My formal education came from University of Florida (undergraduate) and later Prescott College, where I graduated with a Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling with a Post-Masters Certificate in Expressive Art Therapy.
While in my masters program, I completed a year-long (600+ hours) art therapy internship at Eastpointe High School. I provided individual art therapy to adolescents (aged 14-22) and taught two art-therapy based classes for grief/loss and identity development.
Afterward, I competed an internship for mental health counseling at Tucson Counseling Associates. I provided over 500 hours of individual, couples, and family therapy. I worked primarily with adults on issues of anxiety, depression, identity, and relationship strain.
While formal education taught me HOW to be a therapist, it taught me very little about autism or neurodivergence. That education came from my lived experiences, self-education, and now my experience with hundreds of neurodivergent clients.
Outside the Office
I am a human first. Being a therapist is not my primary identity.
As an autistic, it's important that I structure my life to support my needs. I need time for to rest and delve into my special interests.
For me, those things include connecting with my family and friends, art journaling, spending time in nature, playing games, going on walks, puzzling (I love puzzles!) and creating art. I also love writing books and essays on psychological topics.
Hello! I'm Jackie. I am a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT), Board Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC), and Mental Health Health Counselor (LPC).
But more important than all of my fancy titles is that I'm an autistic and ADHD human. I didn't learn about my neurodivergence until I was in my 30's and already a therapist.
It changed EVERYTHING.
I desperately wanted help understanding my new identity and learning to work with my neurotype.
But I couldn't find an autistic therapist. I tried working with neurotypical therapists - but they knew so little about autism. I found myself having to educate them.
I had to scour the internet, books, workshops, continuing education classes, and more. I also interviewed fellow autistics and professionals in the field. As I did it, I wrote copious amount of essays and made countless pieces of art to process all of the new information and integrate it into my life .
I now provide the therapy I wish I could have found. As a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist, I can provide therapy to people throughout the world via Telehealth.