Expressive Arts Therapy refers to a therapeutic approach that utilizes art, body awareness, dance and movement, journaling, meditation, music, playing of instruments, and psychodrama. The purpose of these approaches is to allow for safe emotional awareness and emotional expression. Individuals are released from worry and self-defeating thoughts to discover how they have been wounded and learn new ways to heal and facilitate behavioral change. This format encourages compassion, self-acceptance, and the development of self-esteem. Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services incorporates Expressive Art’s Therapy into many of our programs across the organization.
Stephen Alfonso MT-BC
Stephen Alfonso MT-BC, is a board certified Music Therapist. Alfonso earned his degree from Loyola University in New Orleans and he has worked with clients who have experienced sexual trauma, sexual compulsivity, eating disorders, and other addictions since 1995. Alfonso is experienced with using non-verbal, expressive modalities. He has conducted psychodrama groups with sexual trauma clients, those with sexual compulsion, and clients with eating disorders since 1997. During the last five years, Alfonso has also worked with male eating disorder clients. Alfonso is classically trained in voice and he is a professional drummer and band leader with a popular band in the New Orleans area. He has also presented several lectures on the use of Expressive Therapy with survivors of trauma, eating disorders and sexual compulsion. Additionally, Alfonso uses his musical talents during drumming workshops to promote community and healing.
Mimi Leeds, MS, ADTR
Mimi Leeds holds a Bachelor of Arts in both psychology and dance from Sarah Lawrence College and a Master’s Degree from Hunter College. Currently, living in Houston, Texas, she works as a certified Life and Wellness coach in private practice. She also has an established Skype therapy practice focusing on addiction, trauma resolution, lifestyle coaching and as a facilitator of her individualized healthy weight, and balanced life program. Her past experience includes working as a department head and therapist for River Oaks Psychiatric hospital in New Orleans for seventeen years. She has also been a group leader for onsite workshops in Nashville TN, and as a group therapist for Arizona Family Therapy Intensives. She has been a national speaker and created workshops focusing on the use of creative arts therapy in the treatment for adult survivors of trauma as well as self-care, compassion and nurturance as a means to healing and growth.
Roland Johnson has worked for Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services since 1993. He currently serves as the Outreach Coordinator for Pine Grove’s REACH Program, which stands for Realistic Experiences and Challenging Horizons. REACH is an experiential therapy ropes course for Pine Grove’s residential patients. Each participant accomplishes key goals by pushing themselves past their personal comfort levels. This experience enhances the patients’ self confidence, communication skills, and self esteem while increasing their teamwork and trust building skills. After graduating from The University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in Coaching and Sports Administration, Johnson completed his certification as a ropes course facilitator and trainer. In 2012, Johnson received the “We C.A.R.E. Award” presented by Forrest General Hospital. This award recognizes staff members who make a positive impact on the patient’s experience.