About the Art Therapist: Rachel Ryan McMillan, LPC-MHSP, ATR-BC


Rachel is an artist and art therapist, painting, exploring, and working in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. She opened Illuminate Art Therapy in January 2017 with the intention of offering art therapy to people seeking to improve and enhance their lives through the use of art. Her practice concentrations for art therapy include trauma, grief and loss, identity, spirituality, substance use, emotional health (depression, anxiety), life transitions, and studio-focused practice.

“I believe in the power of art and the creative process. I have seen people heal, gain insight, reconnect with themselves and the other people who bring light into their world, and recover from the hurt caused by difficult parts of the past. As an art therapist, my role is to facilitate the creative process to help people gain awareness, insight, and confidence in their ability to create positive change in their lives. ” — Rachel

Rachel earned her master’s degree in art therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Rachel is a Board-Certified, Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor with Mental Health Service Provider designation (LPC-MHSP).

Rachel’s background includes working with children and adolescents in the areas of grief, trauma, and developmental delays; older adults with dementia; and adults with substance use disorders, including pregnant women, recent mothers, and men with emotional health issues, homelessness, and previous incarcerations. Rachel has presented her work on identity and self-concept in people in treatment for substance use disorders at the American Art Therapy Association’s annual conference. She has collaborated for several years with the Studio E program at the Epilepsy Foundation, facilitating art therapy groups with children and adults with seizure disorders. In addition to working in private practice, Rachel is also an art therapist at Blount Memorial Hospital’s Emotional Health and Recovery Center in Maryville, TN, using art therapy with adults in outpatient group treatment for issues including depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance use disorders.

In addition to working with individuals, Rachel is able to provide on-site art therapy groups on a contract basis, and clinical supervision for art therapists working toward their ATR or ATR-BC credentials. She is also available for workshops, presentations, in-service education, collaboration, and consultation.

Rachel’s personal art practice focuses on healing and self-exploration through art.

TN Board of Licensed Professional Counselors: LPC-MHSP #3563
Art Therapy Credentials Board: ATR-BC #14-295

About Art Therapy 

IMG_2159.JPGArt therapy is a form of emotional health treatment that uses art-making and the creative process to promote healing, growth, and self-discovery. The art therapist may give a prompt, or the art-making may be guided by the person seeking treatment. No artistic background or experience is needed. Adults, as well as children, adolescents, and older adults may engage in the art therapy process — art therapy can be used at any point in life in which a person feels that they need extra support during a life transition or in order to process a loss or traumatic experience. In a typical session, a person makes art, which is then processed and explored together with the art therapist. While some people may feel concerned that an art therapist may “analyze” or “interpret” their artwork, in reality, the art therapist is there to ask questions, and to help the art-maker explore the meaning behind the artwork and find their own insight.

For more about art therapy, please use the links below, or call Rachel at (865) 896-9896 for a phone consultation to see if art therapy may be a good fit for you.

The American Art Therapy Association
The Tennessee Art Therapy Association

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