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  • Hali Watson

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    Hali Watson (She/Her) is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)  and Licensed Graduate Professional Art Therapist (LGPAT) in the state of Maryland. Since receiving her Master’s Degree in Art Therapy with a Specialization in Counseling from Seton Hill University, Hali has gained extensive experience in crisis intervention, depression, grief, adjustment disorder, ADHD, sexual trauma and anxiety.

    She specializes in working with children and teens utilizing trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy and art therapy. Her therapeutic approach to helping clients heal from complex trauma draws from her work with marginalized populations and sexual abuse survivors. Hali believes in a humanistic approach, that by accepting without judgment, being empathetic, and genuine, the therapeutic alliance is what helps us grow. 

    Hali has a deep commitment to inclusivity and actively works to create a welcoming and safe space for clients of all backgrounds and identities. Her emphasis on cultural competence, active listening and the use of inclusive language and practices aims to make her clients feel seen, heard and valued.

    Research on Art therapy

    Art therapy has been shown to be effective for youth and young adults in various ways. It has a valuable role in promoting mental and emotional well-being and in healing from trauma. Here are three research-based points highlighting its effectiveness:

    1. Emotional Expression and Regulation:

       Research has demonstrated that art therapy provides a safe and non-verbal outlet for individuals to express and regulate their emotions effectively. A study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association (Malchiodi, 2011) found that art therapy can help adolescents and young adults who struggle with verbal communication express complex emotions related to experiences of trauma, grief, or anxiety. Engaging in art-making can facilitate the exploration of deep-seated feelings that may be difficult to articulate verbally. This creative process allows them to externalize their emotions, gain insight into their emotional experiences, and develop healthier emotional regulation strategies.

    2. Self-Esteem and Self-Identity Development:

       Numerous studies have shown that art therapy can enhance self-esteem and contribute to the development of a positive self-identity among youth and young adults. For instance, a research paper in the Journal of Clinical Psychology (Kapitan, 2012) highlighted that art therapy interventions can help individuals explore their self-concept, values, and aspirations through the art-making process. This self-exploration and self-expression can lead to increased self-awareness and self-acceptance. As a result, participants often experience a boost in self-esteem and a more robust sense of self-identity.

    3. Stress Reduction and Coping Skills:

       Research has consistently demonstrated the stress-reducing benefits of art therapy for youth and young adults. A meta-analysis conducted by Stuckey and Nobel (2010) found that engaging in creative activities, such as art therapy, can lead to a significant reduction in stress levels and an improvement in overall psychological well-being. The act of creating art can serve as a form of mindfulness and relaxation, helping young individuals better manage stress and anxiety. Additionally, art therapy provides an opportunity to learn and practice coping skills that can be applied to various life challenges, contributing to greater resilience.

    Hali Watson LCP9641 

    Examples of some of Hali’s art….