A New Expressive Arts Therapist in Downtown Raleigh

We are so excited to welcome Susan Miller to our team of wellness practitioners! Susan is a professional counselor specializing in expressive arts therapy. We interviewed her to learn more about her approach and how you can engage with her work.

Susan Miller, PhD, LCMHCS

How does art support wellness?

Everyone is creative in some way. We all use creative processes in our lives, work and activities each day. Creativity can be expressed in many ways such as gardening, cooking, decorating our homes, sewing, organizing, music, performing, writing, making things, and even communicating with others. Art-making is just one of the many ways to express our creativity.

Most of us crave to do something that is "creative". But, often we do not put creative practices as a priority, nor do we see how much creativity matters. Art in particular is one way to express our creativity, release anxiety, increase joy, and find our intuitive voice. Art is something that everyone can do in some way, if they are willing to just play. And we can all use some playfulness in our life!

There are many ways to play with art-making, from any level. Opening up the right side of the brain allows for increased awareness of a vision for your life. It brings about a dimension of yourself that you may have never opened up to which sets the stage for wellness because it lowers stress and teaches us to look at things differently. And the biggest part of art-making, beyond the finished piece, is a knowledge of how the creative process is like the process of how we live our lives. When we feel challenged in art-making, we most likely experience the same sort of challenge in life. So we learn about ourselves and how to be more flexible, resilient and less critical of ourselves through the artistic process.

Are you curious about or hungering for more creative connection in your life? Check out my free e-course chocked full of expressive arts activities including art journaling prompts, guided meditations, nature activities and more: Wise Woman: A Seven Day Creative Journey at www.lightedpathcoaching.org.

How did you become involved in your work as an expressive arts therapist?

Because of my artistic and nature-loving parents, I have been an art lover since I could hold a crayon and paint with my fingers. Making art made me feel alive, soothed my soul, and was always my friend. Encouraged to follow my dreams, I realized in my college years my desire was to always have art as my companion while pursuing a counseling career.

In my undergraduate work, I minored in art and devoured all the art classes I could. Again, art wooed my soul, healed my broken heart, and gave me a way to express myself in life, whether it was weaving on a floor loom, sewing, quilting, needlework, drawing, painting, knitting, or collaging. Art and creativity were the friends who never let me down and provided the endless deep well of projects to create!

As I have pursued my counseling and coaching career, I have always utilized art with my clients as an expressive art therapist and certified creativity coach with Miller Counseling Services, PC and Lighted Path® Coaching. As a mixed media artist and a therapist, I am still learning many techniques and uses of mediums that I incorporate into my therapeutic work with clients whether one-to-one or in workshops, groups or retreats. I believe whole-heartedly that art heals, and if one pursues their right brain creative side, they will find their authentic wise soul waiting to help them unlock joy and freedom in their lives.

How can people work with you?

I am all about connection! I provide individual and group therapy, creativity and life coaching, support for the creative and heart-centered entrepreneur, and creativity-infused workshops and retreats virtually during the pandemic, but in-person as soon as life allows!

Check out Miller Counseling Services, PC and Lighted Path(R) Coaching & Art Studio for more information about my different offerings.

I offer an Emotional Eating/Eating Disorder Recovery group typically each season. Check out the details on her website.

And if you are looking for artwork to perk up your home or office, or to give as a gift, check out my artist website: https://www.susanmillerartist.com or my art in Downtown Raleigh at 311 Gallery , Studio 2.

Contact me at 919-848-2100 and susanmillerlpc@gmail.com.