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What is

Art therapy?

Art therapy is a clinical approach in which the client creates art as a way of externally expressing their inner world, with the goal of improving the client's overall sense of well-being.

The media used, the process of creation, and the resulting artwork itself are used to:
  • explore the client's feelings
  • resolve emotional conflicts
  • foster self-awareness
  • increase self-esteem
  • improve behavioral, mental, and physical functioning
Art therapy is a process of bringing the unconscious to the conscious, within the safe container of the therapeutic relationship.

What if i'm not an artist?

No problem! There's absolutely no art experience required. Even if you've never picked up a crayon or a paintbrush before, as long as you are expressing yourself using art media in session, you're doing art therapy.

Art Therapy Team

Meet Our Team

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Cecilia Polkinhorn

Art Therapist, Associate MFT

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Edie Moses

Art Therapist, Associate MFT

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Jessica Ziehl

Art Therapist, Associate MFT

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Johanna Pavlogianis

Art Therapist, Associate MFT

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Liat Alon

Art Therapy Program Director ATR-BC, Associate MFT

I found that I could say things with colors and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.

- Georgia O'Keeffe

INDIVIDUAL, COUPLES,
and FAMILY THERAPY

In addition to art therapy groups (see below) West Valley Counseling Center offers art therapy services on an individual basis. Art Therapy utilizes the healing and cathartic elements of the creative process to guide children, teens, adults, couples, and families in working through conflicts and making positive changes in their lives. Our trained art therapists are all Associate Marriage and Family Therapists who can combine talk therapy with art therapy techniques in a unique course of treatment that will be specifically designed and tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual, couple, or family. Children and teens benefit from the playful and less-direct elements of art therapy. Adults benefit from the catharsis and depth that the process of art making allows. Couples and families benefit from experiencing art making as a neutralizing agent when verbal communication patterns become hurtful or unhealthy. Overall, the creative process carries innate healing properties that can only be understood fully through experience. Also, it's fun!

Groups

  • Authentic Connections
  • Being a Pre-teen in 2018
  • Girls Rise
  • My Anxious Mind
  • Oceans Of Emotions

A group for adults who are sick of small talk and polite conversation

Mondays

5:30 - 7:00 pm
Liat Alon
Download brochure

Interested in taking off your mask and connecting with people in deep, meaningful, and authentic ways? In Authentic Connections you will engage in relating games, experiential exercises, guided conversations, meditations, and art making. No art making experience required. The variety of techniques and approaches allows for a playful and experiential manner for you to move into authenticity, within yourself, in relation to others, and in the way you live your life.

Benefits include:

  • Support and acceptance from an authentic community

  • Tools to create authentic relationships outside of group

  • Uncovering wise and powerful parts of you

  • Empowerment and accountability to create the life you want

  • Learning not to take everything so seriously…we are going to have some fun!

Art Therapy Group for Girls Ages 11-13

Thursdays

4:30 - 6:00 pm
Cecilia Polkinhorn
Download brochure

Pre-teen girls are in a tough stage in their lives and communication can become difficult. This group provides a safe environment for pre-teen girls to express themselves in more ways than speech alone can provide.

Led by a trained Marriage & Family Therapy / Art Therapy Associate, group sessions will use a variety of art materials and specific directives to address issues such as impacts of social media, emotional regulation, friendships & boundaries, self-esteem & body image, self-care, and mindfulness. The group setting will allow members to find peer support through shared experiences.

An Art Therapy Group for High School Girls

Wednesdays

5:30 - 7:00 pm
Jessica Ziehl
Download brochure

Girls RISE is an art therapy group that focuses on the issues facing high school girls while moving through those challenges with a newfound sense of empowerment.  RISE stands for resiliency, identity, self-care, and empowerment. This group will explore these concepts along with self-esteem, relationships, body image, mindfulness, anxiety, social media, depression, self-expression and much more.  

Art therapy gives voice to experience through visual and symbolic expression while the group environment provides a safe place for the girls to be seen and heard while exploring their thoughts and feelings.  When words fail, art prevails.

Using Art Therapy to Cope with Anxiety

Tuesdays

5:00 - 6:30 pm
Johanna Pavlogianis
Download brochure

This group provides a safe space for adults to explore and get acquainted with their anxiety through the use of art therapy. The group setting offers members an opportunity to have peer support through shared experiences. Group members will learn coping skills to help reduce their feelings of anxiety in a safe collaborative environment.

Some other ways art therapy may help with anxiety:

  • Cathartically releasing what could otherwise feel overwhelming.

  • Allows you to look at anxiety rather than be in it.

  • Creates distance between yourself and anxiety in order to lessen anxiety’s control over you.

  • Assists in self-soothing.

  • Helps you reconnect to a side of calm and tranquility.

Art experience is not necessary to participate in art therapy, because when feelings are intense and words fail, art making can carry you forward to new levels of integration.

An Art Therapy Group for Kids Ages 7-10

Mondays

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Edith Moses
Download brochure

Are your child’s grades dropping? Are family, sibling, and peer relationships becoming strained and difficult? Does your child seem unhappy? This group will utilize unique art therapy interventions to help kids regulate their waves of emotions by using their innate creativity to problem solve and cope, which will ultimately improve negative behavior, increase emotional intelligence, improve self-confidence and overall well being.

Request a Call back

Let us know how can we help you, we will contact you.

Need Help?

Please Contact us

West Valley Counseling Center

West Valley Counseling Center
19634 Ventura Blvd. Suite 212 Tarzana, CA 91356

Email: info@westvalleycounseling.org

Phone: (818)758-9450

Call Us