With great excitement I announce the formation of Dallas Art Therapy.  This non-profit serves to help bring art therapy services to the Dallas Community.  Many small organizations that provide excellent mental health care to our community have reached out wanting to add art therapy services.  The problem has been three fold: 1. there are not enough art therapists in Dallas to do all of the work.  (Art therapists are required to complete a Masters degree, licensure as an LPC (2,000 hours) and certification as an ATR which is equal to the LPC in several other states).  2. Financial gap between what organizations can pay and what the art therapist requires to fulfill professional responsibilities and 3. widespread misunderstanding of what art therapy is all about.  (Hint: it is not arts and crafts or coloring books).

Through fundraising, donations and volunteers I hope to provide a foundation for new art therapists to provide services to out community.   As more art therapists graduate from programs in New York, Florida, Illinois, and more, perhaps they will come to Dallas and help to grow our art therapy community.  Eventually, we would really like for a university in Texas to start an art therapy masters program.

Currently, Hati Munetsi is leading an Open Art Studio on Saturdays.  Adult studio time is from 10 – 12 and Youth Open Studio is from 2-4.  The studio will run through the first week of December and then close for the holidays.  The studio is free to attend.  Donations are needed and appreciated!  The studio is located at 9535 Forest Lane, STE 264, Dallas, TX 75243.

Inquiries can be sent to me at andrea@dallasarttherapy.com


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New Office as of 9/1/2017

As of September 1, 2017, I have moved my private practice location to a new space.  As you can imagine, I really did not look forward to moving again, but, after returning to full time practice, that space was too small.  I am thrilled with the new office and hope that it is comfortable and convenient for my clients.

The address is 6060 N. Central Expressway, STE 500. Dallas, TX 75206.

(The old office is now the home of a not for profit I have created called Dallas Art Therapy. )


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“This is why, Hewitt says, techniques that just target the way people think — like cognitive behavioral therapy — aren’t a good fit for perfectionism. “

In art therapy, perfectionism emerges from the first moment. Perfectionist habits must be abandoned to create. One must be brave and risk humiliation, rejection, and tolerate anxiety.
One of my joys in life is watching clients find comfort in their own imperfection. Relaxing into that zone makes space for risk taking and growth in life beyond the canvas.

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Art Therapy Groups

April 2017 We gathered to see “A Story I have to Tell”.   Women from various cultural ad genetic backgrounds gathered and shared stories.  We met on the final day of Barak Obama’s day in office and as Trump stepped in to take over the presidency our meetings took on a new meaning.  A dialog started.  We discussed the feeling of being disenfranchised, being priveledged and the more that was shared the more we learned how connected we all are.   Niloo Jalivaand of Booker T. Washington School of the Performing and Visual Arts filmed footage for what will become a short film documentary.   The completed story cloths will be displayed in an art exhibit in 2018.


Story cloth group

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Advance copy!

January 2017 is the release date of this new book.  It is to be used in college courses to teach ethics to future licensed counselors.  I wrote my chapter while fostering and most of it was written while laying on the floor in between the children’s beds waiting for them to fall asleep.  My mind was so full and it was hard to concentrate.  But, somehow, I was able to eek out this chapter.  Art therapy is my passion and I really enjoyed researching and speaking to other professionals.  

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Story Cloths

At the conference in Baltimore I attended a full day course about the history of and making of story cloths.  

In the spirit of telling “a story that needs to be told”, I invite participants to join me in creating a story cloth.  I will offer space and materials for use on specified dates (tba) at my office.  Or, alternatively you can make yours from home and share your images and stories from afar.  

We will be creating a short film about our journey to be submitted to the AATA film festival 2017.

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2016 Art Therapy Conference

Last week I had the privilege to travel to Baltimore and attend the American Art Therapy Conference. 

Here are some photos from the week.

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Expressive Art Therapy Non-Profit on the way

I am so very excited to announce that Jamie Heavey, LPC, ATR and myself are working to establish a non profit Expressive Art Therapy Studio in Dallas!   We are currently writing our business plan which is a lengthy and not so fun and exciting process compared to art making.  We are looking at potential locations that have space we can afford.  Next we will name a board and then start fundraising so we can open the doors.  I know there is such a huge need for expressive art therapy services and we can not wait to be able to provide them to our community!  We are also excited to have a place to train students from many universities near and far!


We are ready to get messy and take risks!

Want to help this dream launch?  Go here:  paypal.me/adavisart

Every bit helps to bring expressive arts therapy to our community!

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New Office

This month has seen a few changes.  I have relocated my office to 9550 Forest Lane, Suite 715 – F.   I enjoyed my time at the White Rock location but a move was forced when the build was sold to RISD.

Update: I have an opportunity to love to a newly built office across the street. It is part of a new office concept.  It will have a coffee bar in the waiting area that is serviced by the building and a conference room right outside my door which will be very convenient for a big project I have in the works!

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Parentified children and art making

Child_Parent_Reverse-300x300In my work with children who have been removed from abuse or neglect settings, more often than not children will display “parentified” behavior.  These children have experienced a role reversal between parent and child.  The child has, by necessity, taken over the parental role, sacrificing their own needs in order to maintain the needs of the parent.  Foster or adoptive parents will often complain that their child is consistently arguing, being bossy, manipulating, sneaking, and outright parenting siblings.

It is very hard for a parentified child to relate to peers.  They have been so busy maintaining the emotional and physical needs that the parent has neglected that they have unmet developmental goals.  Letting go of feelings of responsibility and playing or being silly can be a challenge.

Art therapy is a powerful therapeutic method for these kids.  The art process helps loosen up rigidness and allows for a safe expression of playfulness and exploration.  One child who participated in art therapy started out feeling very self critical and afraid to make a mistake. Once she had developed trust with her therapist she was more tolerant to experiment and try new things risking mistakes.  To be able to tolerate mistakes is a huge milestone that mirrors the capacity to have self worth regardless of outcomes.   Children who parent, tend to have a great need to be the “good” child and have less tolerance for mistakes.  This is one way art therapy heals.

Watch for these behaviors:

  • Grades are falling
  • Not making or keeping friends
  • Acting depressed, anxious or uninterested in things
  • Overly concerned with siblings following rules
  • Overly interested in adults conversations
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