CREATIVE ARTS THERAPY: Art & Music Psychotherapy

Creative Arts Therapy is a mental health profession that blends active engagement in an artistic medium, such as art or music, with more traditional talk therapy techniques. It is a holistic practice that treats mental, emotional, and physical disorders and promotes overall well-being. This process of creating is used to help individuals express themselves and gain insight to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, reduce stress, and increase self-esteem, and self-awareness. Creative engagement stimulates whole-brain responses and promotes active participation in treatment. Creative arts therapists utilize both verbal and nonverbal forms of communication during the therapy process, allowing for unrestrained expression that can be a means of communicating unconscious thoughts, difficult experiences, and indescribable feelings.

At Spotted Rabbit Creative Arts Therapy, PLLC all of our therapists are graduates of nationally accredited, master’s level degree programs and are either licensed to practice creative arts therapy in NY state (LCAT) or are working toward licensure as limited permit holders. State licensure guarantees proper experience in the practice and ethics of counseling and requires additional experience and training compared to board certification alone.

Meet Our Therapists

Sarah Beren, LCAT offers a unique experiential therapy experience that includes art-making, CBT and DBT principles, mindfulness practice, and a focus on developing a sense of purpose and meaning in life. Sarah welcomes clients who may prefer to work in less traditional media such as wood working, ceramics, mixed-media, and fiber arts.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Developmental Disorders
  • Chronic Pain & Medical Issues
  • Disordered Eating / Binge Eating Disorder
  • Complex Trauma and PTSD
  • Depression and Anxiety Disorders
  • Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and Personality Disorders

Mark Rodgers, MS, Limited Permit in Creative Arts Therapy works in an art-based setting to help individuals take a mindful approach to their well-being. By addressing maladaptive coping skills using elements of CBT and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) stimuli and consequences can be identified and explored. Mark welcomes clients who prefer traditional visual arts media, as well as those with an interest in woodworking.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Children & Adolescents
  • Complex Trauma / Grief & Loss
  • Developmental Disorders
  • Depression and Anxiety Disorders
  • Life Transitions
  • Parenting & Family Therapy

Emily Silco, Board Certified Music Therapist uses music as a therapeutic means in a holistic, client-centered approach to help individuals achieve health and wellness. She encourages self-expression to work towards a higher quality of life through passive and active music activities, principles of CBT, and mindfulness practices. Emily welcomes clients, with musical and non-musical backgrounds, who enjoy playing, creating, and listening to music.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Developmental Disorders
  • Medical Issues & Chronic Pain
  • Eating Disorders – Anorexia/Bulimia
  • Complex Trauma/Grief & Loss
  • Schizophrenia & Personality Disorders
  • Depression & Anxiety Disorders
Who Benefits From Creative Arts Therapy?

Visual and musical art making offers clients an alternate mode of self-expression and communication, often when words themselves are ineffective. Art also serves as a bridge between what we unconsciously know inside ourselves and what we present consciously outside ourselves. Creating art can be a way to develop sensory integration and make body-mind connections we may have lost along the way. Art can be a beginning, something to start the conversation, but it can also be the end, a way to heal by creating.

Art and music therapy are tremendous resources for individuals who find it difficult to communicate verbally, either because they lack the ability to do so, or because the issues that need talking about are so traumatic and unaccessible. Words are limiting, and only one form of communicating. Creative modalities bring about emotions, memories, and beliefs that are unconscious and/or indescribable. Visual and musical art making enables individuals a safer method to express difficult experiences compared to talk therapy.

As therapists we find that those who benefit most from creative arts therapy are those who are simply willing to engage with art and/or music materials. No prior art/music making experience is required, as it is often not about the finished product, but rather the process of creating that matters. Through the creative process we help individuals and families reduce anxiety and stress; increase self-awareness; gain insight; process trauma, grief and loss; and develop effective communication and coping skills.

What To Expect In Creative Arts Therapy?

As licensed creative arts therapists we have been trained in traditional psychotherapy techniques as well as the use of the creative arts within sessions. Therapy is individualized so the role of art and/or music in your sessions is dependent on your wants and needs. We simply ask that you remain open to the experience.

At your first session we will review your intake form and gather any information about your history that may be relevant to why you came to therapy. Depending on your reasons for seeking treatment we may ask you to engage in some brief art making activities to evaluate interest and skill in various media. These early sessions are critical to forming a healthy therapeutic relationship and allow for the client to get to know the therapist, and for the therapist to get to know the client. Building a therapy relationship takes time and as therapists we are constantly reassessing where the client is at and adapting equipment, techniques, and approaches.

As treatment continues the therapist will work with you to develop art and/or music interventions to help you meet your personal goals. Sometimes the act of creating allows a person to feel relaxed enough to talk openly, allowing talk therapy to be more effective. Often times it is the art or music making process that results in insight and change. That is, what is created visually or musically is something that was previously unknown to the client. In these instances, after the creative process, clients are given the opportunity to verbally process their experience and discuss anything that might have surfaced. Art and music making helps to connect left and right brain thought processes and promotes integration of emotions, memories, and beliefs. Sometimes art making is about the product. Creating is a healing force and making something of value serves as closure to many individuals. Your therapeutic journey will likely involve a blend of talk therapy, process-focused art making, and product-focused art making, and will be entirely unique to you.

Why Choose Spotted Rabbit?

