Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Psychology, University of Illinois Masters of Science in Art Therapy, Mount Mary University Registered Art Therapist, in Illinois
Ms. Melissa Ferriter
About Ms. Ferriter
Ms. Ferriter has been a part of the Southwest Cooperative since 2006. She has provided art therapy services to the Braun, Transition, CD and DESTINY programs over the course of her tenure with the Co-Op. Currently she shares time with Braun Educational Center working with elementary and high school students, CD Elementary @ Braun, and the adult Transition Program. Ms. Ferriter's philosophy about art therapy in the educational setting is to protect the intuitive "Child Artist" and foster creativity, independance, self regulation, curiosity, and self confidence through the process of making art.
About Art Therapy
The American Art Therapy Association defines the field of art therapy as a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight
A registered art therapist uses the process of art making to address issues of anger, depression, peer relations, goal setting, self- esteem and problem solving in a structured group setting. Students are encouraged to engage in the creative process of fine arts, music, play, drama, movement, poetry and creative writing as positive coping strategies and constructive way to release energy.
Art Therapy is a therapeutic service offered to students at Braun Educational Center. The focus of art therapy group is to help students in four areas...
Cognitively Emotionally Physically Socially
By utilizing art materials and the process of art making, students are offered opportunities for self-expression, self-awareness, self-esteem building and self-actualization.
The focus of art therapy for the younger students is to teach the basics of color theory, use of art room tools, and to experiment with different media. Students learn to express their ideas, identify emotions and be responsible for their art work. Projects are process oriented and tactile with lots of room for imaginative embelishment.
Students in grades 6-8 use art therapy group to learn appropriate social skills, find an outlet for energy and emotions, and develop technical skills. Students learn to think creatively and problem solve.
High School students are offered opportunities to create art related to emotions, trauma, self esteem, relationships, personal goals, and mental health. Art making offers a safe and appropriate replacement for destructive behaviors while providing the student ways to gain control of his or her responses to challenges.
Navigating adult hood can bring new challenges of responsibilities, relationships and life changes.