Arts-based Mental Health Practitioner
Heather (we,she/her) works with couples, families and individuals. Her love of animals and connection with them informs her values of social belonging, attachment, and accountability to community. Heather is passionate about accepting people where they are and brings empathy, encouragement, laughter, an open heart and coaching into her person-centered, solution-focused, strength-based approach.
Constructing healthy relationships through belonging and attachment movements are Heather’s main focus of study. Prior to coming to Art of Counseling, her professional years were spent advocating for people experiencing homelessness around the twin cities area. Heather began her helping profession at the Bridge for Runaway Youth as an Independent Living Skills Coordinator then moved into youth outreach worker with Street works, became an art mentor at Project Human, and finally a shelter and housing advocate within the St. Paul shelter system. Heather connected with the quests at the shelter through music groups (drumming and guitars), through art (painting, drawing, etc.) and poetry/short-story writing. She accidentally found her life-long dream of painting at Metro State University, when she took an elective class with an encouraging instructor who helped her realize that she could paint. After experiencing the healing that painting gave to her, she wanted to give this gift of art healing to others. As a youth, she was surrounded by animals and has had an opportunity to integrate her first love of animals into her life’s vocation of healing through art.
Heather has exhibited at various shows around the twin cities and in 2017 was chosen as the District Spotlight artist for a painting of an old truck, and won the Bill Murray Award for outstanding art for a Collab piece that integrated braille, sound and smell into an ocean painting so that people of all abilities could enjoy art. The idea behind the piece was to invite people into the scene without limitations. Heather wishes this for everyone; that all people can heal and enjoy creating art from where they are.
Heather is working at completing her master’s program through Adler Graduate School with ATR-BC, MFT licensure focus.
Professional Affiliations & Trainings:
- Trauma-Informed Care, 2020
- Telemental Health, 2020
- Emotion Focused Therapy, 2021
- Art Therapy Addictions, 2021
- Grief & Loss, 2021
- American Art Therapy Association, since 2020
- ACC Co-Active Life Coach from International Coaching Federation 2020-2022
- Certified Coach, Coach Training Alliance, 2018
- B.A. Creative Healing in Human Development, Metro State University 2015
- Co-Active Life Coach, Co-active Coach Training Institute, 2005
- Stevens Community Hero Award, 2003
- Sumasil Foundation Grant Recipient, 1999
- PFUND Grant Recipient for LBGTQI advocacy in homeless shelters, 2013
- Innovation Award, Project Solo, 2003-2004