Please fill out the booking form to set up an appointment for art therapy or call us at 843.870.7236 to speak to our art therapist.
“There are tools you can use to become a mature, resourceful and contented human being. There is a way to self-knowledge and self-mastery.
Information shared through our booking form is strictly confidential. Your information will never be shared with 3rd parties.
What’s the difference between talk therapy and art therapy?
Psychotherapy is based on counseling, which is regarded as “talk therapy.” Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and master’s level counselors depend largely on talk therapy to reshape a patient’s thinking and behavior, gain insight into their distress, and teach new ways for coping with issues.
As an alternative to traditional talk therapy, creating art during a session with a trained art therapist empowers the client to “speak” clearly and forcefully outside the limitations of language. “Talking” through art is both subtle and pointed, allowing unexpressed feelings to slip past old, powerful unconscious defenses. Art speaks to the old feelings of doubt and shame so wrapped in words that talking seems pointless, giving you a fresh approach to breakthrough overwhelming issues. But understand that while art makes you transparent, exposing suppressed feelings of pain, fear, anger and guilt, it is also a safe place to experience and process trauma. This feeling of safety and control gives you new strength to face emotional burdens.
What is so astonishing about art therapy is its power to function simultaneously on both literal and metaphorical levels. Art allows the unconscious mind to express itself in ways words alone cannot provide. Best of all, art therapists can work with all ages and all mental health issues since the ability to draw is unnecessary. Anyone can benefit from the power of art therapy.
Art Therapy is for Everyone – Children, Adolescents and Adults
Trapped in Limbo
The idea of being trapped between a state of action and inaction is limbo, and the limbo of unexpressed or unrecognized feelings can restrict your capacity for living and limit your potential. Waiting or ignoring issues renders you powerless with no sense of control and no means to change or grow. Imagine the illness, the sheer waste of human potential this suffering causes and you will understand the toll depression, grief and anxiety create in our community.
Escaping the Trap.
Art therapy is a powerful means of taking action. Giving voice to the unconscious mind through art is the action that provides an escape from the limbo of inaction. With the language of art your unconscious mind, that powerful, hidden part of you, can communicate the answers you need to break out of the trap, to be free to heal and grow. Your art making is a language of personal metaphor that lays bare the traps of fear and pain you may have hidden away.
No Artistic Skills are Necessary
Come as you are with whatever artistic ability you have. If you are willing to simply engage in the process of creativity, your unconscious will do the rest. Carl Jung believed the mind is naturally driven to seek health and balance. You unconscious is waiting to communicate with you!
Art therapy is a fun, non-threatening way to deal with intense issues that are difficult to express verbally. Children are often afraid and less articulate, so drawing is a natural, metaphorical language that handles emotions directly in a powerful way that communicates their feelings of sadness, anger, horror, grief and loss.
The Issues of Grief, Loss, Divorce and Abandonment
Emotions can be managed by creating art. Art making process of art therapy will move children forward, allowing their minds to leave memories of hurtful people or painful events behind. Art therapy makes a painful event real in a way that keeps them in control. They feel empowered to fight their pain and fear, and are given insight and the opportunity to heal.
All ages experience the serious problem of bullying. Through art therapy, children are able to safely express feelings of shame, fear, loneliness, and embarrassment. They learn to express their feelings appropriately while gaining the assertive coping skills and self-care strategies that will free them from the role of victim.
Trauma and Victimization Issues
Embarrassing, taboo and scary subjects are much more accessible through art therapy than by verbal means alone. They are able to confront, understand and resolve and heal.
The Power of Social Skills and Phobias
Social situations that are scary or difficult for children are brought to the surface through art therapy in a safe, non-threatening environment. They are able to confront, understand, and resolve their issues, learning and rehearsing the new skills that will help them grow.
While adolescence can be a turbulent and painful time, the creative process of making art is calming and healing. Art therapy provides a safe place where teens will feel encouraged to express their emotions. Studies show that simply coloring a pre-designed mandala will lower blood pressure, respiration and pulse rate.
