Education-Gretchen obtained a Bachelor of Science in Art Therapy from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and received her Master of Arts in Art Therapy from Ursuline College. During her time at BGSU, Gretchen was the recipient of The School of Art’s James W. Strong Community Service Award, in which she was given funding to develop and implement a community-based arts program for youth. Gretchen was also the recipient for Outstanding Art Therapy Student awarded by BGSU’s College of Health and Human Services. In graduate school, Gretchen was the award recipient for Exceptional Creativity and Achievement in Thesis Research from Ursuline College’s Master of Arts in Art Therapy Program. In 2011, Gretchen was the recipient of Ursuline College’s Art Therapy and Counseling Program Service Award for Promoting the Field of Art Therapy and Building Community, as well as received an Award of Commendation for Student Mentoring and Supervision.
Gretchen has worked extensively with children and adolescents, including starting her art therapy career as the Founder and Art Therapy Program Coordinator (1995-2002) of a residential treatment partial hospitalization art therapy program at The Cleveland Christian Home, as well as developed and implemented a clinical art therapy program for Applewood Centers, Inc., within a residential treatment program for adolescent females from 2002-2004. Her work in residential treatment motivated her to focus more in the area of childhood trauma and loss. Since 2004 this has included providing art therapy to grieving children and adolescents who have experienced a death of a loved one, as well as survivors of domestic violence. Gretchen’s work with trauma intervention and loss inspired her to become a Certified Trauma Consultant through The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC)
. Gretchen was the 2011 recipient of TLC’s Consultant Supervisor of the Year Award.
Presentations & Workshops-
Gretchen has presented regionally and nationally on the application of art therapy, is a guest lecturer, thesis reader, and adjunct professor at Ursuline College’s Master of Arts in Art Therapy & Counseling Program. Gretchen has also been a visiting faculty for Mount Mary University’s Master of Science Art Therapy Program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Gretchen collaborates on workshops & presentations with Peace Paper
, a trauma informed art initiative that facilitates transformation, healing, and social action through papermaking.
Community Organizing and Social Media-
Gretchen has a passionate interest in social media and computer technology, which includes creating, designing, and managing various websites, forums, and blogging related to art therapy, creativity, networking, and community organizing for art therapists. She founded The Art Therapy Alliance
, an on-line professional community that embraces social media and connection to promote art therapy, the work of art therapists, and build community. In 2011 Gretchen launched the art-based social network 6 Degrees of Creativity
to create creative goodness through art-making, connection, and collaboration.
Current & Past Professional Affiliations-
Gretchen currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Southwestern College
to assist with areas of concern and interest for the college’s leadership. Gretchen is also a member of Ohio’s Buckeye Art Therapy Association (BATA) and is a Past President (2007-2010) of this non-profit professional organization. During these four years, Gretchen led a 12 member board and membership of 200 art therapists, students, and other interested professionals who are dedicated to the advancement of the practice of art therapy in Ohio. She has also served as BATA’s Publications Committee Chair (2005 & 2006), which included being the Editor of BATA’s quarterly newsletter, The Palette. Gretchen has also been active within the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), serving as Web Editor of AATA’s official website from 2005-2008 and as the Association’s Program Chair for the 40th Anniversary Conference in 2009. Her past AATA committee work has also included Student Subcommittee Chair (1997-1999), Education Committee (1999-2002), Web Editorial Committee (2002-2003), Publications Committee (2005-2006), Governmental Affairs Committee (2007-2008) and AATA’s Journal Advisory Board (2007-2009).
In 2010 Gretchen helped co-found Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc. and served on ATWB’s Board of Directors until 2012 to promote international art therapy initiatives in mental health, healthcare, and education worldwide. Gretchen also served as an Executive Editor (2009-2012) for FUSION, an e-zine for Planet Art Therapy dedicated to a new energy, excitement, and blend of ideas, cultures, and people for a sustainable future in art therapy. Gretchen is a Registered Board Certified Art Therapist (# 01-219) with The Art Therapy Credentials Board
Gretchen enjoys finding inspiration, creating positive energy, and discovering transformation by working in mixed media, collage, altered art, art journaling, as well as organizing art exchanges and creative collaborations. Gretchen is a past instructor for Dirty Footprints Studio’s art journaling workshop 21 SECRETS
and will be teaching again in 2014 for 21 SECRETS LIVE
To learn more about Gretchen’s work as an art therapist, trauma consultant, and artist, check out her LinkedIn Profile or her website gretchen-miller.com.