Art Therapy is at the Heart of ArtVan

ArtVan Art Therapists are master’s level, certified professionals with experience working with people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. With a sincere desire to honor all individuals, their commitment to inclusion, creative expression, and diversity guide each interaction and program design. Click to Meet the Team!

The model we’ve found to be most effective to activate change and reach Youth at diverse levels and abilities is Co-Facilitation. For deeper, therapeutic interventions, ArtVan’s unique co-facilitation model allows the Art Therapist to focus on emotional space and the other Therapist on the product, prompting insight into sensitive content.

Supportive Co-Facilitation in Action

When a Youth laughed at her own drawing, the Teaching Artist invited the Art Therapist to help them explore the disconnect of effect (humor) and subject matter (suicide). Together they supported the Youth’s artistic expression, technique, and difficult feelings that she may have been unable to express without Art as the conduit.

The creative process and resulting artwork offer problem-solving opportunities for Youth struggling with internal and external conflicts and isolation, help build acceptance and self-esteem, and promote empowerment.

The art-making and creative process is rooted in a human’s need to communicate and to know. Through the creative process, we are privileged to discover new meanings and relationships, create a practical path to the unseen, and then bring it to a place of reality with Art Therapy.

Both encourage self-reflection, self-awareness, self-regulation and commitment. Both focus on the development of positive social skills, life skills, good decision-making and resilience. Participating in Art Therapy provides a safe and tangible outlet for underlying thoughts and feelings. Anti-social behaviors, such as theft, drugs, alcohol and risky sexual behavior, are less likely to occur where safe outlets and opportunities for self-expression are available.

Youth may begin to see themselves, their peers, and their community in a different way. Working to create an image, dance, performance, or poem requires self-discipline and communication. It also requires healthy risk-taking to try something new or extraordinary.

Through art exhibits, events and volunteerism, community leaders can see Youth as positive members of the community and Youth are able to take ownership of their community in a way that is productive, not destructive. As a result, Youth may develop more positive relationships with authority figures. The growth of these relationships often lead to a deeper mutual understanding between two parties, allowing for better collaboration and communication.