Shelbi Gabbard, LMHCA, ATR-P

Mental Health & Art Therapist
Brief info

When I was young, volunteering at various local organizations fueled my passion to go into a profession where I could connect with those I work with and help those around me! This inspired me to go to Butler to pursue an education in psychology, neuroscience and art. While completing my degree at Butler I discovered how art can be therapeutic to others, which made me interested in looking into becoming a Certified Art Therapist. I found when researching how it resonated with me fitting all of my passions into one and I knew that was going to be my next step. During my time at Butler, I worked at an ABA center and learned so many skills while working with amazing families. Working here and helping families navigate their world was such an honor, and solidified the field I wanted to go into. I pursued my Master's at the University of Indianapolis allowing me to apply to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Art Therapist upon graduation. During my time at the University of Indianapolis, I interned with adults and children specifically in navigating cancer and other complex medical diagnoses.

Upon graduation, I spent a year and a half working for a youth shelter. Among my many responsibilities at the agency, I provided trauma-focused therapy for teens and kids who were up for adoption or coming out of juvenile detention. This felt like a good fit for me as I was able to integrate art therapy and utilize a more person-centered approach to meet the kids where they were at in their lives. My person-centered approach and attention to detail seemed to allow me to connect with the kids and explore more challenges they were overcoming. I felt working here that I found how I was able to utilize my passions to show kids who may have never experienced therapy or those that had a negative experience how therapy can benefit and how they have a voice to express themselves appropriately with art and words.

I eventually transitioned to a position with St. Vincent Stress Center to work with teens. I found myself here being able to connect more with families and work on addressing the whole family system along with addressing the kids’ needs. I feel that the time I have spent at the Stress Center fueled my passion for working with teens and kids utilizing art therapy techniques. During my time here I was able to join the Indiana Art Therapy Board as the Treasure, and continue to advocate for Art Therapy in Central Indiana. I was also able to begin teaching at the University of Indianapolis as an adjunct professor creating an opportunity to mentor and educate students going into the mental health field, which made me feel fulfilled in regards to contributing to my profession.

The therapeutic approaches I feel most aligned with, include child and family-centered, strengths-based, cognitive behavioral therapy. I love giving the kids the ability to utilize art and incorporating art into my sessions, but I understand if art is not for everyone and that is perfectly okay. My background has provided me with the tools in working with those navigating adoption, autism, depression, anxiety, and defiance, but I feel the best part of my job is learning and connecting with everyone no matter where they are on their journey. I am looking forward to collaborating with the multidisciplinary team at Mini Minds to best address you and your family’s needs as a team!

When I’m not working, I enjoy creating art, traveling, hanging out with family, gardening, baking, and walking or playing with my dogs Stella, and Brutus.

*Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Butler University ’18
*Masters in Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Art Therapy
University of Indianapolis ‘20
*Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Candidate
University of Indianapolis ’27