TCFS Art Therapist Talks Art Therapist Barbie

TCFS Art Therapist on Art Therapist Barbie

The newest career practiced by Mattel’s Barbie—who has had at least 250 jobs over the years—is her first in the mental health field. The brand recently introduced an Art Therapy playset including an Art Therapist Barbie doll and her child client (complete with interactive emoji apparel). The toy set also includes a therapy kitten and cushion as well as art supplies and mood stickers.

TriCity Family Services’ resident Art Therapist, Izzie Morretti, was excited to hear about this new doll and appreciates the idea that it could inspire kids to learn about Art Therapy both as a profession and as an option for mental health care.

“Art Therapy unlocks an ability to process what you’ve been through. You can visualize the experiences and it can allow others to see what you are feeling,” Izzie shared, “I got into Art Therapy because I wanted to create art and have an artistic space and also help people. I didn’t learn it was an option until my senior year of undergrad. I wish I would have known sooner that it existed as a career.”

While earning her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy at Adler University, Izzie learned about both the psychoanalysis of art and the therapeutic abilities of practicing art—each aspect is incorporated while working with her counseling clients. To give an example, she shared that she had young client recently whose family was going through a divorce. They participated in creating a Kinetic Family Drawing and drew a detailed picture that showed how they saw their family dynamics and relationships; they left one family member on a separate page which gave Izzie insight into the situation and opened up a specific issue to talk more about in a later session.

Though the new Barbie playset includes a child client, Izzie knows that Art Therapy can be helpful for all ages—and she wants it to be clear that you do not have to be good at art to benefit from it.

“Sometimes you don’t know how to describe an event, but you know the feelings you had when it happened,” she continued, “Something about trauma is that you hold it in both sides of the brain. Clients will be telling a story over and over again, and using Art Therapy helps them actually process it and that can lead to peace. They get stuck while talking about it—what they really need to do is finger paint about it!”

Need help? TriCity Family Services is here for you! If you are interested in any of our mental health services, please call 630.232.1070 to speak with an intake coordinator who can connect you to a caring counselor or therapist.

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