Initially, I earned my Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Ball State University and then entered directly into the Master of Fine Art program at Herron School of Art and Design. While at Herron I was able to teach classes and mentor undergraduate students, which allowed me to see that art is a uniform vehicle for communication, allowing those with different backgrounds, ideas, and beliefs to share a common language. I am the oldest of five, my mom is a therapist, and I spent my summers in college nannying or being a camp counselor. All of this and my experience at Herron cemented my decision to pursue my second Master of Art in mental health counseling and art therapy from the University of Indianapolis; the perfect way to combine my passion of helping and supporting others and the expressive arts.
Prior to Mini Minds, I was at a middle school, providing school-based counseling services for adolescents ages 11-14. I was able to provide much needed support and in return my students taught me so much and encouraged me to be the best therapist I could be. During that time, I was also teaching littles at a local preschool. Bouncing between children and adolescents presented a challenge, but ultimately, I loved the variety and seeing the different ways emotional expression and art showed up with both of populations. I was able to really refine my practice of individualized treatment for each client, as everyone’s needs are different, and each child needs me to show up for them in a unique way.
My approach to therapy with my clients is person-centered and strength based, and I utilize art and my therapy dog when appropriate. I know that being a kid while navigating today’s world is hard. But with a good support system and the right tools I believe children can thrive and live their best lives. I approach each client with a holistic approach, looking at their biopsychosocial makeup to best understand and support them. At my core I am a creative. I always look for creative solutions and alternative ways to provide effective therapy. I enjoy working with clients that are experiencing low mood/suicidal ideation/self-harm, anxiety/adjustment difficulties, trauma, peer/family relationship challenges, school struggles, and those that identify as LGBTQ+.
Finally, I want to introduce Remy. She started her therapy dog career with me at the middle school where she helped me better connect and support my students. From then on, we have worked as a team, sometimes she is an active part of the therapeutic process while in other circumstances she just helps hold space and provides comfort.
When I am not supporting my clients and their families, I enjoy spending time being active outdoors with things like hiking, gardening, running, and walking Remy. I love to spend time with my family, specifically when we get together to watch my youngest brother play football – Go Tigers!
Therapy with Remy
Therapy with Remy is different for each client and is very dependent on the child’s needs and how she can best support them. In some cases she is an active apart of the treatment, for example assisting with self-esteem and understanding boundaries. With other clients she plays a more subtle role, acting as another form of comfort and familiarity. Remy is in tune with the emotions of those around her and as a team we are able to truly support each client that comes through the door. Remy is often the bridge between a reluctant child and therapist when it comes to making therapy a safe and welcoming positive experience.