Meet Michelle Wolsky
Hello, I’m an Expressive Arts Therapist working with youth and young adults who have experienced past trauma in their lives and/or who are neurodiverse. Expressive arts therapy is a gentle and playful approach to process and heal past trauma and to teach different forms of self-expression. Expressive arts therapy helps individuals to develop self-acceptance, healthy communication skills, attachment development, healthy boundaries, coping skills, self-regulation, and independent living skills. If you are a parent/caregiver who has a youth or young adult who is struggling, expressive arts therapy can be life changing.
I Strive to Empower
As an Expressive Arts Therapist, I use a client centered approach to build a strong therapeutic relationship with my clients. I believe that all of our relationships are interconnected and affect one another; our relationship with self, others, and the environment. Therefore, it’s important to reflect upon all of them, as one can help to transform the other. Trained in trauma informed care, I meet the client where they’re at and utilize their strengths and interests to help them build coping skills and resilience in their lives. In my experience expressive arts therapy is extremely effective, as it provides a fun avenue for self-exploration and gives a meaningful language to express oneself with, helping to form deeper connections in all their relationships. My goal is to provide the necessary guidance and tools, so that others may realize their ability to create positive life changes.
The Healing Power of the Arts
I believe we learn best through the process of creation and play. The process of creative thinking engages your brain in a different way than in everyday logical thinking. Exercising your brain in this way makes it easier to find alternative solutions to problems in your life. When we are involved in the process of artmaking, the sense of time disappears, we forget ourselves including our problems temporarily, and connect to something greater than ourselves. The positive effects of the creative arts are like those of meditation. The arts can offer a way to regulate strong emotions and help to ward off depression, as these activities produce feel good chemicals in the brain. The arts can help us to make sense of the difficulties we have endured in life, giving us hope and allowing us to transform our stories.
My Professional Background
I have worked in social services for over 16 years, working with a range of populations including youth at risk and their families, the neurodiverse, adults who are medically compromised, and the chronically homeless. Passionate about empowering youth and their families through the expressive arts, I obtained my master’s degree in expressive arts therapy with a minor in psychology. I am also becoming certified as an autistic spectrum disorder specialist and have four years’ experience facilitating the expressive arts with youth in foster care and the neurodiverse. Having lived in the Costa Rican rainforest for 10 years, I am fluent in Spanish and through my experience have developed a passion for recycled and nature-based art. I enjoy utilizing recyclable materials in my work, whenever possible, as I believe they enhance resourcefulness, environmental awareness, and resilience. I strive to create a safe space where clients can create in meaningful ways, get inspired, and feel connected.
A Little More About Me
I know from personal experience that being a parent/caregiver is one of the toughest jobs there is, especially if you have a child with higher needs. However, it is also the most important, as our children need our love and support to help them navigate this beautiful and turbulent world. Our children can be our greatest teachers, as they teach us about patience, how to be present, remind us to take time to play, and most importantly they teach us about unconditional love.
My life experiences and background have shaped my belief that everyone can heal past wounds and learn to thrive in their life, given the proper support and guidance.
On my personal time I enjoy practicing the arts, learning to play the djembe and guitar, writing, and creating recycled art projects. I also love spending time in nature, hiking, and gardening. I strongly believe in our interconnectedness with the environment and work to live a health-conscious and eco-friendly lifestyle.