alcohol-free man with sparkler

Yes, Alcohol Ruins Relationships – Best of Excursions Magazine

  Every day at Sanford Behavioral Health people come to us for help. One of the most frequent queries is, “Will alcohol ruin my relationship?” We are also asked, “Will my wife’s/husband’s/partner’s drinking cause divorce?” Finally, these individuals ask, “How do I know if my loved one has a drinking problem?” Of course, all these […]

Art Therapy for Women – Limelight Interview

Art therapy for women (and men) has always been a part of Sanford programming. And according to Art Therapist Jess Kimmel, the first thing she says to a group is, “show me”. Of course, when she asks someone to “show” her something, she’s actually asking them to show themselves.   Sanford embraces art therapy as […]

A Firsthand View – Art Therapy and the Treatment of Anxiety

  In group therapy, I ask members to “keep within their own experience.” No advice giving. No telling others how to feel. This helps create safety within the session. A college mentor of mine once said, “Never assume to understand the experience of someone else. Even if it’s one you’re familiar with, like sadness or […]


Why Is Group Therapy an Important Part of Addiction Treatment?

  Why is group therapy so prevalent in the treatment of substance use disorders (SUDs)? As demonstrated by self-help groups, and particularly as stated in 12 Step groups, members “share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover.” Groups allow those in treatment opportunity to […]

Spirited Sober Gifts! Alcohol-Free Cocktails! 100 Fun Ideas! The Best of Excursions Magazine

  The holidays are a wonderful time of year to be with family and friends. The holidays are also a time for emotional triggers, pushed buttons and stress.  It’s common for those in recovery to find the “most wonderful time of the year” to be challenging. So, when you need a lift, the following articles have ideas for winter sober activities and […]

How Do I Know My Therapy is Working?

  I come from two separate worlds. I am an artist, first and foremost. Art helps me frame my experiences and communicate my ideas. Art makes me feel happy, comfortable, and excited. I’m also a mental health professional. Mental health professionals do not use art to frame their experiences. They use facts to communicate their […]

Doodling to Distract – The “Art” of Visual Journaling

  In my blog post last week, I discussed the benefits of creating art in an art therapy context. This week, I want to talk a little bit about the benefits of creating art on your own. I started keeping a visual journal in college. It was assigned to me by my favorite professor, and […]

SHOW Me – The Positive Energy of Art Therapy

  I’m always asking my clients to “show me.”   Show me where in the image you are feeling a conflict.   Show me how you would change that.   Of course when I ask someone to show me something, I’m actually asking them to show themselves (very meta). So in an effort to explain […]

Singing the Praises of the Adult Art Therapy Coloring Book

  I am an art therapist. When I tell people about what I do, I get a lot of: “What the heck is that?” “Like on Law & Order?” “Oh, how New Age!” (Answers to those questions later).   Art Therapy… We art therapists are a small community, and our work is often either unseen […]