Art Therapy, Psychotherapy Groups

Adolescent Art Therapy Group, Jan. 16th 4:30-6pm/2019

Starting Wednesday January 16th 2019 from 4:30-6pm.

Group Objectives:

Explore Self-Compassion ,Cultivate A Sense of Identity,  Gain Social Connection,  Discover Self-Expression, ALL THROUGH CREATIVE PROCESSES


Group Details

$250 for 10-week group
Insurance Accepted: Medicaid of MN, UCare, Hennepin Health Plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica

Location: 275 4th St East #301 St. Paul 55101 Facilitator: Carrie Windett, MA, LPC, ATR-P

To register please talk with your therapist or contact:


Sign up!

Art Therapy, Psychotherapy Groups

“Eating In The Light of The Moon” Women’s Art Therapy Group – Jan. 16th/2019

Starting January 16th 2019, 2-3:30pm

Group Description

  • Exploration of themes within the book through

creative art processes.


Group Details

eating by the light of the moon
Also available as an audiobook

$500 for 20-week group

Insurance Accepted

Medicaid of MN


Metropolitan Health Plan

Blue Cross Blue Shield


Bring Personal Copy   OR

Buy from Art of Counseling ($20)


More information and to place your name on the list of interested attendees Contact Carrie Windett.

651-318-0109 ex 706

Sign up!




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

Art Therapy

President Obama Declares October as National Arts and Humanities Month

October 6, 2016
The American Art Therapy Association and our friends at Americans for the Arts are celebrating October as National Arts and Humanities Month! President Obama has already kicked things off by issuing an official White House Proclamation that articulates the importance of the arts and culture in our history and in our future. He states, “In many ways, the arts and humanities reflect our national soul. They are central to who we are as Americans—as dreamers and storytellers, creators and visionaries. By investing in the arts, we can chart a course for the future in which the threads of our common humanity are bound together with creative empathy and openness.”

Get Involved

  • This year, the #ShowYourArt campaign has been designed to engage arts advocates on local, state, and national levels, and to bring awareness of National Arts and Humanities Month to the public. For each day in October, the #ShowYourArt campaign will be issuing a unique theme that challenges participants to showcase how art is reflected in those themes every day. See p. 2 of this article for daily themes.
  • Participate in the National Creative Conversation on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016 from 9-10 p.m. ET to connect and chat with arts advocates nationwide about the arts in communities. The conversation will focus on the question of “Where are the arts popping up in your community?”
  • Using these resources, organize and host a community event at a local arts venue.
  • Boost your creativity by joining in the Creative Sprint, a global art game that engages individuals, businesses, schools, and community organizations for 30 consecutive days of art making and sharing.

Art therapists are uniquely positioned to speak on the role of the creative arts in mental health, a topic of great importance for individuals, communities, organizations, and legislation. Join us in promoting National Arts and Humanities month and raising awareness for the importance of the arts!


Art Therapy, Community Workshops, Family Therapy, Mindfulness


Flyer Download

Weekend in December
12/02/16 7PM-9PM
12/03/16 9AM-11AM, 1PM-3PM08_EM_CatStory01222013
12/04/16 9AM-11AM

Come experience a creative & therapeutic
weekend at Art of Counseling with your family!

Group Themes:
+ Challenging Transition
+ Emotional Closeness
+ Family Balance
+ Resiliency & Strength

Retreat Cost:
+ 4–2 hour sessions
+ $25 / family member / session
+ Total cost: $ 100/ family member
Scholarship Available & In net-work Insurance Accepted
To register, e-mail
by 11/14/2016!

Art Therapy, Community Workshops, Family Therapy


Flyer Download

Starting on November 7th
Monday Nights: 7-8:30

To gain understanding of your family dynamics.
Discover ways you can know your family
members on a deeper level and be known2_sawyer_story_03012013
in your family system.

Group Themes:
+ Family Constellation
+ Family Roles
+ Communication Styles
+ Relationship Building

+ 4 weekly 1.5 sessions
+ $25 / family member / session
+ Total cost: $ 100 / family member
Scholarship Available & In net-work Insurance Accepted
To register, e-mail
by 10/17/2016!

