About Me

Michelle Olson has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Art Therapy with a Specialization in Photo Therapy from the College of New Rochelle.  I am currently a PhD candidate in the Leadership and Gerontology program at Concordia University Chicago, with research interests in long-term care practices and policies, contemplative end-of-life care practices, expressive arts within dementia care and creating dementia friendly communities.

I am a licensed, board certified and registered art therapist through New York State Education Department and the Art Therapy Credentials Board.  I am also a certified activity consultant with a specialization in memory care through NCCAP (National Certification Council of Activity Professionals).  Before beginning this art therapy/consulting adventure, I worked as a corporate director of recreation in long term care within a continuum of care.  I  have created with older adults for over 20 years.

This is my life’s calling…to enhance the quality of life of our elders, to encourage opportunities for personal expression and creativity and get to know their stories, validate their feelings, and assist them on a healthy and creative life path!  I am experienced in working with people living in the various stages of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia as well as various psychiatric diagnoses and helping older adults and their care partners with challenging life transitions.

I have found that art and self expression is so good for the heart and the soul…no matter who you areEvery one of us is born with creativity. Sometimes this is nurtured, and often times it is not.  It is in there and feels so good when it is encouraged to be free!  Some of my fondest experiences have been when “non-artists” create for the very first time, and seeing the sense of pride and accomplishment in their smiles!  I like to laugh, get to know people, and learn about their lives…We are ALL are a unique story, and art is an amazing way to have that story be shared.

To me…Art is what it is, no pressure, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s just the enjoyment of the experience, the connection with one another and being open to the creative process that makes it inspiring.

Please call for a free consultation and find out how to get you and your residents on a creative path!

Michelle Olson, MS, LCAT, ATR-BC, ACC/MC