Welcome to Studio Mene!

Art Therapy and Counseling Services

Feeling overwhelmed, stressed and stuck? Looking for changes in your life through therapy? I am an Art Therapist/Psychotherapist offering art therapy and counseling services to children, teens, adults and families in Bellevue, WA.

Through art therapy or talk therapy, I can guide you toward improving the problem areas of your life and to bring back happiness and a conflict free family life with your children and spouse. I can help you develop good problem solving skills for dealing with difficult emotions and stress.

Let me help you to cope with and resolve some of the difficulties you face in the following areas:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Life transitions
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Loss and grief
  • Stress management
  • Anger management
  • Children’s issues such as ADHD and behavior problems
  • Autism Spectrum disorder
  • Trauma
  • and many others

Art Therapy

Art Therapy helps you

Creating art helps you to let your inner tension out, calm down and clarify why you are struggling. There is research showing how creating art increases calming brains waves. Once you create work to express your thoughts and feelings visually, you will discover what you can do to solve your problems, not alone, but with a therapist at your side. You will be surprised how the very act of creating art itself has healing power and can reflect how you feel. Seeing the image of how you feel in front of you can help you see yourself objectively and think through issues constructively.

How the art refelects you

The picture below was drawn by my son when he first rode a bike without training wheels. He did not need much of my help once he began riding it. He drew this picture just after he realized that he can ride the bike easily and felt proud of himself. It contains details, including sweat.
When I am anxious, I scribble with chalk (hard pastels). I may try to figure out what is causing the anxiety or simply continue scribbling using different lines and colors simply because drawing in itself is often calming and relaxing.
Natural clay is soft and very relaxing and calming. You can pound it and make interesting shapes; shapes of your energy; anger, sadness, anxiety and excitement. If you like, you could transform it to an art piece or a useful object expressing your emotions.

What Do You Do in Art Therapy Sessions?

In studio-based art therapy, instead of talking about yourself and your issues, you are asked to visualize your feelings around the issue. You choose a media which suits you and your feelings the most. We may talk while creating or you simply create quietly and I am beside you to support your creating process. You may also look at a magazine or iPad for visual images and create a new image based on one you choose.
Visualizing and externalizing something inside of you is very powerful. This form of therapy allows you to view your difficulties from an objective perspective.
Once we identify your challenges, we collaborate to make a brief plan to solve problems over the course of your therapy.
When I work with children or adults with Autism, I may function more like an art teacher but with behavior management skills. I communicate by drawing my instruction beside my clients instead of using only verbal instruction. The goals of art therapy with non-verbal children may be more to experience the joy of creating and to feel proud of their art works.

watercolor art therapy

liquid water color

claywork in art therapy

Brief History of Art Therapy

Throughout history, people have recognized the power of art and its healing potential. Many artists have used the power of the creative process to express their own thoughts and feelings. Early in the 20th century, both art instructors and psychotherapists began to see the value of creative art activities for healthy psychological growth.

Art Therapy considers two women, Margaret Naumberg and Edith Kramer, as pioneers.

Starting in the middle of the 20th century, in NYC, Naumberg utilized art to help her patients to communicate pictorially and combined it with talk therapy to begin to understand unconscious expression in their art. Art Therapy is used as a part of talk-therapy, psychotherapy and counseling sessions. We call her approach, art psychotherapy.

Kramer placed the value of art therapy on the very act of creating art as a healing act. Her approach is called, Art as Therapy. Kramer’s teaching reflected art therapists who work at oncology, nursing homes, schools. psychiatry and community centers. They often collaborate with other helping professionals in addition to acting as a mental health counselor. For example, art therapy is used in a waiting room for chemotherapy, where people have a space to express their anxiety and other emotions or just have a fun time in a stressful location. In many areas of the country, Art Therapists join the after treatment meetings with the doctors and nurses and talk about how to help with the emotional elements of cancer treatment.

In the State of Washington, many art therapists work in the mental health field and function as art therapists/licensed mental health counselors.

To be an Art Therapist, I was trained in three areas; psychology, studio art, and art education. I use both Art Psychotherapy and Art as Therapy approaches in my art therapy practice, depending on what is best for helping you!

art room in Bellevue

Counseling

Counseling Helps You

Counseling helps you, your children and other family members to reduce conflict and crying moments and learn better ways to be happy together. If your child is not doing well at school, together we will identify the problem areas then investigate and verify what might help your child to be successful. If you feel depressed and anxious, you will feel more energized and empowered to overcome depression and fear.

What is the difference between Counseling and Art Therapy?

In my Bellevue office, I have two session rooms; the art room and the couch room. If you rather would like to talk about your concerns and issues, we sit and talk just like any traditional talk therapy. If you are not sure which method to choose, you will be guided to the art room and you are offered time to play with various art media. I have many art media for you to choose from to express yourself visually. In the art room, some days you may need to talk instead of creating. Sometimes, though, you may be silent and focus on creating.
In the studio environment, therapy is more action oriented. Creating itself is relaxing. You can gently shape or forcefully punch natural clay to reduce anxiety and anger. If you want to stop controlling your environment and relax, you might paint with tempera, glue and glitter with a brush or with your own hands.
So it is up to you which methods you like – just talk therapy or combined talk and art therapy!

Emotional Intelligence

During your, or your child’s, counseling, you are encouraged and guided to increase Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize our emotions (anger, sadness, worry / fear and happiness) and to express them without hurting others or yourself. The good news is that we can improve and enhance your emotional intelligence anytime you want. It is different from your cognitive intelligence (IQ) which is mostly fixed. Enhancing Emotional Intelligence  helps you to solve your problems and become successful in your work place. It also improves how you solve interpersonal problems at home, work and in your community.

Counseling Theories

I use Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness approaches and psychodynamic psychotherapy within my counseling sessions.

When I meet with children, I set clear behavior expectations, which are encouraged by acknowledging and praising their efforts to follow directions. Sometimes they earn small reward toys at the end of sessions when they meet their goals. The reward fades away as the sessions progress. This is more Behavior Therapy and I provide parenting training based on CBT approaches.

With teens to adults, CBT is used to recognize unhelpful patterns in your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and together replace that poor cognition with more productive and positive effort.

Mindfulness approach helps you to be at present instead of regretting what happened in the past or worrying what could happen in the future. While practicing meditation, art therapy is combined with the talk therapy to practice to be present.

Psychodynamic approach helps you to review emotions, thoughts, early-life experiences, and beliefs to gain insight into your lives and your present-day problems and to evaluate the patterns that you have developed over time. Recognizing recurring patterns helps you to take steps to change those patterns.

I use these approaches depending on your needs and treatment goals.

I take new courses regularly and incorporate new ideas and current research in my every day practices as well.

Appointment

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Please Read!

Because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), please be aware that I am not able to answer your clinical questions via email. I generally send only appointment information back and will protect your privacy as much as possible. If you use this appointment page, what you write about yourself is more protected than using your regular e-mail account as this is a secure encrypted page.
I usually check my mail several times a day but may not be able to reply to your message until the following day. If this is an emergency, please call 911 or a Crisis Line at 206.461.3222 or 1-866.427.4747.
Occasionally there is some problem with correspondence (wrong e-mail or phone number); if you don’t hear from me by the end of the following day, please call me at 206.276.4915 .
I would really like to talk to you and start your healing journey.
Thank you,
Mineko
I am sorry but I am not accepting new clients in Seattle area at this point. (updated 01/12/18)