Art Therapy

Services offered at Beach Therapy and Consulting

At Beach Therapy and Consulting, art therapy is used in conjunction with evidence-based treatments, which may include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Radically Open DBT (RO-DBT). Mindfulness-based art therapy groups are being offered for different age groups, including elementary school children ages 9-11, middle school children ages 12-14, and high school adolescents ages 14+.

In response to COVID-19, virtual art therapy sessions are being conducted to those who are curious about and motivated to include the creative process in treatment. DBT-informed art therapy (Clark, 2017) is used as part of our fully adherent DBT program to help clients develop the skills of core mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and nonjudgmental acceptance. 

For more information on art therapy, please visit the American Art Therapy Association website:
Our onsite art therapist, Lisa Thomas, MS, ATR-P, Resident in Counseling received her training in Art Therapy and Counseling at Eastern Virginia Medical School and is now accepting new patients at self-pay rates.


Please call us at 757-340-6100 for more information.


Clark, S. M. (2017). DBT-informed art therapy: Mindfulness, cognitive behavior therapy, and the creative process. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Q. What is Art therapy?

As described by the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is an integrative mental health profession that enhances the lives of individuals, groups, families, and communities through art-making, the creative process, and applied psychological theory within the psychotherapeutic relationship. Facilitated by a professional art therapist, art therapy effectively supports treatment goals. Some of the benefits of art therapy includes improving cognitive and sensorimotor functions, improving self-esteem, fostering self-awareness and insight, enhancing emotional regulation, and helping reduce psychological distress.

Q. Who qualifies as a professional art therapist?

A professional art therapist is someone who has either an ATR-P, ATR, or ATR-BC credential. He or she also has had the proper training and has a master’s degree in art therapy or related field. Be sure to look for these credentials when you work with someone that says specialize in art therapy.

Q. “I can’t draw.” or “I’m not good at art.”

There is creativity in all of us, meaning art therapy is not just for children. Art therapy is for anyone who has trouble expressing themselves verbally, has struggled with traditional talk therapy, or wants to understand what is going on inside of themselves.
An important distinction is that art therapy is NOT arts and crafts. Art therapy is psychotherapy using art processes and materials.