About 2018-07-29T18:16:34+00:00

About me

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About Summer

I love working with anxious, overwhelmed, sensitive clients because I’ve been there. I’ve been the insecure, perfectionistic student. I’ve been the stay-at-home mom battling with severe postpartum anxiety and depression. I’ve been through the trenches, and I get it. And while I’m happy to share what I’ve learned along the way, my story is different from your story. I want to hear your story, and then work together with you to write the next chapter the way you want it. It’s not always comfortable, and there will likely be growing pains. But in the end, I want you to feel so much better.

As a therapist, my secret recipe includes elements of Art Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral techniques, Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, Humanistic Theory, and Narrative Therapy. I’m not an aloof therapist who hides behind a notepad. I use a lot of humor and I’m not afraid of tears. At times I’m active and coach-like, and when needed, I’m a quiet, gentle witness. Past clients have told me that I’m welcoming, warm, and easygoing, and they can feel my caring from across the room.

I earned my MA in Marital and Family Therapy with an emphasis in Clinical Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University. I have worked with just about every kind of population, but I work best with motivated, creative, and anxious folks. Currently, I am working toward licensure at Pacific MFT Network under the supervision of Tracy Bevington, LMFT (CA #53455).

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About Art Therapy

Art therapy is a blend of in-session artmaking with more traditional psychotherapy techniques and theories. Artmaking adds a component of emotional processing, nonverbal communication, and expressive catharsis that words can’t reach. Sometimes I’ll invite you to make art about a specific topic, and sometimes you’ll take the lead. I have witnessed the clarifying power of my clients putting their jumbled, confused thoughts onto paper. I have seen issues and struggles come out in the imagery that the client didn’t fully realize was bothering them. And sometimes, just the simple act of creation is the most powerful healer in the room.

Not at all. Art therapy is not just for artists. It’s not about making a masterpiece, or even about making something beautiful. It’s about being honest, and sometimes the truth is ugly. It’s about getting your emotions out of your body and onto the page, so we can take a good look at them. It’s about the healing power of the creative process and about creating joy even when we’re imperfect.

Typically, I start each session by checking in and reviewing the last week’s session. Then, I will often provide either specific art materials with clear artmaking instructions, or I will provide you with an option of art materials and leave it more open-ended. For example, I may ask you to draw an outline of your body and fill it with different colors, textures, and shapes to represent where your stress and anxiety are exhibiting physically. I may ask you to recreate a specific memory or event that’s bothering you. Or I may ask you to do a watercolor meditation on imperfection and acceptance.

After making the art, we discuss it. We talk about the content of the artwork and your experience of making it. We examine any new insights or emotions that may have popped up. We may do a mindfulness exercise to address the anxiety in your body. We may discuss the brain and how it works. Or we may dive deeper into some of the stuck places in your life. We will go wherever the session needs to go.

After, I keep the artwork in a secure cabinet in my office. Periodically, we will review your past artwork. Your past artwork provides artifacts of where you have been, emotionally and developmentally, and where you are now. Sitting in the room with my clients as they review their past art is one of my favorite moments of treatment.

At the end of treatment, you get to decide what to do with your artwork—what you will keep, what you will alter, and what you will let go.

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