Wellness Help With a Twist

There comes a time for many when the need for therapy or just a mental health check becomes apparent, whether it is for depression, anxiety, grief or even eating disorders. Some situations are more serious than others, and there are numerous schools of therapy. One unique approach called art therapy, much more than simply going to an “art class”.  

The website Art as Therapy explains the difference in easy to understand terms. The points to consider when determining when art becomes therapy focus on 1) the relationships of those involved, 2) the space where each activity takes place, 3) the main goal, 4) how art materials are viewed and used, and 5) how the art product is viewed. Psychology.org explains that Art Therapy is a tool therapists use to help patients interpret, express, and resolve their emotions and thoughts. Patients work with an art therapist to explore their emotions, understand conflicts or feelings that are causing them distress, and use art to help them find resolutions to those issues. 

In conjunction with the Art Therapy Credentials Board, the  American Art Therapy Association regulates credentials on a national level. The practice of art therapy is regulated with professional art therapy licenses in 12 states including Delaware. The Psychology Today website offers a list of professionals in the Rehoboth area who integrate art therapy in their practice or are bona fide credentialed art therapists. It is important to differentiate.  

Sarah Smith, Lewes Expressive Therapy

Sarah Smith specializes in art therapy via Lewes Expressive Therapy. She has been practicing since 2009 and went to school specifically to study Art Therapy. She earned a masters degree in Education and Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Expressive Therapy.  

“Art Therapy can benefit anyone and can be adapted to meet individuals with difficulties,” she says. “The concept is that the act of being creative or making art provides an emotional release, other than solely verbal communication. Children are most willing and open to the practice. It grew in popularity after 911, with survivors who had become nonverbal because of trauma.” 

She stresses the importance of working with a trained therapist for serious emotional or psychological challenges.  

The Yoga Studio in Rehoboth recently hosted a workshop entitled “Art Therapy and the MELT Method”. It addressed various aspects of emotional and physical health. Owner Andrea Kennedy opened the first yoga studio in Sussex County behind Rehoboth’s Claws Seafood House in 1995.  

MELT is not yoga. MELT is to the neurofascial system (nervous and connective tissue system) what other forms of exercise are to the musculoskeletal system. Techniques used in MELT release joint compression that contributes to chronic pain, inflammation, and discomfort.  

“The Melt Method uses soft balls and a soft foam roller to hydrate the fascial tissues, freeing up the muscles beneath, “says Kennedy. “Melting is great to prepare the body for activity and also to recover from activity”.  

Lisa Richter conducted the “art therapy” portion. She does not consider herself a “certified art therapist”. She focuses on Neurographic Art, a process that was created by Russian psychologist Pavel Piskarin in 2014. “When we draw using the Neurographica algorithms, it helps us engage more neurons and becomes very therapeutic,” she says. “The art form is a way to capture how the inner being reacts to the outer world.”  

The approach may be best suited for those just looking for a way to improve their well-being and outlook. Contact The Yoga Studio regarding future workshops.  


Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry s a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019.  

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