Young adults/college students
Specialties & expertise
- Coping with general life stressors and transitions
- Identity development
- Goal setting and creating personal change
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Domestic violence
- Anger management
- Relationship challenges
Suzanne Brushart-Shaw is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) practicing in Newport, Rhode Island. She earned a Masters of Arts in Expressive Therapies: Art Therapy with a specialization in Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University in 2008. As part of her training she interned with adolescent students in mainstream, alternative and special education programs. She also worked with adults with co-occurring substance and mental health diagnoses in a Partial Hospitalization setting.
Suzanne has practiced mental health counseling and art therapy with individuals and groups in a variety of treatment settings, including Partial Hospitalization programs, outpatient clinics, non-profit organizations and private practice.
Suzanne has maintained her commitment to professional development over the last several years in the areas of mental health counseling, expressive therapies, mindfulness, and studio arts through classes, trainings and national conferences. She sustains her personal connection with the creative process through photography and jewelry design. As part of her own commitment to mindfulness she is an active member of the Yoga community here in Newport.
Coping with general life stressors and transitions
Identity development – Including within the unique context of one's race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, class, and cultural background; resolving trauma and internalized oppression related to stigma
Goal setting and creating personal change
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Including dealing with past sexual assault, childhood trauma, and environmental trauma (e.g. witnessing/experiencing violence); uses Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), a type of trauma treatment modality
Domestic violence – Supporting women and men healing from abusive relationships
Anger management – Managing anger and its impact on personal and work relationships
Anxiety – Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks
Depression – Sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance, inability to enjoy yourself, and difficulty being motivated, amongst many other symptoms
Relationships – Feeling unsatisfied in your partnership; communication challenges; addressing issues of power and voice; contemplation of separation; questioning one’s place in the relationship; breakups, friendships, dating
Self-esteem – Cultivate stronger sense of self; increase assertiveness, confidence, and self-compassion
- Beacon Health
- Brown University Student Health Insurance
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- United Health
- Ongoing sessions: $100/session (50min)
Sliding scale: A sliding scale of $70 - $100 is offered to clients who need a reduced fee to receive therapy.
Therapist's note: Suzanne can provide you with paperwork for reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network sessions.
Message to clients
"I believe our challenges can be met and wounds healed by uncovering our strengths and insights. I am passionate about creating a caring, calming, and creative space that nurtures this self-discovery. My approach is strength-based, client centered and tailored to the specific needs of each individual. Whether you are dealing with day to day stressors, managing interpersonal issues or dealing with ongoing mental health concerns, we will work together to create a custom program that will help you take the next step to becoming a fulfilled healthy individual."
What does the art therapy process look like? "How art therapy takes shape within the counseling process, including the types of interventions and materials used, depends on the goals and needs of each client. The use of art therapy varies from a primary component to an occasional intervention that is incorporated into a talk therapy session. Similarly, the length of the art therapy directives may vary. We might do a brief five min. check-in sketch that is the catalyst for a session-long discussion or plan a several stage project that spans multiple counseling sessions. Although the desire to create visually pleasing art is a common experience, approaching art therapy with this goal actually limits its effectiveness. Setting aside these expectations of yourself and your art is a valuable part of the art therapy process for artists and non-artists alike. You will find that as you learn to change your personal expectations during your art therapy sessions, you will be able to apply similar skills to your life outside of counseling."
Art TherapyIn art therapy, clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that often used to treat disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and particularly chronic borderline personality disorder. It teaches skills such as mindfulness, pain tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotional regulation. (learn more)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)EMDR is a form of trauma treatment that helps process distressing memories and restore the brain's natural healing abilities, reducing the memories' lasting effects and allowing the person to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms. (learn more)
Humanistic philosophyThis approach is based on the philosophy of the inherent goodness of people and emphasizes support and acceptance of each individual.
Education and work experience
Private Practice, Art Therapist, 2014 - Present
The Women's Resource Center of Newport and Bristol Counties, 2010 - Present
Arbour Counseling Services Partial Hospitalization Program, Expressive Therapist, 2008 – 2013
Arbour Counseling Outpatient Clinic, Mental Health Clinician, 2008 - 2013
Lesley University, MA, Expressive Therapies, 2008
University of Vermont, BA, Environmental Studies, Ecopsychology specialization, 2002