Psychotherapy Groups

Therapeutic Art & Fanfiction Group, Jan 12, 2020 Grades 5-8

Psychotherapy Groups, Uncategorized

DBT Informed Skills Group: Starting January 14th, 2020


Details: This is a 24 week, virtual DBT group. Together we will learn skills for Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. In addition, we will learn WHY these skills are helpful in managing intense emotions while improving the relationships we have with ourselves and others.

Psychotherapy Groups, Trauma- Informed, Uncategorized

Trauma Informed (AIR Network) Skills Group. Jan 2020

Trauma Informed (AIR Network) Skills Group

Starting Monday January 11 @ 5pm-6:30pm and presented on ZOOM.

Psychotherapy Groups

Food for Mood 101 Group: Jan 5, 2021

Introduction to Integrating Food as Medicine.

January 5th, 12-1pm, 4 weeks

Psychotherapy Groups

Open Art Studio (18+) Online: Dec 2020

with Estefania Alvarez-Zumarraga, MA, ATR-P 

A safe space for adults to express themselves through the making, sharing, and therapeutic processing of art pieces. 

Open to all levels of expertise! 

Benefits of this group 

  • nurtures social and emotional health
  • promotes relaxation, self-esteem and focus
  • safe space for emotional sharing
  • practice cognitive skills such as planning and problem-solving 
  • Exploration with various art materials  

Time: 6 weeks

November 1st to December 6th 


1:00p.m. to 3:00p.m.

*I can mail out art materials one week before the first day of group if needed.

Community Resources, In Our Community, Telemental Health Services


Interested in Teletherapy? Text “teletherapy” to (651) 318-0109

or email to

Teletherapy/Tele-Mental Health, or virtual counseling as it’s otherwise known, is the online delivery of therapy services via two-way video conferencing. Sessions are nearly identical to traditional therapy sessions with one major exception. Instead of sitting together in the same room, clients and therapists interact via live secure video conferencing.

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding teletherapy. Teletherapy is a safe and secure method of conducting therapy. There’s a vast array of HIPPA-complaint platforms that allow practitioners to implement tele-mental health for clients with ease. Art of Counseling, LLC offers tele-mental health services that utilizes HIPPA-compliant software.  



Teletherapy/Tele-mental health provides more flexibility when it comes to accessing mental health services.  Scheduling is more convenient and you can have your session in the comfort of your own private space, as long as you have access to a computer (or tablet), internet, and webcam.


Protecting your privacy is very important.  We use HIPPA-compliant clinical software from TheraNest (Electronic Health Record)for scheduling, billing, document sharing, and email. We use Spruce Health for secure video conferencing when we conduct our teletherapy sessions.  Once you decide to begin services with one of our therapists, you will be registered as a client by asking for your email address.  Then, you will receive a secure link to the email address you provided for your TheraNest “Client Portal” of which you will have intake paperwork waiting for you to fill out. When you have completed you intake paperwork you will be assigned a therapist and that therapist will share with you their direct “Practice Link,” for teletherapy, messaging and calling.

Although, we will be using encrypted software, I cannot guarantee total privacy and security.  It is possible for there to be a breach in confidentiality by hackers or if nonsecure devices fall into the wrong hands.  As such, you will be using teletherapy at your own risk.  

We recommended that you take these additional precautions:

Do not use a public computer.

Use a private computer with a firewall to strengthen your privacy and security.

Do not share or authorize other people to use your username and password.


Meet in a private space.

Wear head phones during session.

Place something that creates white noise outside door (fan or sound machine,etc)


It is important to understand that teletherapy is not appropriate for everyone.  Our clinicians will assess your appropriateness and readiness for use of Telemental Health Services. Teletherapy is best suited for people with concerns that can be addressed within a relatively short amount of time (e.g., less than 3 months).  Specifically, teletherapy is most appropriate for people who have some ability to cope with stressors in adaptive ways. 

WIth that said, in the event of illness or transportation issues, as well as inclement weather or other world events that may make it difficult for anyone to physically get to their scheduled appointment, teletherapy is a good short term solution for all patients.


First let’s assess what you have at home, colored pencils, markers, pastels, crayons, watercolors, paper, glue, scissors, etc. When you first meet with your therapist you will discuss art material availability. Art therapy, with a registered Art Therapist, through Telemental Health Services are created by sharing images, written and visual journaling entries that are created during and in between sessions. Art Therapists support a client’s visual expression of therapeutic themes and skills, while honoring appropriate emotional responses through the art making process.