Art therapy for adolescents is engaging, energizing, and experiential. It challenges depressive symptoms and thoughts directly. Imagery created during art therapy can reveal suicidal thoughts and plans. The adolescent’s self-awareness will be increased, emotions will be seen as something that can be understood and managed. Self-worth and confidence will be rebuilt.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
The use and abuse of substances can be acknowledged and explored in art therapy. Adolescent abuse of drugs and alcohol mask emotions of pain, loneliness, anger and shame. Creating art provides a way to not only release but articulate these emotions through metaphor and symbols.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Defiant, rebellious teens will be drawn to the expressive power of making art with the guidance of their art therapist. Seeing the “invisible” emotional forces they have battled physically appear with such clarity and vigor gives them a sense of owning, containing and managing the feelings that have made their life so painfully difficult.
Even as adults, it is difficult, if not impossible to address our issues and verbalize the fear, anger, shame and pain that have so much power to effect the way we feel and act.
Anger or despair over feeling helpless to these feelings can fuel a variety of destructive behaviors that can make life miserable.
Art therapy is a non-threatening way to deal with intense issues that are difficult to express verbally. And unlike talk therapy, making art can be surprisingly, liberatingly direct. This powerful means of communication will allow you to address sadness, anger, horror, grief and loss head-on in a productive, life-changing way.
Anxiety and Stress
The tangible expression of pain, worries or grief through art provides relief not only through comprehension but the sense of manageability that comes with new perspectives. These new perspectives, positive thoughts and imagery bring healing with the closure to old thought patterns and behaviors.
Family and Divorce Issues
Creating art allows family issues to surface and become accessible in often surprising and illuminating ways. Once these issues are articulated, the art therapist will teach the skills needed to heal and deepen relationships.
Average healthy adults will benefit from exploring their personal qualities. Making art with the guidance of an art therapist connects you to your unconscious in ways you have never experienced. Unlike the rational, limited realm of human consciousness, the unconscious provides access to the unlimited, regenerative forces the human mind.
Brain Trauma, Pain, Fatigue, and Alzheimer’s
New research shows that creating art through the art therapy process decreases pain and stress by accessing and integrating memories from trauma and altering fatigue perception. It can be a powerful aid in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia and improves the quality of life for those facing disability or illness.
Creating art provides ways to explore, reveal and resolve life’s issues as understanding develops with maturity. By creating art, the communion we initiate with ourselves strengthens the intuitive understanding and empathy we experience with others, while cultivating both the spirit and intellect for a richer, deeper existence.
View Art Therapy Work Below
“Where do I begin? I initially undertook this endeavor out of curiosity and to investigate a career change I have been contemplating. I have been participating in one-on-one therapy as well as couples therapy, for quite some time and it was my regular therapist who suggested I give Art Therapy a try not only for my well being, but she thought I might enjoy it and potentially be good at it as a career.
I admit I fully expected to get something out of it. I didn’t expect to get as much as I have. The love and connection I have felt for all participating has been substantial. The feeling of connecting with a diverse group of people courageously struggling to understand and heal themselves through art is difficult for me to put in words. The capacity for sharing and the support of this group has really made an impact on me. It feels humbling and somewhat familial. I can’t overstate how much this group has meant to me in such a short period of time.”
Dianne, I’d like to thank you personally for allowing me into such a group. Your guidance, love, compassion, and insight were invaluable. They are probably the main reason I feel this group has connected and grown the way it has in such a short time. I feel like I’ve been opened up to a very positive and new phase of my life. I’m quite sure you will see me again.
With love and gratitude…” – T.P. (Male adult client)
“Thank you for including me in your art therapy group. I feel lucky and blessed to have been a part of this group at such a transitional and healing stage of my life. I believe that participating helped curb some of the side effects of my radiation. More importantly, it gave me a place to go to, to just be, and to create in the intimate company of beautiful souls.
