Elevate Counseling Services with locations in Bellingham, Raynham, South Easton and Lakeville, will offer art therapy group sessions this fall, under the leadership of Megan O’Toole.
O’Toole has been with Elevate Counseling Services for five years and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Registered Art Therapist. She will lead two groups: one for middle-school aged children (ages 12-15), and also a group for adults.
The middle-school group will focus on self-acceptance and self-expression.
“Typically,” she said, “we aim to build self-esteem with the arts. We focus less on the actual product and more on how we get to the product. Throughout the process, art is the catalyst which helps people talk about what they struggle with.”
O’Toole said that sometimes the actual art is more client-directed, but at other times she will bring in a specific directive, depending on the client’s wishes and needs.
Currently, she uses art therapy to a great extent with her individual clients, and the option for individual art therapy will also continue to be available.
O’Toole earned a master’s degree in Art Therapy from Lesley University in Cambridge and an undergraduate degree from UMass Dartmouth, where she majored in Fine Arts and minored in Psychology.
“Art therapy is increasing in popularity and we are very pleased to expand our offerings in this area,” said Leigh-Ann Larson, CEO of Elevate Counseling Services. “Megan is a great choice to lead these groups; she’s very talented, empathetic and experienced. We encourage people to learn more about the Art Therapy group sessions.”