Community Reach Center in Adams County provides a wide range of mental health services and programs for clients of all ages. One program in particular is an art therapy program allowing clients to work through their struggles in an artistic …
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Community Reach Center in Adams County provides a wide range of mental health services and programs for clients of all ages. One program in particular is an art therapy program allowing clients to work through their struggles in an artistic way.
The program is divided into two groups: expressive art therapy and mindfulness art therapy. Katie Ledbetter, expressive art therapist at Community Reach, said the first group is focused on using a wide variety of mediums for creative expression to explore personal issues. The second group is more advanced focusing on developing mindfulness skills and creatively applying those skills to personal issues, Ledbetter added.
“Clients participate in the expressive art therapy before they move on to the mindfulness group,” she said. “I want the clients to get a sense of my style and have a chance to get a good introduction using the materials first before moving on to more expressive art.”
Ledbetter, who has been at Community Reach for two years, earned her master’s degree in expressive art therapy. She said she has a strong passion for rehabilitation and using art expression to help people meet personal goals.
“I’ve worked in environments where success and progress was defined really differently,” she said. “I wanted to be in a profession where things are done differently where I have access to a wide range of tools for growth and change and art therapy allows for that.”
Ledbetter said for many consumers the first couple art therapy sessions can be a little intimidating. But once people realize they’re in a safe environment without judgment, clients tend to feel more open to the possibilities and are also more responsive to the art projects and each other, she added.
“As the program goes on, consumers are willing to ask more questions and share more about their own art work,” Ledbetter said. “I really get to see their confidence increase, which is really great.”
Anyone interested in the art therapy program must be a consumer at Community Reach and needs a referral from his or her outpatient therapist. Art experience is not needed for the 12-week program. Ledbetter said the focus is personal expression tied to treatment-related goals.
For more information, visit www.communityreachcenter.org.
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