You really helped deepen my understanding of the importance of self-love and acceptance, for which I am grateful and will have to keep my eye and hear on as I continue my life’s journey. It has been an honor to observe the artwork, creativity, and conscience of every member.
Roper St. Francis, where I have received most of my breast cancer treatment, is including massage and music therapy in their offerings to patients. I think your background would be an excellent addition as they develop their cancer center. I suspect practicing art would be helpful to many patients and/or caregivers. Let me know if I can help you make a connection.
Thank you for providing the material, inspiration, meditations, aromas, and hot tea each week. The art therapy has helped me feel more whole. I will continue to do art and mandalas on my own. I desire more!” -T.W. (Female Adult client)
“Great Workshop. Thank you. You are compassionate and kind. Your knowledge base is wonderful. You shared so much expertise.” – Julie Murphy, PhD, LPC, NCC
“I don’t say everything, but I paint everything.”
— Pablo Picasso
ABOUT DIANNE TENNYSON VINCENT
Why did I become an art therapist?
I went to nursing school only because my parents made me. My dad started the nurse anesthetist program at MUSC and my parents had my life planned. They wanted me to become a nurse anesthetist, marry a doctor and live happily ever after. Six months after finishing nursing school and beginning a job as an OR nurse at MUSC, I decided nursing was not for me and at age 19, went back to school for what had been my passion all along. I had been painting since I was twelve and felt alive and excited when I saw the world through the process of creating art! With a BA in Studio Art from the College of Charleston, I moved to Columbia, South Carolina and received my Master’s in Art Education at USC. After I went through a divorce, I found myself being intuitively drawn to art as a way to process what I was going through. Intensely personal, I found it easier and more natural to draw what I experienced on an emotional level than to write or talk about it. About this time, while working a series of difficult, low paying jobs, I contacted Fenwick Hall Hospital, a psychiatric substance abuse facility. On an impulse I called and asked if they had anyone on staff teaching art. Miraculously, a position opened and I was hired as the new art therapist. I was galvanized by this turn of events. After a year working at Fenwick Hall, I was notified one day that the CEO wanted to see me. I was petrified they had decided I wasn’t qualified for the job of art therapist and that they were going to fire me! When I sat down with the CEO, however, I was told that the evaluations from former patients had rated art therapy as the MOST beneficial thing they had experienced in treatment. I left his office determined to go back to graduate school and become a registered art therapist. Now I am.
Now consider this: they had group therapy, they had their own counselor, their own psychologist, their own psychiatrist and recreational therapy, music therapy and occupational therapy. I was astonished by the power of art therapy to change lives.
Broadening the therapeutic process
After 15 years in the field of art therapy, I am still amazed at the life changing effects art therapy provides. Each new project or undertaking confirms my belief that the creative process has almost infinite power to heal.
I have served as an art therapist for “Expressions of Healing,” a Roper Hospital cancer support group. I have been to Bosnia twice and now Haiti twice, helping train teachers and students to use the power of art for healing from trauma. Having a medical background, I am able to tailor the art therapy process to focus on a patient’s mental, physical, and spiritual needs for a deeper, more holistic therapy. Having taught art for over 30 years while also being a professional artist exhibiting locally, I believe the insight and personal growth gained through the creative process is a necessity for becoming an effective therapist.
What training must a registered art therapist have?
Registered art therapists are trained professionals credentialed through the American Art Therapy Association. They have a Master’s degree based on rigorous coursework and clinical hours. For more information on the requirements for becoming an art therapist, go to the American Art Therapy Website.
Art Therapy Workshops and Presentations
Dianne is available to speak and present workshops on the power of art therapy, the use of Carl Jung’s work on the unconscious mind speaking through the mandala, or the healing effects of art therapy with depression, anxiety, cancer, divorce, children, adults, and adolescents.
Here are photos from a recent mandala workshop she presented in Haiti at Ecole Mixtre des Aigles, Sibert, Haiti in March of 2015.
