It is creative apperception more than anything else that makes the individual feel that life is worth living. Contrasted with this is a relationship to external reality, which is one of compliance, the world and its details being recognized, but only as something to be fitted in or demanding adaptation. (Donald Winnicott)
Vera Heller offers a flexible, respectful, and creative therapeutic approach, which she adapts to the specific needs of each individual who seeks her services. Regardless of the presented issue, Vera’s work aims to increase motivation, empower a sense of competence in managing one’s life, and create a better balance between the rational and emotional sides one’s self. Vera’s 20 years of experience as a psychotherapist and artist enables her to incorporate elements from several therapeutic approaches into her working style. Her approach is also enriched by her personal experience with humanistic and psychoanalytic therapies, and her sustained artistic work.
Vera Heller has practiced Art Psychotherapy since 1992. She offers an integrated therapeutic approach utilizing both artistic and verbal expression for both individuals and groups. Vera’s work is also aimed at supporting artists who feel blocked in their creative processes, having developed experience at this level through her own artistic practice.
- Adults: Depression, anxiety, traumatic experiences, grieving, separation, relational difficulties, life transitions, self-esteem, immigration, parental coaching, work and career issues, life threatening issues, creativity blockages.
- Children: abuse, self-esteem, parental separation, behavior problems.
- Couples and families: counseling sessions using the systemic approach.
What is Art Psychotherapy?
Art therapy combines visual arts (drawing, painting, collage, and modeling) with various therapeutic models traditionally used in verbal psychotherapy. The specialized literature demonstrates that this approach produces significant changes at both psychological and physical levels of the individual’s functioning. Similar to a dream, images describe the individual’s internal reality in a synthetic and non-linear manner. The use of colors, forms, and gestures facilitates emotional expression as well as the communication of thoughts and conflicts that would otherwise be too difficult to articulate.
In general, each session comprises two parts whose order and duration may vary. First, the individual produces one or more images. In a second stage, s/he is brought to elaborate verbally upon his/her creative process on the one hand, and on the symbolic or/and emotional content on the other. The joint use of creative and cognitive abilities contributes to deepening self-knowledge through establishing links between the images and the person’s actual life experience.
In a society which primarily requires the use of the rational faculties, art therapy encourages the development of imagination, the expression of emotions, and the use of words in a metaphorical manner. The playfulness and pleasure that characterize creativity vivify the therapeutic process and make it more meaningful. The production of concrete objects creates a distance between the individual and his or her problems, and facilitates their more rapid and constructive resolution.