About My Practice
My art therapy counseling practice is centered within an intersectional feminist and social justice lens, a trauma-informed approach, and a relational-cultural framework. I incorporate mindfulness, other mind-body techniques, and creative elements to facilitate a safe holding space for processing experiences. I have offered my services in clinical, community-based and alternative settings.
I received an MA in Art Therapy and Counseling (MAATC) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). My three-year educational program included studio practices, research, theoretical and practical instruction, and supervised experiences in clinical and community-based settings.
Clinical and Communal
My clinical experience includes working with domestic and gender-based violence survivors, refugees and immigrants, and young adults recovering from trauma and substance use. As a trained art therapy counselor, I provide trauma-informed counseling, incorporating the use of art materials for deeper understanding of trauma and triggers, and helping clients develop strategies for connecting with internal and external resources, and for managing emotional regulation. In community-based settings, my experience has been in facilitating groups and workshops centered around the use of art making to promote mental health.
Alternative Application of Art Therapy Knowledge
I use my knowledge related to engaging with individuals and my understanding of relationships between people, art materials, and art making processes to inform my practices in alternative settings. I apply this understanding in public programing and workshop facilitation, program development in art centers and museum settings, curatorial work, and art education.
Research and Activism
My activism merges with my studio practice and is informed by my theoretical and practical understanding of art therapy frameworks. My upbringing in Kuwait exposed me to the folkloric arts and musical traditions of the Arabian peninsula, which are shifting to meet the needs of migrating communities. Thus, my activism often manifests in community-based outreach through public programs and workshops.
Another facet of my activism is carried out through research and the publication of articles and art books. Through publishing the results of mixed methods research, I am able to highlight urgent matters that relate to topics such as the gendered nature of trauma, gender-based violence survivorship, and mental health. In my master’s thesis, titled Identity Displacement in Contemporary Art and Art Therapy, I employed art-based, heuristic, and case study research methods. My research and activism focus on activating and embodying access, agency, and power within lived experiences.