About Counselor Chia-Hua

Chia-Hua is a board-certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC) and has over ten years of experience working within the behavioral health field. She received a B.S. degree in Occupational Therapy from Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan and earned a Master’s degree in Art Therapy while attending The George Washington University.

What is Art Therapy?

The term ‘art therapy’ is credited to the British artist Adrian Hill. He is thought to have coined this term in 1942 when he decided to use art to cope with recovering from tuberculosis. When asked about her definition of art therapy, Chia-Hua expressed, “My personal definition for art therapy is anything related to using art as a visual component for expressing our emotions about a situation inside of psychotherapy.”

Types of Art Therapy

There are two main types of art therapy. The first is “art as therapy”; this form focuses on the transference of ideas between the client and the therapist and the healing process by participating in art-making activities itself. An example of art as therapy would be a client focusing on actively painting and utilizing the painting process for self-expression and exploration. The second form is “art psychotherapy,” in which the art is used as a vehicle for symbolic communication and can often be later processed and/or analyzed within a therapeutic relationship. An example of art psychotherapy would be the famous Rorschach inkblot test, where a client is asked what they see within the inkblot figures. When utilizing art psychotherapy method, clients are often helped to process their artwork and the art-making processes to gain awareness of their emotions and thoughts.

Chia-Hua shared about her experience using both methods with clients, stating, “While working with clients in India, we used the method of art as therapy. We were able to bypass the language barrier issue by using the art-making process and available materials to explore and provide therapeutic relief to the clients. Currently, in private practice, I have been able to use both methods in tandem. Art as therapy involves the application of a purposeful and meaningful art-based activity itself to achieve or support change for clients. Through making art, clients are invited to express their feelings and tell their stories. Later, through the use of art psychotherapy, we are further able to analyze how the artwork helped them to express themselves in areas where they may find difficulty in verbalizing their thoughts and emotions during a session.” Chia-Hua also shared how she uses art therapy personally as she proclaims, “I enjoy mandala drawings and making collage art, and I often utilize sand tray therapy as well.”

Why You Should Explore Rivers of Hope Counseling

When asked about why she loves working at Rivers of Hope Counseling, Chia-Hua shared, “I really love how we have a community of counselors with different approaches and that we are very compassionate when we work with clients. Our leader, Charmaine, is always very encouraging. She leads us by example in supporting the mission of bringing hope to the community. I am very aligned to our motto, which states that it does not have to be difficult to connect with a counselor. I really want people to know that we love taking care of them and showing them that we care.”

At Rivers of Hope Counseling, we have a diverse team of counselors with decades of experience in various specialized areas. If you are interested in experiencing art therapy, please request sessions with our counselor Chia-Hua through our registration page.


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