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Art Therapy Alliance Favicard on the Go with Jen Alward, MA, LPC, ATRL-BC in Eagle River, Wisconsin

Today’s Favicard on the Go photos were received by Jen Alward, MA, LPC, ATRL-BC, an art therapist in Eagle River, Wisconsin- Thank you Jen for sharing your experiences, journey, and work for this series!

“I am a therapist in a small town in northern Wisconsin (Eagle River) at Northland Counseling Services. My clients vary greatly in age and are seeking help with temporary setbacks and life-long traumas and disabilities. Most clients see me in the office for outpatient therapy once a week that includes cognitive and creative therapies (art, sandtray, play). A few clients receive in-home therapy which is more about case management: encouraging them and helping them get out of the house and make appointments. I have attended one American Art Therapy Association (AATA) annual conference and a more local Art Therapy Symposium. Recently I saw some Art Therapy postings on Pinterest that I found inspiring! My greatest encouragements have been connecting with a semi-local peer and going on 2 mission trips with a former Art Therapy professor. I would like to continue these Art Therapy mission trips to help bring healing & joy through art around the world. I would also like to have a therapy office that is more “art friendly,” perhaps have some open studio sessions at the up and coming art center in my town.”


A Journey…

“A sandtray of my professional journey thus far. 2003 graduation…so full of ideas, plans, hope, excitement! Then years of red-tape, road blocks and obstacles…mission trips and a few encouraging conferences and connections, including getting my ATRL-BC in 2008 kept me going. The obstacles kept mounting and I seriously considered changing careers…2012 brought 2 breakthrough moments: obtaining my LPC in October and a client thriving with true art therapy! Currently I am hopeful and hesitatingly optimistic about the future of art therapy in my life with the start of an art center in town and possible mission trips. I know there is a plan and that I have friends and family cheering me on, but sometimes the negative crowd drowns them out…and time keeps ticking… When I reflect on the journey thus far I see how I was protected and guided and it gives me hope for the future…perhaps the trials I have been through can benefit others to make their journey smoother.”

Art Adventures

“This year I had the privilege of teaching a 4 week art class to local home-school students. We focused on experiments and creativity, not “how to” draw or paint etc. Energy was high and their creative excitement spilled over into the lives of their families and friends, and re-sparked my excitement for making art. As this picture shows, even the “rubish” from an art experiment can be pretty–it’s not all about the end product!

Social media such as Facebook and Pinterest are incredibly valuable because they are easy to interact with and are part of my daily life. I hope Art Therapy’s presence in these arenas continues to grow. The postcard project was a fabulous & fun idea because it helped me make art myself and made me feel part of a larger community. Thank you for promoting projects like these!”



About Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC

Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC, ACTP: Registered Board Certified Art Therapist, TLC Certified Trauma Practitioner, Art Therapy Community Organizer, Artist...


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