that utilizes creative expressive mediums to reframe challenging life issues, gain deeper insight, provide emotional relief, increase self-confidence, and strengthen resiliency.

Art-making stimulates, supports and re-structures our neural networks by engaging in meaningful sensory processes. Production and reflection of personal creations offer new perspectives that are solution-focused. Enhanced comprehension of identity and embodied purpose are outcomes of Art Therapy. 

Heather Wulfers, LCPC, ATR-BC Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Board-Certified Art Therapist

Collaborating with diverse clients fulfills my deep sense of loyalty to the healing potential inherent in each of us. My vision is to develop the self-improving capacity within everyone that I have the honor of working with. I am grateful to be in a field that compassionately addresses human suffering and calls for the unification of science and art to improve quality of life and wellbeing for all.

Do I Have to be an Artist?

The fact that you make personal decisions everyday based on who you think you are makes you a creator of your reality and therefore an artist of your life. No technical art skills are required for you to succeed at Art Therapy. An Art Therapist is not an art teacher; but rather a compassionate companion on your creative life journey.

 

What does an Art Therapy session look like?

 

Similar to a mental health counseling session, active listening, empathic witnessing, emotional validation and mindfulness practices occur within the 60min encounter. The triangular relationship between the art, the art therapist, and you as patient make for a synergistic session helping to support your goals in a multi-modal way.

A multitude of mediums are available to communicate subconscious correlations to the consciousness of the patient and to the art therapist regarding the specific issue that a patient is working to resolve. The art therapist will suggest art directives suiting your specific needs to increase awareness, tolerance, and to provide alternative solutions.

What are the benefits of Art Therapy?

Creative expression is an adaptogen in its ability to relieve an anxious nervous system or arouse a depressive state towards empowered action. The patient sets the pace and is never forced to participate in a way that causes distress. At times subconscious material may arise that is uncomfortable. An art therapist is trained to re-establish trust and will positivity process anything that might emerge.

 

To learn more about Art Therapy & Neuroscience... Articles:

2014 Dr. Konopka’s, Where Art Meets Neuroscience:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3944420/

2019 Heather Wulfers, Neuroaesthetics essay:

file:///C:/Users/IPD%20Temp/AppData/Local/Packages/microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe/LocalState/Files/S0/3/neurofinal[410].pdf

2016 BodyMind Art Therapy:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5074079/

Videos:

Dr. Konopka, Art Therapy & Veterans (2014):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62UzzWrivZc

Juliet King: Art Therapy and Neuroscience: A Revitalized Synthesis (2018):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeD3xyFSdoI

Check out the American Art Therapy Association @ https://arttherapy.org/

Follow the Brain to Behavior Program on Facebook!

Is Art Therapy right for me?

All individuals begin their life in a highly creative state, whether through social or imaginary play, dress-up, drawing, building, singing, dancing, joking, story-telling, creative writing or any number of expressive acts. Children all start off drawing without self-judgment as it is a vital form of early and effective communication. This means that we all start off as creative beings communicating not only to others that we exist uniquely but also as a way to self-reflect.

As an adult, even if you are a scientist and do not consider yourself an artist, the same brain networks are employed in both inventive pursuits. Neurologically speaking, this is what we are really interested in – re-structuring the brain in beneficial ways for your mental health and quality of life!

An Art Therapist deeply values that part of you that has the capacity to create beauty and meaning as you once did without ever doubting your ability to do so. For many of us the inner artist is told to stay in hiding and as we grow it gets lost and undermined in the world of adulting. An Art Therapist reminds you of your inherent ability to create and encourages you to re-activate that skill into a higher functioning level of development so that you can benefit from its potential.