What is
​Art Therapy?

 Vala Kondo Legan, LMFT, LCAT, ATR-BC


Art therapy is a powerful modality that helps people resolve conflicts, improve interpersonal skills, manage problematic behaviors, reduce stress, and achieve personal insight.​

The integration of art and therapy allows increased expression of  emotions ​and access to
areas of the brain frequently impacted by traumatic experience. I am trained in the California style of art therapy that requires me to hold an additional license as a marriage and family therapist. This clinical approach means that tI draw on a wealth of 
psychology to inform my work.

Art Therapy does NOT require you to “be good at art”.
Art therapy is NOT “an art class”.
Artwork produced in therapy is completely private.

Is art therapy right for you?

While anyone can benefit from Art Therapy, it is especially helpful for;

  • Children and adolescents; especially those who are adverse to attending therapy.

   Art  is a non-threatening and familiar experience for children.

   Art therapy allows children and adolescents to work within a  “metaphoric” structure, frequently    allowing  healing to  occur without immediate verbalization of painful topics.

  • Individuals who have been through any form of trauma: including abuse, combat, natural disaster, criminal victimization and long-term stressors during childhood. 

 Neurobiological research shows therapeutic imagery can “build a bridge” from the right side of the brain  (where visual centers are located and where trauma is stored)

to the left side of the brain (where language is located), allowing  processing of trauma through verbalization.


  • Families who are experiencing problems in communication.

  • Individuals diagnosed with Aspergers, Autism or Dementia.

  • Art therapy will also benefit any person with limited ability to express themselves verbally or      persons with tendency to over-express themselves verbally.

  • People who have had negative or unproductive experiences in verbal therapy​ or are resistant    to therapy.