Trish Ebbert with her art and play therapy supplies. Courtesy photo
When asked the question, “Who are you,” how do you respond?
Do you answer with your name? With who you are in relationship to the situation at hand? With one of the many roles you play in your daily lives? How well do you really know yourself? How much of yourself do you accept and how much of yourself would you like to change? Are you living an authentic life reflecting your true essence?
At this point, you may be asking, “how does a person go about finding oneself?” Some people say connecting with nature helps them connect with themselves, others say daily meditation, yoga, exercise or something similar helps. All of these things are possible ways of connecting with oneself, but what if they are just not “your” way of doing it, then what?
Trish Ebbert would like to offer another possible solution, art therapy counseling.
Therapist Trish Ebbert with her sand table. Courtesy photo
“I know that some of you reading this article are saying to yourself, ’I don’t need therapy or counseling, there’s nothing wrong with me!’” Ebbert said. “To that I say no, there isn’t anything wrong with you. I do not believe that everyone who seeks out someone to talk with has something inherently wrong with them. One does not necessarily have to have a diagnosed mental or emotional disorder to see a therapist or counselor, but if something is wrong it’s important to seek help.”
When one’s body becomes ill, it is natural to seek the help of a physician. Yet, when one’s mind is suffering, it seems we are told to “tough it out,” “get over it” or “take a handful of medication,” Ebbert said.
Although, toughing it out, getting over it or taking medication, may be a temporary fix for some, what happens when these things fail? Unfortunately, society has placed negative connotations on receiving help for what others perceive as something one should be able to “handle on their own,” Ebbert said.
“It is not necessary to suffer alone. Nor is it wrong to want to be the best possible you that you can be by potentially discovering hidden aspects of the self─your true essence,” she said.
When we are well-balanced─physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually─we can participate in something bigger than ourselves and take pride in being part of the community, Ebbert said.
Ebbert has lived in the area for more than 14 years. She recently opened the Los Alamos Art Therapy and Counseling Center, LLC, in downtown Los Alamos.
“I am raising my children here and love this town,” Ebbert said. “I feel it is a privilege to serve my community in this capacity.”
Ebbert graduated from Southwestern College with a Masters in Art in Therapy and Counseling in 2010. She works with all ages, and with couples and families. Ebbert offers art therapy, sand tray therapy, play therapy (for children) and traditional talk therapy.
“Art, sand and play therapies are simply alternative ways of expressing thoughts and emotions,” she said. “They help one access the subconscious in a way that talking does not. No art experience is necessary as the final product is not about producing fine art.”
For a more thorough description of these therapies, visit Ebbert’s website at www.affordabletherapywithheart.com.
Ebbert is a qualified addictions recovery counselor and these therapy modalities have proven an excellent source in aiding recovery, she said.
“I provide affordable therapy for everyone so that the money involved in receiving services should not stop someone from getting the help they need or want,” Ebbert said. “Therapy shouldn’t only be available for the privileged few. You deserve the same opportunity to improve your mental well-being or to find yourself as they do.”
Ebbert dreams of having a space large enough to provide access to making art free of charge to the community, as well as a community co-op gallery to display the art sometime in the future.
“Creating art is very therapeutic and being around other artistic people can be inspiring and healing,” she said. “I know this community is full of creative people who may feel their work is not gallery worthy, and this is one reason why I envision a place that they will feel comfortable being a part of. In the meantime, I am able to provide space for up to eight group members at a time. Please contact me if you are interested in this idea.”
“I believe in reduce, reuse, recycle in my daily life and in my practice especially,” Ebbert said. “Art can be created with any number of items. I would like to encourage the community to consider donating their unwanted items to the Center. Even broken things are of use. Visit Ebert’s website, www.affordabletherapywithheart.com, for a list of items.
The Los Alamos Art Therapy and Counseling Center is inside the Small Business Center, Suite 113. Ebbert can be reached at (505) 412-2429.