Valerie is a licensed psychotherapist in the state of Colorado and a nationally registered Art Therapist. As Valerie says, "I love what I do; I'm honored to listen to the deeply personal stories and struggles clients share with me and it is a privilege to witness and help growth unfold in clients' lives." In her own life, therapy has been hugely important in improving and maintaining emotional and mental health and Valerie takes pride in helping others experience the same kind of benefits!
I believe that building a therapeutic relationship with a compassionate, ethical, skilled therapist who understands the importance of deep listening and helping clients to help themselves is something we should all have the right to do.
Valerie Specializes in:
grief and loss and end-of-life
creative arts therapy and creative personal growth
young adult transitions
mood and anxiety disorders
childhood trauma & the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics
Valeris is experienced in working with children, teens, adults, and seniors and she truly enjoys the particular rewards and challenges of workign with each age group.
Valerie uses several different tools in her work with clients. She draws on verbal approaches like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and active modalities such as Sandplay Therapy and Creative Arts Therapy. Valerie also incorporates mind/body interventions including mindfulness techniques and visualization. The approaches she uses depend on your interests, strengths, difficulties, goals, and needs in the moment.
If you are open to using the creative arts in your work with me, Valerie will guide you in using art materials to experience the pleasure and relaxation of art-making, express your ideas and feelings, learn about yourself, and pursue your therapeutic goals. Art can allow for a deeper exploration of your concerns than verbal work alone, in that it can tap into an intuitive, often subconsious level of awareness which profoundly affects thinking and behavior. Art Therapy can be particularly helpful for those of us who get caught up in over-thinking or those who find direct discussion of feelings difficult or uncomfortable. No art skills or gift for creativity is necessary; only an interest in slowing down, looking inward, and being creative is needed. Your goal is not to create an attractive work of art, (though this may happen regardless of your experience with art!); rather, the purpose of making art in therapy is to experience the creative process in a non-judgmental setting and use a new language to make discoveries about and for yourself. Your art is not used to analyze or diagnose; together we will respect your creations as a "second client" with its own voice. For further information about Art Therapy, please read more at: www.arttherapy.org.
In addition to psychotherapy and creative arts therapy, Valerie provides weekly, biweekly, or monthly clinical supervision for psychotherapists pursuing licensure as an LPC or LCSW and art therapists pursuing the ATR credential. Clinical consultation is also available for art therapists and licensed or registered psychotherapists.
Valerie Epstein-Johnson is a Creative Arts Therapist with an M.A. in Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling and 15 years of experience in social services for clients of all ages. Nationally credentialed as an Art Therapist and licensed as a professional counselor in Colorado, Valerie uses her wide range of experience, down-to-earth authenticity, sincere warmth, and capacity for deep listening and understanding to meet clients where they are in the present.