Ariel, they/them, is a second-generation Black trans art therapist from Queens, New York, and based in Brooklyn. With four years of experience, they have worked with LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness and with domestic violence survivors and their children. Their work has focused on crisis counseling, building coping skills for somatic responses to trauma, gender identity embodiment and affirmation, navigating multiple diagnoses specifically trauma, mood, & dissociative disorders, and sifting through race-related trauma. They are interested in building care collectives outside of the medical model and collaborating with communal systems of care pathologized by colonialism in order to provide culturally relevant mental health services for queer and trans folks of color.
Ariel’s aim is to understand how you experience the world and to assist you in navigating it. They work from an anti-oppressive therapy framework, wherein the goal is to foster self-advocacy through connecting personal traumas to structural systems. Their work is also informed by disability justice, encouraging rest as fuel or pleasure activism, harm reduction, and trauma-informed care.
Ariel holds a Master’s degree (MPS) in Art Therapy from the School of Visual Arts and is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in New York State. In 2020, they co-presented at Gender Conference NYC on the use of art therapy in identity exploration for TGNC youth. They’ve worked with children and adolescents for 8 years in after-school programming and currently are a group facilitator for a monthly trans tweens social group at the Gender & Family Project within the Ackerman Institute for the Family. Prior to creative art therapy, Ariel earned a bachelor’s degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice where they conducted research on memory and PTSD for three years. In 2021 Ariel joined Creative Now Therapy as a primary therapist.