Email Kortney Malone
I have a strong background working with clients who have a history of trauma, especially with sexual assault. I also love working with clients who have intellectual/developmental disabilities and have worked with this community for over 10 yrs. I am open to a range of ages but have long enjoyed working with preteen, teen, and young adult clients.
Tactically, cognitive behavioral and mindfulness skills building are an initial focus in treatment. Clients practice being grounded and safe by being alert and present in their environment. For example, they might count objects, scan their body for any tension, or draw on paper to create a visual tool to center themselves away from anxious distress and traumatic flashbacks. Progressively, these skills may be paired with processing traumatic events in a timeline format that a client is comfortable with.
Whether doing trauma-focused art therapy or talk therapy, it is paramount to teach skills throughout the therapeutic process and understand personal motivations to create a safe space and promote change. I utilize a Gestalt therapy approach that promotes a person’s strengths and self-awareness. This may include an eclectic format of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, sensory integration theory, and the expressive therapies continuum.
My Master’s Degree in Creative Arts Therapy and Creativity Development at Pratt Institute is integral to my practice as the art therapist I am today. The experiential, humanistic, and Gestalt teachings were part of an immersive learning experience that allowed me to develop the empathy and presence needed to treat and be with clients struggling with traumatic events in their lives. Professors Josie Abbenante, Dina Schapiro and art therapists Jessica Kindig and Dee Strycker, and authors Lisa Hinz and Edith Kramer all taught me to learn who I was as a therapist and how I wanted to approach the creative process in therapy. Their combined focus on the use of trusting the process, understanding how trauma’s impact on the brain go hand in hand when guiding art, and the willingness to go to depths of self-awareness are touchstones for my foundations in practice.
Inspired by my experience as a sexual assault survivor, I developed a safe forum, Survive to Thrive, for survivors to engage in dialogue about sexual traumas in expressive arts workshops.
I partner with local agencies that support and empower victims to heal from domestic and sexual assault. I value creating communities where the stigma of mental health and abuse can be broken. I believe a collective of thriving individuals allows for the health of each person to be transformed positively away from their traumatic events. Together by tearing down stigma, we can write a new narrative that will empower and give voice to those in need of support and change in our communities.