Karen is a nationally Board Certified Art Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor in North Carolina. She earned a Masters Degree in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute and a BFA in Art Education with a concentration in Jewelry and Metal Design from East Carolina University.
Karen has a range of experience working as an art therapist in inpatient adult psychiatry, outpatient day programs for adults coping with mental illness and addiction, family art therapy in an urban therapeutic program, and with adolescents and adults with eating disorders. She believes art therapy is an essential therapeutic component for individuals coping with eating disorders. Creating art can enliven the creative spirit, promote change and growth, and encourage the nonverbal expression of emotions. In individual, group, and multifamily art therapy sessions, Karen utilizes the process of art-making, creative writing, dramatic play, and music to help individuals access their innate strengths and abilities to face life’s challenges.
Presentation: Canvas & Collaboration: Self Expression in Recovery
For many individuals struggling with an eating disorder in can be difficult to describe their challenges through verbal expression alone. Integrating creative self-expression into eating disorder treatment in the form of Expressive Arts Therapy (visual art, music, poetry, drama, and movement) gives patients the opportunity to express emotions and ideas nonverbally in a supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere. Expressive arts therapists have been working for decades in a variety of mental health settings including eating disorder treatment to help patients manage symptoms, expand coping strategies, and increase self-awareness and confidence. Patients explore and discover new ways to process their thoughts and emotions by creating and building a visual record of their journey into recovery. Attendees will learn how expressive arts therapists work alongside other clinicians to support clients recovery with a particular focus on art therapy. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an art therapy experiential to further their knowledge similar to paintings created by patients for the “Recovery Wall.”