Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere.Albert Einstein
I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.Georgia O'Keefe
Art Therapy Classes
Justine also works as an art therapist at a Brisbane southside primary school, supporting students at risk and students newly arrived to Australia. The arts therapy room at the school is also a place for play therapy, music therapy and sandtray work and provides children with the opportunity to explore challenging experiences in a safe and supported space.
About Justine Wake.
Justine has fourteen years experience in the field of counselling and mental health and works as an Art therapist and Counsellor with young people, children and adults. Justine is available for Clinical supervision to counsellors, mental health professionals and creative arts therapists. Justine practices from a person centred framework and makes every effort to find ways of working that are useful and specific to each individual. Justine endeavours to use a creative and eclectic approach that can offer new perspectives to people experiencing mental illness, anxiety, depression, the impact of complex trauma, relationship difficulties or struggles with life’s transitions. Justine also has experience working in trans-cultural mental health and in text based counselling.
What Can Justine Offer You?
Justine writes: “As an art therapist and counsellor I really value the knowledge you bring about yourself and your own experiences. That is not to say that I expect you to have all the answers to any difficulties you are experiencing but I very much see my role as one of ‘working with’ you rather than one of advice giving or being an expert. In my work with adults, I try and create a sense of quest or adventure, even when the experience you might be having is very distressing or chronic and I am always happy to communicate by email or phone prior to an appointment to talk further about what I mean by this- deciding to see a therapist is a big decision and I respect that it can take time and careful consideration to feel committed to doing this. In my work with young people and children, I absolutely respect the child or young persons need for their own narrative in therapy. However I also respect the role of parents and caregivers and siblings as the child or young person’s main support system and make a very concerted effort to keep communication open between myself and parents and caregivers, whilst also checking in with the child or young person about what they feel is appropriate to share. Again, please contact me with any questions. ”
What Happens During a Session?
Every session with every person will be different. Some people see me only for Counselling and do not choose to work creatively so how we work is something we figure out together and re-visit as the therapy continues. An example of an art therapy session might go something like this: a person arrives and is troubled by an interaction with their partner. As therapist, I invite them to choose some materials to work with in the session and let them know that there will be approximately 25 minutes for making their piece and the remainder of the session will be discussing the work together. The person chooses clay and they slowly work on creating a small boat, like a rowboat. When the time has passed that was set for the task or whenever the person has finished (whichever comes first), we make a tidy space around the clay boat and look at it together. What qualities does it have? What was it like to create it? What questions does the person have about their boat (maybe they will wonder out loud if it will float?!). As therapist my role is to build on any observations or questions that arise from interacting with the piece. If the person notices that the boat is empty or without an ocean/river/stream, I may make the suggestion of adding these elements either in the current session if there is time or in a subsequent session. Please note, I share this example for the purpose of illustration, not because all sessions will contain these elements (taken from FAQ page of my website: http://www.adrawingroom.org)
Techniques used: collage making, clay, sculpture, ‘making things’ (three dimensional), sand-tray, using symbols to tell a story, drawing, paint, scribbling, psper folding. The only limitations are guided by the environment and the materials I have available (for example I cannot offer large scale stone carving!)
Who can benefit?
Anyone of any age is welcome, including children. Sometimes as adults we imagine that making things or spending time being creative is childish or not really something that adults have any time or use for. Perhaps if you think about the last time you made the effort to prepare a special meal or take a photo or play a challenging computer game, you can conjure up a positive feeling of passing time doing something that is not for financial or professional gain. It can be very pleasant to spend time in this way! An art therapy session is like this except that the intention is different- the intention is not solely to relax doing something pleasant, it is also to gain insight and awareness in regards to a life struggle. So in short, although art therapy is very suited to children because their expressive verbal language is not as developed as an adult’s, it is by no means ‘just for kids’. Not at all. (taken from FAQ page of my website: http://www.adrawingroom.org)
I have undertaken much work supporting people of all ages with: depression, anxiety, complex trauma, eating and body image issues and grief and loss. In my other role within a school I work trans-culturally.
Sessions for art therapy or counselling with Justine are generally one hour long. Although counselling is generally understood to be about ‘talking things through’ people often have many questions about what an art therapy session is all about. For this reason, Justine has a frequently asked questions page on her website which can be accessed here:
Can I claim on my Health Fund?
Some Medibank Private packages will offer a rebate for counselling and Justine has a Medibank private provider number. Please check with Medibank if you think you may be eligible
How can I find out more about Justine?
Please see Justine’s website for further detail:
How can I find out more about art therapy?
The Australian and New Zealand Art Therapy Association;