At Spotted Rabbit Creative Arts Therapy, PLLC, our team embraces creative thinking and proven therapeutic approaches that expand the possibilities for our clients. At our core, we practice person-centered therapy, a form of counseling that focuses on the client-therapist relationship to promote acceptance, genuineness, and empathy. We start therapy where the client is at. That is, we do not force change upon the client but rather approach things at a speed which is comfortable for the client and in keeping with their personal goals. We excel in working with complex cases and “difficult” clients.

Most art therapists utilize drawing and painting materials, however our fully equipped visual art studio allows us to delve into non-traditional visual art media such as hand-built ceramics, wood working, and fiber arts. We have a dedicated ceramics studio (with kiln), as well as a wood shop with all manner of wood working tools. Within our fiber arts space there are options for sewing, weaving, crocheting, and felting. Additionally, our art therapists are experts in mixed-media and can combine any variety of media to match the needs of the client. Our music therapists are experienced in multi-modal art making and can blend music making with movement, video, and visual art.

Lastly, Spotted Rabbit Creative Arts Therapy, PLLC is a smaller, intimate therapy practice. Phone calls and emails are returned by the director (or one of the therapists) so there’s never any middle man or automated system to deal with. Because of our size and the way our practice is organized we can be responsive to each individual client, setting up a therapy schedule and treatment plan that is unique to them. We offer third-party billing for those with OPWDD self-determination plans and can assist individuals with traditional insurance to apply for out-of-network reimbursement. A sliding scale is offered for those with limited financial resources.

GETTING STARTED

Self-Pay

It’s quick and simple to get set up with art or music therapy services at Spotted Rabbit. No referral process is needed. Just contact us to schedule an appointment. We typically have same week availability.

Before you come to your first appointment we ask that you review our office policies and complete our new client intake form which you can download here.

OPWDD Waiver

Did you know OPWDD self-determination plans can cover clinical services like art & music therapy? And that Spotted Rabbit accepts the Medicaid reimbursement rate? We can even bill your FI agency directly!

Review our handy checklist for initiating art and music therapy services through your self-determination plan or contact us for more information.

Contract Opportunities

Spotted Rabbit partners with other agencies and facilities to provide group art and music therapy services. Groups love coming to our studio where they have access to all types of art and music making materials and are free to be as messy and loud as they like. We also welcome opportunities to assist with grant writing in order to provide our services to those that need them most. Contact Sarah for details.

Scheduling

Individual and family sessions are typically scheduled in a 50-55 minute “therapy hour”. Although many clients choose to come weekly, we will work together to create a therapy schedule that works for you. This may include sessions of a shorter or longer duration and/or sessions that occur more or less frequently.

Each therapist has different availability but overall sessions are scheduled 9am-7pm Monday-Friday and 9am-12pm Saturday.

Rates & Payment

Individual and family therapy sessions are $70 per hour. Shorter or longer sessions are pro-rated accordingly. A sliding scale is offered to individuals with financial concerns on a case-by-case basis. We encourage you to discuss your financial situation when scheduling your initial appointment.

Payment is expected at the time of service. Session fees may be paid via cash, check, credit card or FSA/HSA debit card. Checks should be made out to “Spotted Rabbit Creative Arts Therapy, PLLC”. Please note that there is a $15 charge for any returned checks.

For individuals with OPWDD self-determination plans we do accept the Medicaid reimbursement rate and can bill your FI directly on your behalf.

Insurance

Insurance is not accepted at this time, however depending on your insurance benefits our services may qualify for out-of-network reimbursement. Please contact your insurance company directly to find out what your behavioral health benefits are, if LCATs are accepted, and what percentage of the psychotherapy fee they will cover. Spotted Rabbit Creative Arts Therapy, PLLC will provide a superbill if requested, and assist you with completing the appropriate paperwork for reimbursement. Regardless of any potential for reimbursement, payment is due in full at the time of service.

If you are paying for services through OPWDD Waiver (Self-Determination Plan) we will bill your FI directly at the conclusion of each service month.

Cancellation Policy

A minimum of 24 hours notice is required when cancelling or rescheduling individual or family therapy sessions. If multiple sessions are missed not due to unexpected illness or emergency an in person meeting may be required to address attendance issues, or you may be charged a cancellation fee up to the full rate of the session.

Please contact us if you have special needs (such as medical issues, behavioral concerns, or inconsistent transportation) that may impact your ability to attend therapy consistently. We are open to developing a customized schedule and cancellation policy so that this does not become a barrier to behavioral wellness.

Wheelchair Accessibility

Yes, Spotted Rabbit Creative Arts Therapy, PLLC is wheelchair accessible! An attached parking lot easily accommodates loading and unloading, with an entrance only feet from the parking lot. While our primary studio is located on the ground floor and provides wheelchair accessibility the space is not fully ADA compliant (bathroom can accommodate most manual wheelchairs). We are currently saving funds to purchase and outfit a studio mid-2018 so as to offer a truly accessible art and music making space!

Our secondary studio at The Refinery currently houses our wood shop and will be wheelchair accessible once the exterior ramp near our entrance is added.

Our space is entirely LATEX FREE and we are happy to accommodate any other allergies or special needs. Please just let us know!

Transportation Options

Individuals who use self-determination or waiver funds to pay for creative arts therapy are eligible for medicaid transportation. Please note that staff are limited in their ability to transport clients to clinical appointments. If you are relying on staff for transportation it may be preferable to register for classes instead.

If you need assistance coordinating Lift Line transportation or identifying an appropriate RTS bus line just let us know. We’d love to help.

New Client Paperwork

New Client Intake Form download here

Office Policies download here

“The circumstances of our lives actually matter less to our happiness than the sense of control we feel over our lives.” -r. sutherland