Hello & welcome! My name is Heidi Guthrie & I am a clinically trained Art Therapist & LMFT. I received my B.A. in Psychology & Human Development from Cal State University San Bernardino & my M.A. in Marital & Family Therapy with an emphasis in Clinical Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University. I also possess a PPS Credential in School Counseling & have worked extensively in the public school system as an Educationally Related Mental Health Services Therapist (ERMHS) for Special Education, in addition to private practice. I love spending time doing art, whatever art I can! Painting & woodworking are two of my favorites! I enjoy spending time outdoors, camping, going to the beach, dirt biking, pretending I know how to garden (lol), & anything that involves nature! You can usually find me hiking around our mini farm with my family, taking care of one of many critters who call our property home!
I approach therapy with empathy, warmth, & compassion & as a result, I utilize client-centered approaches & integrative models that ensure each & every client feels heard, understood, & supported. I use Client-Centered, Supportive, Positive, Compassion, & Strength-Based approaches, as well as CBT & Family Systems. Of course, Art Therapy is my go-to favorite modality as well as Mindfulness approaches. My specialties include working with learning disabilities, child/teen emotional disturbance, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, family issues, autism, parenting, self-esteem issues, depression, & trauma, to name a few.
I enjoy working with young children through teens, who might need a little extra assistance with life challenges, such as academic struggles due to mental health-related needs, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, autism, etc. Parents, families, & adults of all ages are welcome too!
My communication style
I am here to help guide my client along their journey & their story is extremely important & needs to be heard. As a result, I utilize empathy & active listening during my sessions. I create a comforting, safe, & warm environment for each & every client through a calm & attentive demeanor. Of course, a little humor never hurts either & sometimes it's exactly what's needed.
My journey to therapy
I originally started as an art major in college & focused all of my attention on being creative & usually covered in either paint, clay, or sawdust. I took a psychology class to satisfy one of the areas of study for my degree & loved it. So, I took another & another & another. I transferred to my B.A. program as a dual major in Psychology & Human Development, with an emphasis on Child Development. As I was looking into graduate programs for my Master's degree, I found myself wishing there was a way to combine my passion for art with my love of psychology & that's when I found it; Clinical Art Therapy. After much research, I discovered a Marital & Family Therapy/Clinical Art Therapy program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. After a rigorous application process & a very long wait, I was accepted & started on a 2.5-year intensive journey. The rest is history!
My goals for you
It's important to me that each & every client feel invested in the goals that are set for treatment. This is achieved by working together & ensuring that the client's wants & needs are being addressed, through the client establishing what's important to them. In addition, goals need to be realistic & attainable, so that clients can feel confident & successful.
My first session with you
In your first session, you'll be asked a lot of questions, but this is normal & all part of the intake or initial assessment process. It may feel awkward, at first, sharing personal info with a stranger, but I strive to make it as comfortable & non-invasive as possible. Remember, the goal is to have you return for a second visit, not scare you off before the first one is over. So, I also like to lighten the mood & ask about hobbies, things you enjoy, favorite places you've been, etc. If you're one of my younger clients or littles, as I like to call them, then we'll play ice-breaker & get-to-know-you games. It's my goal that each client feels a sense of trust & comfort in the process.