Therapist / Counselor Jaana Kilkki, MA, ATR-BC
Jaana Kilkki, MA, ATR-BC (Gainesville VA Office, Online Therapy)
“I’m a Board Certified Art Therapist who has been practicing art psychotherapy since 2013. My goal is to help you manage the challenges in your life and find healing from distress and trauma. I have worked with various age groups in different mental health treatment settings, including work with military service members and individuals who have experienced a variety of life traumas.
As a therapist I believe we all have an inherent ability to work through challenges in our lives. Sometimes our ability becomes overpowered by current stressors or past trauma, but we can learn to access our resilience and strengths in the supportive environment of therapy. In therapy we meet in a trusting and honest conversation about what matters to you.
How we work together will depend on your individualized needs. In addition to Art Therapy, I have experience in holistic mind-body based practices such as Mindfulness, meditation and yoga. I believe we are all creative, and my goal is to help you rediscover your innate strength and resilience even when life feels challenging.
In our art therapy sessions you explore your thoughts and feelings through creative means such as drawing, painting, collaging and writing enabling you to tap into your potential for growth and leading to a better understanding of yourself.
No experience in art making is necessary and sometimes we might just talk. I also incorporate mindfulness to my sessions, which can help you establish a sense of grounding, safety and wellbeing as you work on your goals. Together we develop the tools that help you grow and heal, and enable you to live well and thrive in your life.
Sometimes words are not enough to express what we are experiencing. Art Therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.
Art Therapy, facilitated by a professional art therapist, can be used to improve cognitive and sensory-motor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change.
(American Art Therapy Association, arttherapy.org)
During art therapy sessions you explore your thoughts and feelings through creative means such as drawing, painting and collaging. Making art, no matter what form it takes, can be naturally calming and relaxing. You can learn how to utilize it for coping, expressing what’s on your mind, and finding ways to be more present and mindful through the process. You don’t need to have any experience in art making, there are many different ways to make art and stick figures are ok too. Your art therapist will guide you step by step and assist you in finding ways to express yourself and work through your challenges.
Trauma Focused Therapy
Trauma focused art therapy may be right for you if you’ve experienced a recent traumatic event or an old trauma has been triggered by new stress, life transition, or media/news events. You may be noticing changes in mood, relationships, appetite, and sleep. You may be experiencing trauma related symptoms such as difficulty coping with things the way you used to, feeling easily overwhelmed, having nightmares or intrusive memories.
The Instinctual Trauma Response™ method is an evidence-supported method that focuses on treating the roots of trauma. The ITR™ method recodes traumatic memory from the right brain format to the left brain format, ending or greatly reducing triggers and symptoms. The ITR™ method gives traumatic memories order, verbal coding, historical context, and an objective, third person view that protects the person from re-experiencing the trauma and fosters their capacity for empathy for themselves and others. This allows you to feel that the event is finally over and in the past.”