Mindful Expressions Art Studio

Creativity with Meaning


What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a non-traditional therapeutic process or technique in which clients use art materials, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. Art Therapy is particularly effective for processing trauma or exploring someone’s sense of self or identity. It can be used as a calming tool or emotional release. Art therapy is an effective treatment for anyone experiencing developmental, medical, educational, and social or psychological impairment.

Many people find themselves wary of starting an art therapy journey because they think their skill will be judged or graded as if they were in art class in school. Art that is made in therapy is never judged or graded by the therapist. The therapist will also never interpret your art and tell you what it means. The artist is the expert in their own artwork and the therapist’s job is to guide the client in interpreting their own artwork. This is done by asking questions about the pieces of art and allowing the client to share their own interpretation or thoughts. Oftentimes the art therapist will give a prompt or suggest a theme for an art project or will have specific kinds of art projects to do during sessions or groups, and sometimes clients are free to choose which medium they want to use that day.






We use many art mediums at Mindful Expressions Art Studio ~


These include painting, ceramics, sewing or doll making, mixed media, and all kinds of drawing materials. 

We also use non-traditional art mediums, such as spray paint, splatter painting, 3-D sculpture, and more.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               




Who can do Art Therapy?

All age ranges and demographics can experience and enjoy the creative therapeutic process.  We work with people who have all ranges of artistic skill, from a person with no artistic experience outside of their school art class all the way to accomplished, well-trained artists. Art skill is not a necessary requirement for this process because it isn’t about the end result of the art but rather the creative process in which the art is made and the therapeutic aspect of processing the emotions behind the artwork. Participants do not need to have technical skill in any medium of art to enjoy and receive benefits from Art Therapy!


Art Therapy can be used by Anyone!

Since there are no restrictions on who can make art, anyone can do art therapy.  All that is needed is a willingness to try something new.




How is Art Therapy provided at GMFS?

Art therapy is provided in Groups or Individual sessions. Groups that we currently provide include trauma groups, LGBT+ Teens and Young Adults, and Multi-Family. There is also potential for child groups, grief and loss, kids in foster care, and other specialty groups in the future.


Weekly Groups 

are held in St. Cloud in Stearns County

One-time groups

may be arranged in other areas, if scheduled at least two weeks in advance.  These groups are subject to change on short notice.

Distance groups must have at least 5 clients or more in attendance.

Services are billed through insurance. To see which insurances are accepted, please check Funding – Access to Care or call our office at (320)-214-9692.


How to Start                                                                   REFERRAL FORM

Referrals for the art therapy program can be made directly to Heather Oxendale by individuals, parents, teachers/administrators, county social workers, mental health advocates, and other mental health providers.

For more questions about this program, please contact

Heather Oxendale, MA ATR at hoxendale@greaterminnesota.org



The artwork featured on this webpage is provided by  participants of the Mindful Expressions Art Studio.