“Telemedicine” means the delivery of health care services or consultations while the patient is at an originating site and the licensed health care provider is at a distant site. A communication between licensed health care providers that consists solely of a telephone conversation, e-mail, or facsimile transmission does not constitute telemedicine consultations or services. A communication between a licensed health care provider and a patient that consists solely of an e-mail or facsimile transmission does not constitute telemedicine consultations or services. Telemedicine may be provided by means of real-time two-way, interactive audio and visual communications, including the application of secure video conferencing or store-and-forward technology to provide or support health care delivery, which facilitate the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, and care management of a patient’s health care. MN Statute Sec 256B.0625, subdivision 8 & 147.033

I understand I have the following rights with respect to teletherapy:

  • I have the right to withhold or withdraw consent at any time without affecting my right to future care or treatment. 
  • The laws that protect the confidentiality of my personal information also apply to teletherapy. As such, I understand that the information released by me during the course of my therapy sessions is generally confidentially. However, there are both mandatory and permissive exceptions to confidentiality, which are discussed in detail in the general Informed Consent for Psychotherapy and Office Policies I received with this consent. 
  • I understand there are risks and consequences from teletherapy, including, but not limited to, the possibility, despite reasonable efforts on the part of Art of Counseling, PLLC that: the transmission of my information could be interrupted or distorted by technical failures and/or the transmission of my personal information could be interrupted by unauthorized persons. I understand that I am responsible for providing the necessary computer telecommunications equipment and internet access for my teletherapy sessions, the information security on my computer, and arranging a location with sufficient lighting and privacy that is free from distractions or intrusions for my teletherapy session. 
  • In Addition, I understand that teletherapy based services and care may not be as complete as in-person services. I understand that if my therapist believes I would be better served by another form therapeutic services or interventions I will be referred to a professional who can provide such services in my area. I also understand that there are potential risks and benefits associated with any form of psychotherapy, and that despite my efforts and efforts of my therapist, my condition may not improve, or may have the potential to get worse. Finally, I understand that I may benefit from teletherapy, but that results cannot be guaranteed or assured. 
  • I understand I will attend the first session in-person (when at all possible) at Art of Counseling, PLLC in order to gather information, go through paperwork, process, and questions. I understand that I will be asked to periodically attend an in-person session at Art of Counseling, PLLC if so many miles from the office and/or my therapist sees a benefit. 
  • While teletherapy is a great way to get help with many of life’s challenges, overwhelming or potentially dangerous challenges are best met with in-person professional support. I understand that teletherapy is neither a universal substitute, nor the same as, in-person psychotherapy treatment. I accept the distinctions made using teletherapy vs. in-person psychotherapy. In particular, I accept that teletherapy does not provide emergency services. I agree that certain situations including emergencies and crises are inappropriate for teletherapy based psychotherapy services. 
  • During our first session, Art of Counseling will discuss an emergency response plan. If I am experiencing an emergency situation, I understand that I can call 911 or proceed to the nearest hospital emergency room for help. I understand that an emergency situation any include thoughts about hurting or harming myself or others, having uncontrolled psychotic symptoms, if I am in a life threatening or emergency situation, and/or if I am abusing drugs or alcohol and are not safe. If I am having suicidal thoughts or making plans to harm myself, I can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for free 24 hour hotline support. 
  • I understand that while email and phone calls may be used to communicate with Art of Counseling, confidentiality of those communication services cannot be guaranteed. 
  • I understand that I have a right to access my personal information and copies of medical records in accordance with HIPAA privacy rules and applicable state law, discussed in detail in the general Informed Consent for Psychotherapy and Office Policies I received with this consent. 
In Our Community

Practice Updates for – COVID19

Good afternoon,  

With the state of Minnesota closing schools starting Wednesday, March 18th, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we want to ensure you that Art of Counseling therapists will continue to be available through in-person and telemental health services.  

Because staying connected to the community is important for our mental health, we will be respecting the “social distancing” guidelines and continuing to offer emotional support and continuation of treatment goals. 

Current basics as of 3/17/2020: 

  • Scheduled individual therapy sessions will continue. Please reach out to your individual therapist with concerns before your session:
    • + If you are interested in telemental health for your scheduled appointment.
    • + If you have any symptoms of illness (cold, flu or COVID-19, etc.)
  • This week, our individual therapist and group facilitators will be reaching out to you over the phone or in person to survey the readiness of telemental health services.
  • For those that are coming in for individual sessions, please do not bring unnecessary additional people to wait in the waiting, when at all possible. Our waiting room is small.  Help us keep a safe space for people who need to or prefer to continue in person therapy

Ways to quell the anxiety around the coronavirus:

  1. First, you are not alone. 
  2. Manage your media diet.  Reduce social media and rely on trusted forms of communication, such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization
  3. Stick to a routine.  For example, work or do school work during your regular hours if possible even if from home.
  4. Support each other. Volunteer in “social distancing” spaces to help those hardest hit by the outbreak.

Give Mindfulness a try. A great way to do that is to use meditation or other mindfulness exercises, which encourage you to notice what’s happening with your feelings in the moment in a nonjudgmental way

  • Find other things to talk about!

Ways to stay connected and activities that are “social distancing” friendly:

  • Call to say hello to family and friends.  
  • Call or message those that maybe experiencing extreme isolation.
  • Create a pandemic free private group on social media for friends and family that what to stay in contact. 
  • Send a card or letter via snail mail to let others know you are thinking about them.
  • Play games with your children and reduce talk about the outbreak.
  • Go for a walk, bike ride, do yard work, listen to music or the songs birds, connect with nature.
Job Postings

Hiring Mental Health Professionals/Art Therapists

Mental Health Professionals

Art of counseling is hiring Mental Health Professionals that are looking to join a group private practice in St. Paul, MN. Art of Counseling, pllc is a psychotherapy group that provides a blend of art, relational, and trauma informed therapies. Our therapists collaborate with individuals in developing a holistic lens, giving a unique perspective to the human experience, leading to emotional healing through the power of storytelling and creative expression.