Tennyson Vincent, D., (2015, May) Parent and Child Self Discovery Workshop. Presented at Meeting St. Academy in conjunction with the Gibbs Museum, Charleston, South Carolina.
Tennyson Vincent, D., & Maierle, S., (2015, March) Mandala Workshop for Teachers. Presented at Ecole Mixtre des Aigles, Sibert, Haiti.
Tennyson, D., Henson, M., & St. Louis, S., (2014, October) Using the Expressive Arts in Haiti. Presented at Palmetto Behavioral Health for Helping Professionals Monthly Workshops, Charleston, South Carolina.
Tennyson, D., (2013, October) Art of Healing: Mandala Workshop. Presented at The Gibbs Museum, Charleston, South Carolina.
Tennyson, D., (2012, September) Art of Healing: Mandala Workshop. Presented at the Charleston County Main Library, Charleston, South Carolina
Tennyson, D., (2008, October) Art Therapy: Creativity’s Power to Heal. Presented at the Series of Professional Education Workshops on Complementary & Alternative Medicine at MUSC, Charleston, South Carolina.
Tennyson, D., (2007, May) Art Therapy: An Experiential Workshop. Presented at Palmetto Behavioral Health with the Helping Professionals Monthly Workshops, Charleston, South Carolina.
Tennyson, D., (2006, November) Art Therapy. Presented at the Charleston Artist Guild, Charleston, South Carolina.
Tennyson, D., Luhrs, K., & Fender, S. (2006, October) This Magic Moment in Art and Play Therapy. Presented at the South Carolina School Counselor Association Convention, Charleston, South Carolina.
Tennyson, D., (2005, October) Introduction to Art Therapy. Presented at The Trident Charleston Counseling Association, Charleston, South Carolina.
Tennyson, D., DeLaMaza, L., & Stafford, S. (2003, October) Mandalas: Circles of Discovery. Presented at the South Carolina Art Education State Convention, Charleston, South Carolina.
Tennyson, D., DeLaMaza, L., & Stafford, S. (2003, August) Mandalas: Circles of Discovery. Presented at the In-Service Training for Charleston County Art Teachers, Gibbs Museum, Charleston, South Carolina.
Tennyson, D., Jayne, B., & Wentworth, M., (2001, May) Creating a Healing Environment: The Cancer Experience. Presented at the South Carolina Lowcountry Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society, Charleston, South Carolina.
Tennyson, D., (1999, September) Art Therapy Workshop for Charleston County Certified Art Teachers. Presented for Charleston County School District, Charleston, SC.
Self Care Workshop for Therapists
This workshop can be adapted for school counselors, educators, and nurses.
Art Therapy Workshops for Mental Health Professionals
LPCs and MSWs Will Earn 12 CEUs
These FUN, interactive workshop are offered throughout the year and allow mental health professionals to personally experience the art therapy process, individually tapping into their inner creativity while connecting with others. These sessions are designed to be a safe place to express feelings in new ways, communicate and promote community. Creating art, writing, and processing will become an exciting avenue for self-discovery.
Drawing ability is NOT required for the art therapy process! Call for information about our next workshop!
- To educate mental health professionals about the creative process of art therapy.
- To demonstrate this avenue for self-discovery through a creative process that allows the unconscious mind to speak through art.
- Sessions include exploratory feedback from both art therapist and group members after creating your art.
- Explore psychological universality while sharing information and interpersonal insight.
- Participants become familiar with a creative process that applies to all aspects of life.
- Participants work in a safe environment specifically for mental health professionals to open up and let go.
- Please note: This course does not prepare participants to be art therapists.
Your facilitator, Dianne Tennyson Vincent, MAT, ATR (Registered Art Therapist) has degrees in nursing, art and a masters in art education along with 30 graduate hours of art therapy required by the American Art Therapy Association.
She has served twice as an art therapist both in Bosnia and Haiti with the Art Reach Foundation training teachers how to use art therapy to heal from trauma. She is a certified art teacher and working professional artist.
1005 Anna Knapp Blvd. Suite 2, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 | www.artconnects.us