Art Therapy, Community Workshops, Family Therapy


Flyer Download

Starting on December 5th
Monday Nights: 7-9:00

To find balance in your family’s emotional space. To develop skills that increase your awareness and emotional attunement to your children and to practice warm and empathic responses to your children’s big emotions

Group Themes:
+ Emotions & the Brain
+ Emotional Space
+ Role Play Parenting Skills

+ 3 weekly 2 hour sessions
+ $25 / parent / session
+ Total cost: $ 75 / parent
Scholarship Available & In net-work Insurance Accepted
To register, e-mail
by 11/14/2016!

Art Therapy, Supervision Groups

Art Therapy Supervision Group, 3rd Friday of the month, September-May (off June, July, August), from 6-8pm.

Looking for Art Therapy Supervision?  Heather Matson LMFT, ATR-BC is offering a group, starting this Fall.  Please email Heather or call (651) 318-0109 ext #700

3rd Friday of the month, September-May (off June, July, August), from 6-8pm. Cost is $25/group hour ($50 for the 2hrs).

Art of Counseling, pllc.  275 4th Street East, #301. Saint Paul, MN 55101



Art Therapy, Art Therapy for Social Action, Community Resources, In Our Community, Other News

Creative Art Therapies Week, 2016!

“Sharing Discoveries” Analog Instant Film, 2014 ©Heather Matson

In honor of Creative Art Therapies Week, March 13-19, 2016, I would like to spotlight Art of Counseling, pllc, whose mission is to create a unique specialty using Creative Art Therapies to foster emotional healing, encourage internal resiliency, enhance personal relationships and give a unique perspective to human storytelling and expression. Art of Counseling is a psychotherapy group practice located in Saint Paul, Minnesota that provides mental health services to clients in the metro area.  We have clinicians that are Registered Art Therapists (ATR & ATR-BC); trained in movement, play and poetry therapies; licensed or on track for Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) or Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC); trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and intertwines a trauma-informed therapy model in our clinicians’ individual theoretic model of therapy.

Clients that have been attracted to our unique approach have been those who struggle with feeling stuck, depressed mood, anxious, nightmares and sleep issues, trauma, dissociation, self-harm and risk taking, shame and guilt, childhood issues, anger, addictive behavior, eating and body image issues, sex and sexuality, cultural exploration, blended family situations, couples and marriage counseling, abandonment, grief and loss, etc.  Even though we in-network for some insurances, Art of Counseling is proud to say that our clinicians’ dedicate a percentage of their case load to individuals on a sliding-fee-scale or pro bono, to help bridge the gap for affordable mental health services.  We recognize Creative Art Therapies Week honors the importance of how the arts can heal, enhance and help us all to grow.

Art Therapy, Psychology, Trauma- Informed

Art Therapy and Neuroplasticity: How Creativity Can Heal Trauma

Art Therapy and Neuroplasticity: How Creativity Can Heal Trauma

By Kristin Kane

Neuroplasticity for blog

Through studies encompassing neurobiology, neuroplasticity, and differing functions of the right-brain and left-brain hemispheres, as well as the uncovering of the mirror neuron system, it is now possible to provide scientific evidence for the claim that art therapy is effective in treating a variety of disorders and symptoms including trauma.

Traumatic memory is not inherently verbal. It is felt physically. It is known emotionally. It is re-experienced visually. Yet, to prevent serious mental health issues from taking root, the brain must learn to analyze and understand the trauma as it does other events. As such, there is hope for healing in the sensory and visual experience of art making during art therapy.

During an art therapy intervention, the client has an opportunity to express and externalize his or her inner thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic experience as well the opportunity to process these thoughts and feelings though joining with an empathetic other, the art therapist.

Evidence points to the benefit of not only recounting a challenging experience in the past but also the importance of reframing those experiences as meaningful and connected to a core belief system. Art making can be a vehicle for the expression and externalization of deep and intense emotions and memories. Reclaiming the authorship and perceived meaning of past experiences through art making results in an increased sense of flexibility regarding reactions to external events. This increased flexibility and malleability transforms past negative memories from uncontrollably invading present functioning.

Creativity engagement through art making leads to growth and changes in thought patterns in the brain and can alter dysfunctional behaviors. Art making in a therapeutic environment can create changes in neural network connections as well as increase cognitive flexibility. As options for solving a “creative task” problem expand during the creative process, so do opportunities for neuroplasticity and long-term changes in neural networks in the brain. During the creative process, neurons are utilized and connected in new ways that were not previously connected, therefore increasing possibilities for change and increased healing opportunities.