Mission: The art therapy institute is a north carolina nonprofit, serving the triangle region. The art therapy institute is an organization of mental health professionals dedicated to the healing power of the arts. We provide clinical art therapy services to diverse populations, empowering clients to develop their own identities through the art making process. We also offer training to allied professionals and seek to raise awareness in the general community about our profession and the benefits of art therapy. We offer both individual and group art therapy services to children, adolescents, adults and families. Art therapy can help clients express feelings too difficult to talk about, increase self-esteem and confidence, identify feelings and blocks to emotional growth and find an avenue for communication through art.
Programs: The burma/newcomer's project: the art therapy institute has contracts with the chapel hill/carrboro city schools as well as the durham public schools to serve students in the english as a second language (esl) program who have difficulties communicating verbally. This program began as a pilot program serving refugee students from burma, newly immigrated to chapel hill and carrboro. Many of these students had experienced tremendous challenges in their lives, including trauma, life in refugee camps, deaths in their families, and continue to face difficulties in acculturation, self-esteem, and language barriers. Currently ati is the main resource for all refugee students and nonverbal referrals in the chapel hill/carrboro school system and we continue to expand the program each year. The school system has begun a "newcomer's center" as a first stop for all newcomer's to america and we have been providing art therapy groups to these students, which include many nationalities, and 5-6 different languages spoken in each group. Because of our unique capability of fostering nonverbal communication and emotional expression, we have had great success with art therapy in these groups. Just this year, we have just begun providing groups in the durham public schools as well as individual art therapy sessions with students in the orange county schools, with esl students from all over the world;many of whom have experienced extremely difficult life circumstances. Our adult programming consists of women's support groups in the community, and office hours to work with adult refugee clientsan evening a week at carrboro community health center. Both programs work with and receive referrals from the doctors at the clinic. Clients are able to display their artwork at the art therapy institute gallery for an annual artshow.
exceptional children's program in the chapel hill/carrboro city schools the art therapy institute has a contract with the chapel hill/carrboro city schools to serve students in the exceptional children's program. This program includesall exceptional children'sself-contained classrooms in the district. The students have a variety of life challenges including autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, learning impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments, emotional and behavioral disabilities, and other life challenges. The art therapy serves to help with communication, social skills, emotion regulation, sensory integration and self-expression, as well as gross and fine motor skills. In addition, it is a positive means for the student to gain mastery and success in school. Group members are able to display their artwork at the art therapy institute gallery for an annual artshow. Through the ec program, we see approximately110 kids over the course of the year, for 45 minutes a week. Many of our students are seen in small groups. Over the course of the week the clinicians have about 30 hours of client contact per week.
other community outreach unc pediatric oncology project ati's art therapy program for the pediatric department of hematology/oncology at unc chapel hill brings art to children with cancer and blood disorders. One of the main focuses of this program is using the apple ipad with the children being treated in the department. The apple ipad is a great way to do art with children who have cancer because it is very easy to keep clean and easily transported. We typically see about 16 kids a week for about 30 minutes each, totaling about 8-9 hours a week. Duke art therapy programming: the digital art therapy program serves inpatient children on duke's pediatric bone marrow transplant (pbmt) unit. This weekly program provides children with a much-needed expressive outlet, while maintaining the safety precautions necessary on a sterile unit. This work also offers opportunities for relaxation and distraction during medical procedures. [2 hrs per week, 1-4 clients served each week, about 150 client sessions per year] the duke outpatient art therapy program serves pbmt out-paitents at the durham ronald mcdonald house. Art-based group sessions offer children a chance to express themselves, socialize with peers, learn new skills, and find support in the community. A variety of art materials are used, and directives often touch on documenting and processing the cancer journey. [one 2 hour session per month, 4-8 clients served each session, about 50 clients served annually] art therapy program at galloway ridge we work with the elderly at galloway ridge and provide one monthly art therapy group. "alzheimer's and dementia clients can benefit from creating art together in the safe, structured environment of an art therapy session which provides a nonverbal, creative outlet for expression. 4 hours per month, 8-10 clients per group community arts and peer support group ati therapists are currently offer an outpatient arts and peer support group for adults living with mental illness. This weekly group, held at the art therapy institute in carrboro, provides a supportive community for consistent art-making opportunities and social interactions. Group members are able to display their artwork at the art therapy institute gallery for an annual artshow. Groups consist of approximately 8-10 members and meet weekly for 2 hours per week. Over the course of the year we have worked with approximately 30 adults. Education/training in addition to our clinical art therapy work, we serve as an educational and training resource for those interested in learning more about art therapy in the triangle region. We hold trainings and workshops for aspiring art therapy students and professionals and consult with teams about how art therapy can be utilized in different settings. Our clinicians are also able to supervise other professional art therapists working towards their licensure. We are a national board of certified counselors and affiliates approved continuing education provider. This has allowed us to providea fall and springworkshop series annually to educate and train local mental health providers in our area. We hope to continue to grow this portion of our organization as a means of sustainability.