Julie Paavola, LMHCA

I completed my M.A. in Art Therapy from IUPUI and the Herron School of Art and Design in 2017. During my studies, from 2015 to 2017, I worked at the Julian Center in Indianapolis as an intern and was then hired as a full-time clinician, serving clients who have survived domestic violence or sexual assault. The specialty of Art Therapy has benefited my clients, enabling them to express themselves in new ways as they struggle to find healing and peace in the midst of anxiety, depression and the many difficulties that can result from trauma.

"Art therapy is a profession that uses art media, images, the creative art process and patient/client responses to the created productions as reflections of an individual's development, abilities, personality, interests, concerns, and conflicts" (American Art Therapy Association, 1997).

Art therapy allows clients who may not have words to express what they are feeling to use a wordless language, a language we all share as human beings, but that we too seldom utilize. I invite clients to create as a means of relaxation, exploration and insight. I try to help them own their creative and natural insights about their lives.

Prior to my training in psychology, I earned an M.A. in Religious Studies and was trained in pastoral care. I spent many years in ministry settings working with clients on issues of faith and spiritual growth as a spiritual direction counselor. Family Counseling Associates is a wonderful setting for me to continue to work with those clients who may desire to include questions of faith and spirituality in their therapeutic care.

My approach to therapy is existential, emphasizing empowerment of the client to reclaim and re-own their lives (Schneider & Krug, 2010). My first priority in working with a client is to establish a healthy therapeutic relationship, which I believe to be the bedrock of clinical work. Active listening, reflecting back to the client what I have heard, and summarizing help me to get an initial picture of the individual's story. As the therapeutic relationship develops, setting goals and progressing towards meeting those goals, it is important to recognize and affirm the client's efforts and successes in working for change.

Art Therapy
Multi-cultural Issues
Anxiety and Depression
Spiritual Issues
Women's Issues

Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate (Indiana)
Art Therapist (Working toward Board Certification)

M.A. Art Therapy, IUPUI and Herron School of Art & Design, 2017
M.A. in Religion in Society, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA 1998
Spiritual Direction and Retreat Training, Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, CA and Los Altos Retreat Center, Los Altos, CA 2007-2010
B.A. in International Relations, Stanford University, 1993