About Erin Rafferty-Bugher

As an art therapist, I believe in the power of using art in the healing processArt therapy provides an opportunity for an individual to express themselves in a non-traditional wayArt mediums such as clay, painting, beading, sculpture, doll-making, printing, masks, sewing, photography, and bookmaking are only a few creative ideas that can be explored during the art therapy process.   Art Therapy goals such as developing coping skills, increasing self-expression, identifying feelings, introducing relaxation, and calming techniques, developing a positive self-esteem as well as healing from past personal traumatic experiences are only some examples of how art therapy can help an individual achieve successI believe in creating a supportive environment that provides safety and containment  I think of myself as a facilitator or a guide in a person’s journey towards health and wellness. I am an advocate for equality and justiceThe process of creating is what is important; therefore, anyone can participate in the art therapy process. 

Recent Courses Taught

  • 521.5 Ethics in Art Therapy
  • 530 Foundations of Mental Health Counseling
  • 553 Group Art Therapy
  • 556 Art Therapy Studio: Media Exploration
  • 557.8 Art Therapy and the Autism Spectrum
  • 604 Portfolio Defense
  • 936 Introduction to Field Experience - Mental Health Counseling
  • 956 Introduction to Field Experience - Art Therapy
  • 957 Practicum in Art Therapy
  • 958 Internship in Art Therapy

Research Interests and Specialties

Neuroscience and Art Therapy
Children and Adolescents, Older Adults
Cognitive and Developmental Abilities
Social Justice and Advocacy
Art for Social Action

Distinctions & Associations

  • American Art Therapy Association (AATA)
  • American Counseling Association (ACA)
  • Minnesota Art Therapy Association (MNATA)

Selected Publications and Presentations

Adlerian Network; Art Therapy Social Justice and Adlerian Psychology an intersectional identity approach – 2022

NASAP Spin: Adlerian Theory, Social Justice and Art Therapy – 2021

AATA Integrating Neuroscience into Art Therapy Education – 2021

AATA and NASAP Native Am Youth AT/ Holism/ ETC – 2019

Lake Superior Design Retreat, Duluth – 2019

NASAP Integrating NASAP Experience – 2017

AATA Conference, Healing Hearts – 2017

Mayo Clinic Arts In Health Care Conference – 2014

Art Therapy as a tool for counselor wellness – 2014/2015

NBIA International Conference – 2015

Educational Background

School of the Art, Institute of Chicago/Rush Medical School
University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI
Edgewood College, Madison, WI
Certificate in Art Therapy