Our Company Story: From Art Spa to Today

A fairly long time ago in 2005 we called ourselves Art Spa. Some of our long time clients and devoted art therapy friends still refer to us and our Williamsburg space by our very first name.
Nadia Jenefsky, MPS, LCAT, Clinical Director/Director of Child & Family Services tells the story of how New York Creative Arts Therapists of Williamsburg came to be.
 

As members of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg community for almost 20 years, we were inspired to create an entrepreneurial model that understands the needs of people who think and live outside the box. We set out to bring the kind of therapy that fits the progressive, creative-minded lifestyle and individuality of our neighborhood. When we opened our doors to our first clients, the response was overwhelmingly positive.

Drena and I met working as art therapists at a juvenile justice program in Manhattan that served kids who needed "one last chance" to make their lives better. We developed a deep friendship and passion for our work, filling the time with talk and screenplay ideas when our clients didn't show up for their therapy sessions. After many years working for city agencies, where we were seen either as social workers or “art ladies”, we felt frustrated with the limitations and red tape involved in getting our unique, effective services to the people who needed them. When our agency jobs ended, we seized the opportunity to take our services directly to the communities we wanted to serve: we cut out the middleman and got to work.

People delighted at doing therapy in an art studio! They loved making art in the waiting room instead of reading tabloid magazines. And they shared with us their frustrations with traditional talk therapy, felt energized and excited about tackling issues in a hands-on way.

As our community has grown, we have added child and family services to address the changing needs of our clients, and LGBTQ services to champion our changing world! We bring the same thoughtful respect for the individual values and beliefs of each family we work with, rather than trying to use a one-size fits all approach.

We know that everyone—regardless of race, social status, or sexual orientation—carries life experiences that are profound, confusing, and sometimes painful. We have found no better way to help people make sense of their stories, than by inviting them to share them with a trusted and well-trained therapist. We are often humbled and moved by what our clients of all ages create, and this inspires us to continue to find new ways to bring our services to those who need it the most.

 

When we hung our shingle in 2005, there were about three therapists in the neighborhood. Boy, have times changed! Ten years later we continue to stay ahead of the curve with our innovative programs and use of up-to-date therapies.

  Drena Fagen, LCSW, LCAT Director of Programs and Adult Services