Why Hire an Art Therapist as a Creative Consultant?

by www.videoforcreatives.com

Creative aging and self expression is the very heart of Creative Path Consulting.  I bring art therapy, and therapeutic art expression to older adults in a variety of settings:  From assisted living facilities, to recreational centers, to long term care, and in-home visits.  Each place and its needs, are as unique as it’s people.

How will this program help my facility and my program?

Hiring a licensed, board certified and registered art therapist will…

  • Promote a relaxed, enjoyable environment where creative personal expression and conversation is encouraged
  • Highlight and bring attention to your activities program
  • Be a great marketing tool for you and your facility
  • Keep administration,  family members, and visitors satisfied
  • Be impressive to DOH surveyors, and shows personalized programming choices
  • Add a deeper and more meaningful level to your creative programming and care planning
  • A trained art therapist is skilled in the psychology of the art materials and has an understanding of how these tools may be best used in the creative process as a means of expression
  • An licensed art therapist has deep understanding of mental health issues including pyschiatric diagnoses and Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and how to best encourage participation in the arts to alleviate some of the symptoms of these disorders
  • Provide fun self expression, and a creative outlet
  • enhance the quality of lives of your residents
  • Having an art therapy consultant adds to your programming without the cost of hiring an art therapist on staff.
  • Having a creative art therapy consultant allows you the time to do what you need to do while you to take the credit on your calendar and displays

How To Get Resistant Seniors Engaged in Art… 

“I’m too OLD to do art!” or “I can’t even draw a stick figure!”  I am not sure of the amount of times I have heard these statements.  I am sure that nothing is further from the truth!  Whether someone has never tried to make art, or stopped creating at an early age, or even if they are an artist, the fact is…Art is good for everyone at any age!

The process of creating art has an amazing ability to allow for personal expression in a non threatening way.  It speaks even when words are hard to find or difficult to express.  I have been a part of some amazing journeys and art truly is a powerful medium that inspires and uplifts!  Adding fun and a sense of humor helps the process, as well as reassuring your residents that they need not be artists to participate.  The art of learning, growing, and creating is endless!

Hiring a licensed, board-certified and registered art therapist who understands not only the physical and socio-emotional challenges that can occur when creating with older adults, is important.  It is just as imperative to focus on and promote continued strengths and abilities!   The art therapist works closely with clients to ensure a warm, safe creative space is provided to encourage autonomy, expression and connection to self and others.  Using art as a means of creativity, personal expression and life enjoyment can aide in many issues which may include anxiety, depression, agitation, and dementia related behavioral symptoms.

Did you know that these Art sessions have the Ability to…

  • Help increase fine motor skills
  • Helps build a sense of community and socialization
  • Help to alleviate depressive and anxious feelings
  • May help to alleviate some behavioral issues
  • Assists in pain management
  • Stimulates memory and reminiscing
  • Brings fun, education, and enjoyment through a creative outlet
  • Increases a sense of purpose and self esteem
  • Increase quality of life
  • Provides a person-centered approach by listening deeply to one’s life story, interests and feelings


“Michelle Olson is a gifted artist , teacher and humanitarian…My staff gave her rave reviews…Michelle is very generous with her knowledge, time, and consideration of budget. Having a workshop for your staff with her is a win win. Your staff will appreciate the fact that you are doing it for them, and the real prize is adapting what they have learned in the workshop, into therapeutic programming for the Residents…new ideas, creativity, and by all means…FUUUNNNNN!”

Carolyn Perito, M.A., CPRP, CDP, ADC/EDU: Director of Therapeutic Recreation and Volunteer Services
Kings Harbor Multicare Canter: Bronx, NY

“I am so grateful to have Michelle provide art therapy to the residents of Sky View;some of whom were true artists in their younger years. Through her expertise and caring nature, Michelle has given our resident artists a second chance at creating art, when they thought they would never pick up a paintbrush again! It all came to fruition during the residents recent art show. Michelle worked so hard to make sure the show was picture perfect and it was! “

Casey Caterino, ADPC, Director of Activities
Skyview Rehabilitation & Health Care: Croton-On-Hudson, NY

“Michelle is a dedicated, hardworking perfectionist who puts her heart and soul into art therapy and everything she does. Residents have been drawn to her from the moment she first entered into our community! She has a calm, stressfree approach to learning that makes each individual feel special and cared for while working in a group setting. I don’t think a day has gone by since Michelle has been our Art Therapist where I haven’t heard a positive comment about her. She truly understands both art, the benefits of art, and the senior population. “

Sulekha Zaug, M.S., ADC: Engage Life Director
Atria on the Hudson: Ossining, NY

“As Program Supervisor of the Bobbi Lewis Adult Social Day Center, I highly recommend Michelle Olson and her wonderful Creative Arts program to compliment any Therapeutic Recreation program. Since coming to our center, Michelle has brought a meaningful, creative style, and a fun means of connecting the Arts with several of the Bobbi Lewis’ clients.

During the summer, Michelle was instrumental working with our Grants advisor and myself to apply for a special grant from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to continue her Creative Arts program for our clients in the 2013-2014 calendar year. Many of the clients that attend our program are living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Michelle tailors the her Creative Arts program to meet their needs as she focuses on their strengths, abilities, interests, and memories. In addition, Michelle has filled our conference room walls with their beautiful inspiring ART! Michelle is top quality and I feel very fortunate to have her and the expertise she brings to our Bobbi Lewis clients and program.”

Cheryl Croce, M.S.Ed., CDP, Program Supervisor
Bobbi Lewis Adult Social Day Center: Meals on Wheels Programs & Services of Rockland Inc. Nanuet, NY