Commonwealth Banner
Online Services | Commonwealth Sites | Help | Governor


Art Therapy

According to American Art Therapy Association, Art Therapy is an established mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art. Art Therapy integrates the fields of human development, visual art, and the creative process with models of counseling and psychotherapy. Art Therapists are skilled in the application of a variety of art modalities for assessment and treatment.

The Art Therapists

Suzanne Arendt, MS, ATR
Lauren Persky, MA
Chelsea Kennedy, MA

The Art Therapy Program

Art Therapy is a part of the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program. We provide Art Therapy to help people better express their thoughts and feelings, engage in creative problem solving, and build on their personal strengths, in both group and individual format. The media used in Art Therapy includes pencils, markers, acrylic and watercolor paints, mask making, self-drying clays, soft and oil pastels, and collage.
The groups are structured to meet the patients needs. We regularly provide supportive groups for people with head trauma or dementia, groups to help mood and thought disorders, personality disorders, and substance abuse.

Art Therapy Groups

Art Therapy Interns

We can accommodate one or two interns at a time. Generally, our interns are from George Washington University, (GWU The setting can be an intense environment in which to work, therefore we traditionally have had second-year students. We prefer to have interns present three days per week, and the workday is from 8:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.

Art Therapy Resources

American Art Therapy Association (AATA)

Potomac Art Therapy Association (PATA)

National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations (NCCATA)

Arts and Healing Network

Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute