Melissa has been a practicing artist for 30 years and has a deep understanding of the creative process and its importance in supporting emotional well-being.
As an art psychotherapist/art therapist, she has witnessed art to be a non-verbal form of communication for children, adolescents and adults with verbal difficulties, who have problems putting into words traumatic experiences, can do so through art.
Melissa also works with individuals and groups with intellectual disabilities and those diagnosed with dyslexia, autism/Asperger’s syndrome. Recognizing that many individuals who ‘think in pictures’ (Temple Grandin, 2006) due to differing brain connections, can express and communicate inner conflicts by making images. This has been the foundation of her practice, in particular with issues coping in school and as a college student.
She believes that all change and healing begins with creating a new understanding of oneself, which in turn creates new possibilities going forward. To engage in psychotherapy through art enables this creative life process. It is now known that when a person is creating art or is healing, this person will emit the same brain wave patterns.