At Modern Tribe Counseling, we take pride in providing individualized therapeutic approaches. We know not all therapies or therapists work for every person. When Karen Corry, LAPC, ATR-P joined us, we knew she was bringing something special to the team. Using art therapy, Karen creates access to those in our community who may not have found value in traditional talk therapy. Art therapy is ideal for those who want to look inside themselves, express their experiences and process in a creative way. When art therapy is mentioned, many people have questions, misconceptions, or anxiety about it. Let’s work through that with some FAQs and Myths, answered by Karen Corry, art therapist and therapist here at Modern Tribe Counseling.
Art? That’s just for kids, right?
Art therapy is a fantastic modality (approach) for any age. Art therapy helps us tap into our subconscious in ways that words sometimes fail us. Working creatively is helpful in understanding and working towards our goals, processing our identity, and working through difficult issues that we may not consciously fully understand. Teenagers and adults specifically can benefit from the relaxing qualities of art therapy, developing creative ways to communicate, and in learning effective and healthy coping skills.
Okay…I’m horrible at drawing. What if can only draw stick figures?
If drawing stick figures help you understand or communicate what’s going on, bring on the stick figures! However, art therapy can utilize many different materials and media. For example, collage, beads, clay, and photography are a few options that do not require drawing and different materials and media bring out different emotions for us. Art therapy is not about technical skill or your ability. It’s often about the therapeutic journey of creating art and about what surfaces in the artwork and not necessarily about the final product. No ability or experience required. You’d be surprised at how good you are at being an art therapy client when you give it a try.
I’ve been wanting to get better at drawing, will working with an art therapist help me with that?
Art therapy sessions and art therapy groups are about therapy. We won’t be focused on the technical skill of art making. However, practicing drawing and using it creatively to work through things will likely increase your abilities and could affect your art style. I will always teach you how to use a material, but our focus will be on emotions, your journey in life, your experiences, etc.
What can I expect from an art therapy session or art therapy group?
After the initial sessions where we discuss the expectations of therapy, paperwork, and getting to know each other, sessions will take a path that we create together. Sometimes, we will work on a specific intervention (directed art activity) related to your needs or goals and other times, we will have time to free create. We will typically verbally process and discuss the art work and the experience of creating the art. This is all intended to help you reach your goals and feel healthy overall. Group therapy works very similarly but often has an overall theme for the group activities and the group goals, such as working through depression, developing coping skills, processing trauma, etc.
I already have a therapist. Do I have to stop working with them?
Nope! You do not have to. You can join an appropriate group, we can discuss starting a group for your needs, or you could work with me alongside your current therapy. Typically, when someone also works with a specialist, the client approves through consent forms for the clinicians to discuss the work being done in treatment. If you don’t have a current therapist, I’d love to have you as a client.
Do I have to pay for my art supplies?
The materials for sessions and groups, such as paper, canvases, drawing materials, paint materials, collage images, glue, and any necessary art tools are provided as part of therapy and its associated costs. If there are any materials you particularly enjoy using, you are welcome to bring them to use during therapy. The fee you pay for your session or group will include materials.
Does my insurance cover art therapy?
Unfortunately, insurance does not cover art therapy as a modality. However, we work with each client on an individualized basis to determine medical necessity for counseling and therapy services.
Karen Corry, LAPC, ATR-P, NCC recently joined the Modern Tribe Counseling team as a full-time clinician. Karen is an associate licensed professional counselor (LAPC), a provisionally registered art therapist (ATR-P), and a national certified counselor (NCC). Karen uses both counseling approaches and art therapy approaches in her work with her clients. In January, Karen will be starting a 10 week art therapy trauma group for adult survivors on Tuesday evenings, which will include learning creative methods for processing and expressive coping skills in a safe group environment. Karen is currently accepting new individual clients and those seeking relationship counseling.
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 678-744-6750 for any additional questions, if you are interested in the group, or to discuss your therapy needs.