What is Art Therapy?
Hi, I’m Megan! I am an Art Therapist who is passionate about creating a safe, nurturing environment in which clients can creatively express themselves. Through an empathetic therapeutic relationship, I strive to empower my clients to make positive changes.
I received my Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Psychology from Messiah University and my Master of Arts degree in Art Therapy from Marywood University. I’m a Registered and Board Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC) and am licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Pennsylvania.
Additionally, I have extensive training in the use of trauma-informed approaches and utilize techniques from Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) as well as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). I have worked in outpatient and school-based settings and have experience with many different client populations, and I specialize in working with children, adolescents, and families.
Who is it for?
My approach to therapy is strength-based and client-centered, meaning we will work together to develop a treatment plan that is individualized for your needs, based on your own strengths and personal goals. I believe that you truly know yourself best, and I am here to help as a listener, supporter, and guide on the journey. My office is a judgment-free zone, and I strive to help all my clients feel as comfortable as possible when working with me.
I am passionate about working with the whole family, and assisting children in learning how to creatively express themselves, find their own solutions to problems, and develop healthy coping skills. Children and families who work with me can expect to utilize a wide range of approaches and materials, such as play therapy in the sand tray or art-based interventions such as drawing or sculpting with clay.
I am process-oriented, both in my own art-making and in my therapeutic practice. I believe therapy is a process of self-discovery that often takes time, and may even be uncomfortable at times- but ultimately it produces growth. I often tell my clients to “trust the process!”
What is Art Therapy?Art therapy is a practice that focuses on the relationship between psychology and art, and involves the use of creative techniques to help people express themselves and gain greater self-awareness. With the guidance of a credentialed art therapist, engaging in this type of therapy can lead to a better understanding of oneself, including one’s feelings and behaviors, as well as assist in developing essential life skills.
How does Art Therapy Work?Art therapy is founded on the belief that self-expression through artistic creation has therapeutic value. It can also be a wonderful aid in self-expression when one finds it difficult to verbally articulate their feelings. Art therapists are trained to understand the roles that various art media can play in the therapeutic process. They use a variety of media in their practice, including, but not limited to painting, drawing, watercolor, collage, sculpting, and more! Art therapy integrates traditional talk therapy and some form of visual arts as a specific, stand-alone form of therapy, but it can also be used in combination with other types of therapy.
Who is Art Therapy for?You don’t have to be “good” at art to benefit from art therapy, and you don’t have to be a child, either! In fact, anyone can do art therapy! Art therapists are trained to work with individuals, couples, families, and groups in diverse settings. Examples include in hospitals, schools, senior communities, and crisis facilities, or via telehealth. Art Therapy has been shown to help reduce symptoms for a variety of illnesses such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, trauma, interpersonal relationships, and more! According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, less than an hour of creative activity can reduce stress and have a positive effect on one’s mental health, regardless of artistic experience or talent.
How is Art Therapy different from an Art Class?People often ask how art therapy is different from an art class. While art classes are often focused on specific techniques to produce a certain outcome, art therapy is more focused on the process of self-expression. Art Therapy assists participants in making sense of their inner world, while an art class often aims to reproduce images of one’s surroundings. There are no grades given in art therapy, and art therapists often welcome explorative, messy artwork under the belief that there is no such thing as “bad” art!
What is Play Therapy?Play therapy is a specialized form of treatment for children. It is most effective for those who are not able to participate in traditional talk therapy due to their age or developmental level. Traditional play therapy rooms are equipped with specially identified toys, such as puppets, doll houses, sand tray tables, games, books, etc. in order to facilitate expressive play. Play therapy can also be facilitated virtually via telehealth for older children. The therapist may follow the child’s lead, letting them naturally gravitate towards the different toys or materials that interest them. Alternatively, the therapist may introduce more specific activities designed to help the child express themselves more fully.
How can Play Therapy help my child?A child naturally explores emotions and learns about their environment through play. Giving children an opportunity to explore and discover in a neutral setting with a trained therapist can help children process their own emotions and struggles. Play therapy can be beneficial for children who struggle with anxiety, have been through traumatic events, have been through a recent transition, or are exhibiting behavioral challenges. Play therapy can help by assisting in emotional expression, improving communication skills, teaching coping skills, encouraging imagination, and developing self-esteem- all through play.
What is Parent Therapy?Raising little ones is hard work. Working with a therapist who is trained in child development, parenting strategies, and mental health concerns can provide insight and support. Counseling for parents can utilize a variety of tools which draw from several evidence- based practices such as Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), The Strengthening Families Program, and the Incredible Years Program. In Parenting sessions, you will learn how to handle difficult and frustrating situations with your child by combining the best practices in discipline while fostering connections and positive communication between you and your child.