The Mental Health Therapist provides individual and family therapy, performs diagnostic assessments, and guides the coordination of services. Develops individual treatment plans in conjunction with the client and other individuals as indicated. Provides mental health services and supports to assist clients achieve their resilience and recovery goals. In addition, this position also assumes all responsibilities of an independently licensed professional, including managing scheduling, reports, and approvals for all assessment and treatment documents.

The schedule is flexible, group private practice hours are generally including some evenings.  Weekends are also available.



  • Master’s Degree in Behavioral Sciences or related field.
  • Must be qualified as a Mental Health Professional maintaining a LICSW, LP, LPCC, or LMFT license.


  • Therapist who are registered in one of the following creative therapies (Art, Music, Drama, Poetry, Play, etc.) or working toward a creative art therapies registration.


Independent Contractor

Full time and Part time spots are available



Heather Matson, MA, LMFT, ATR-BC

Licensed Marriage and Family TherapistBoard Certified Registered Art Therapist Art of Counseling, pllc. 275 4th St. E. #301, St Paul 55101

Office Voice Mail:(651) 318-0109 Cell: (612) 554-8446 Fax: (651) 344-0515

Job Postings

Office and Billing Assistant Position

$12 – $15 an hour, 25-32 hrs/week

This an office, clerical position in a mental health setting.

Answer intake calls from prospective clients, collect client co-payments, verify insurance benefits, generate intake packets and other necessary client forms, assist billing person with client billing, filing and miscellaneous clerical duties and typing of reports. Prior experience is a plus with similar type of office work in a mental health or medical setting. Candidate must be quick, have an eye for detail, a team player and a self-starter. This is an hourly employment position, health insurance and benefits not provided.  Full time hours are possible.

Job Type: Employment

Salary: $12 to $15 /hour


  • Clerical office work in health care: a plus and must be willing to learn
  • Clerical and/or billing: a plus and must be willing to learn

Please send resume and cover letter to

Art Therapy, EMDR, Trauma- Informed

Bilateral Drawing: Self-Regulation for Trauma Reparation Let’s draw on the power of both hands to modulate stress.

Posted Sep 29, 2015 by  Cathy Malchiodi PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT

In working with survivors of acute and repeated traumatic events over the last several decades, I am always particularly conscious of individuals’ self-regulating capacities initially and throughout our work together. Self-regulation is currently a ubiquitous term used to describe not only the capacity to control one’s impulses, but also to be able to soothe and calm the body’s reactions to stress. It is the ability to modulate affective, sensory and somatic responses that impact all functioning including emotions and cognition. It also refers to the brain’s executive function to control impulses, delay actions if necessary and initiate them if necessary, even if one does not want to.

By the simplest definition, bilateral simply means “involving two sides.” Sensory integration is often associated with bilateral techniques that assist individuals in organizing specific sensations via methods found in occupational therapy. In the process of reparation from psychological trauma, various forms of bilateral stimulation or movement seem to be effective in engaging cross-hemisphere activity in the brain (Shapiro, 2001) and in art therapy possibly because it reconnects “thinking” and “feeling” (Malchiodi, 2003/2011) via the sensory-based processes involved in art making. These applications seem to have an impact on recovery from traumatic events because for many individuals, the limbic system and right hemisphere of the brain are hyperactivated by actual experiences or memories of trauma. In brief, specific processes found in bilateral stimulation may help regulate body and mind thus allowing explicit memory to be reconnected with implicit memory.

Bilateral Scribble Drawing from collection of Cathy Malchiodi
Source: Bilateral Scribble Drawing from collection of Cathy Malchiodi

Bilateral drawing is a deceptively simple art-based activity that has been around since at least the 1950s that capitalizes on self-regulating properties similar to rocking, walking, cycling or drumming. Some art therapy practitioners refer to bilateral drawing as “scribbling with both hands” because the intent is not necessarily to make a specific image, but to instead just engage both hands in spontaneous drawing with chalks, pastels or other easily manipulated art materials. Like many art and expressive arts therapists, I have used this activity for several decades and actually learned it during college art courses as a way of “loosening up” before beginning to draw or paint. Florence Cane (1951) is one of many early art therapy practitioners who observed a connection between free-form gestural drawing on paper, the kinesthetic sense involved in movement, and the embodied qualities of the experience. In her work with children and adults in the mid-20th century, Cane hypothesized that it is important to engage individuals through movements that go beyond the use of the hands to engage the whole body in natural rhythms. In particular, she refers to large swinging gestures that come from the shoulder, elbow or wrist to not only liberate creative expression, but also act in a restorative capacity to support healthy rhythms in the body and mind. In other words, these rhythmic movements can be practiced in the air and then later transferring them to paper with drawing materials.

To read more 

Reframe Brain Kane

Image: “Mindscape” Kristin Kane, MA, LMFT, ATR   from Visual Art Journal 2016