art therapy    
Frequently Asked Questions

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printable forms to complete and bring to your first session

Figures help clients notice their moodsHow do you feel today?

What is art therapy?
Art therapy works the same way talk therapy works. In addition to talking about feelings, challenges and concerns, we use art materials to express what's going on inside. You may have heard the expression, "A picture is worth a thousand words". Art therapy helps people say in an image what is hard to say with words. It is not a tarot reading. I do not tell you what you think or feel based on what you created. Each person has his or her own symbols, responses to color or shape, etc. We talk about it together.

Do you just work with kids?
Actually, I am just working with adults now. Some may assume that Art Therapy is for children, but really it's for everyone. Children find it is easier to express themselves using art than trying to explain or define what they are feeling in words. Teens and adults have learned to rely on words to explain their feelings so much that they have a harder time getting back to the core of what they feel and need. Art helps people to express themselves spontaneously, without over-thinking or justifying their thoughts or emotions.

Do you work with kids? Teens? Adults?
I work with adults and senior citizens, including those with developmental disabilities. You may contact me for resources related to finding Art Therapists for children and teens.

Do I have to be an artist? I can't even draw a stick figure!
Art ability or talent is not necessary or required. A lot can be expressed with stick figures! You have a choice of a variety of materials including crayons, markers, pencils, collage, oil pastels, chalks, paint, clay -- whatever might help you to create what you need to. We are all creative people. What you create may not include a recognizable object. A great deal can be shared using shapes, lines, colors and textures.

What can I expect when I come to see you for therapy?
In addition to being a licensed art therapist, I am also a licensed clinical counselor. Not everyone who comes to see me uses art therapy when they come for therapy. The choice about how you want to do therapy is yours.

The first session is an opportunity for us to get to know each other. There is some intake paperwork to complete so I can have some background information so that our time is not initially taken up with those details. The first meeting is a time for you to identify what you need, what you want to accomplish in therapy, talk about the issues you need help with and to ask me questions about how I can be of service to you. Sometimes this is done using art materials as a means of introduction, or just sitting down in my comfy chairs and talking. Your rights and responsibilities as a client, confidentiality and HIPPA rights will also be presented during the first session.

How often do I come in for therapy?
Weekly sessions are most effective in the beginning. There are some individuals who come every other week. More than two weeks between sessions can be challenging because so much happens between sessions that may be important to share and "catching up" can be time consuming. Too much time between sessions interrupts the momentum of the therapy and can delay progress in treatment. As progress is made, your therapy sessions may be changed to every other week.

What do you charge?
My standard fee is $110.00 per hour for individual therapy sessions and $125.00 for couples and family therapy. This fee can be negotiated for individuals with hardship circumstances.

Do you take insurance?
I am a provider for several insurance companies and community programs including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Presbyterian Health Plan, Aetna, Medicaid (Centennial Care), United Behavioral Health, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), and the New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission. I am also a contracted provider for the Developmental Disabilities Medicaid Waiver Program and the Mi Via Waiver, which are funded by the New Mexico Department of Health and Medicaid.

What information will I have to provide on my first visit?
Here are printable forms for you to complete and bring to your first session: INTAKE FORMS

How is privacy handled? Does anyone need to know I am seeing you?
The work we do together is confidential. While I am required by law to keep professional files documenting our therapy work, this information can only be released by subpoena from a court of law. What is said or created in therapy remains in the therapy office. The only exceptions are: if you are in danger of hurting yourself or others, cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation of children and adults. Therapists are required by law to inform Child or Adult Protective Services in such cases. If you are using insurance to pay for your therapy, only information needed for billing will be given to your insurance company. This does not include the specific content of your sessions with me. My practice is compliant with all HIPPA laws and the ethics codes of my profession. You will be provided information about your rights, privacy and agency practices in writing.

What kind of experience do you have?
I have worked in the mental health field since 1978. This includes my training while obtaining my Masters degree in 1981 and as a therapist in the community. I have worked in a residential shelter with child survivors of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect, with teens at an in-patient psychiatric hospital, the orthopedic ward of a medical hospital for children, and a rape crisis center. I have been in private practice for nearly 30 years. For a detailed description of my experience and expertise, please review my resume included on this website.

Do you specialize in any particular diagnosis or problems?
I have expertise in working with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, sexual, physical and emotional abuse, domestic violence, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, relationship issues, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.

I also specialize in intellectual and learning disorders such as: Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Asperger's Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury and Intellectual Disabilities.

What kinds of services do you offer? Are there any specific approaches you use to help people?
I provide art therapy, counseling, and behavioral therapy to individuals, couples, families and groups. I work in a holistic manner with my clients taking into consideration physical health conditions, eating and sleeping patterns, physical activity, life stressors, family and social relationships, cultural and spiritual influences, lifestyle and recreational choices in addition to the emotional and mental health concerns that brought you in to see me. I believe what occurs between sessions is just as important as what happens in sessions. At times I may recommend "homework" as a means of practicing skills or trying a new strategy that may have been discussed in session. This may include writing assignments, making something, implementing a new strategy or doing something new or fun.

Do you do group therapy? Couples therapy?
Yes! Groups are formed on an ongoing basis depending on the needs of the community. Group therapy typically includes up to eight people at a time with similar concerns and at the same developmental or social stages of life. In the past I have facilitated groups for trauma survivors, social skills, psycho-educational topics, women's issues, teen issues, and grief and loss.

I also work with gay and straight couples to work on relationship issues, improving communication, and developing more effective strategies for getting along and living more fulfilled lives.

Do you do professional training? Can I get continuing education credits for it?
I am an approved Continuing Education Trainer through the New Mexico Counseling and Therapy Practice Board. I have provided training for professionals in ethics, clinical supervision, developmental and intellectual disabilities, a variety of art therapy and counseling related topics, primary and secondary Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder and business practices for professionals. For a complete list of professional presentations, please review my resume included on this website. I also provide clinical supervision for professionals working toward independent licensure and credentialing.

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