Anna L. Mills MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT holds a Masters Degree in Art Therapy and Counseling; she is a board certified art therapist and is Maryland state licensed in art therapy. She has served as expressive art therapist in psychiatric hospitals, mental health clinics, community centers, and in a residential substance abuse treatment center. Anna served as an on-site supervisor for graduate art therapy students from Notre-Dame of Maryland Art Therapy program in 2019. She started her private practice in 2016 by providing art therapy to children in the foster-care system and providing at- home therapy to adolescents and adults.
As a therapist, Anna’s extensive experience and therapeutic style creates a safe and supportive environment for patients to feel seen and heard. She has helped her patients reduce anxiety and relieve depression, stabilize their moods and increase coping, and process life stressors to feel more grounded and positive. Anna provides a compassionate presence, with empathic and attuned listening skills to support patients through healing. Art therapy enables patients to more clearly recognize issues causing distress, and to identify the possibilities of resolution. Through the creative process and reflection on the art, Anna helps patients gain awareness in order to cope with issues, improve relationships, and support change.
Anna applies evidenced-based interventions and informed approaches for the adolescents, adults and families with whom she works. She collaborates with colleagues within The SOAR Program, and with each patient’s support system, as appropriate. Anna is educated in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). She integrates these techniques into the therapy to meet patients’ individualized needs. Anna is experienced in trauma informed interventions, and remains up to date on the research evidencing trauma’s impact on the brain. Anna specializes in Mindfulness-based approaches to help each individual; by modeling and encouraging self-compassion, she teaches patients to identify needs and strengths, and to make emotionally balanced choices.
Anna has presented at Sheppard Pratt Hospital Center for Eating Disorders. She created a presentation titled Mindfulness and Art Interventions for Self-Harm Reduction (2016) as an in-service lecture and experiential for inpatient clinical and nursing staff. At Suburban Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine, Anna presented The Role of Witness in Viewing Patient Art (2018), again in the form of an in-service lecture and experiential for clinical staff on the outpatient Behavioral Health Unit.
Anna has been engaged in art for her lifetime. She is also a professional artist. Anna believes the creative process and the healing process go hand in hand; one does not need to be skilled at art to benefit from art therapy because the creative process naturally supports growth and healing. By reflecting upon the art experience with an empathic therapist who provides a sense of acceptance and curiosity, profound personal transformation is possible. Anna is thrilled to provide such empathic therapy to her patients within The SOAR Program.
EDUCATION: Virginia Commonwealth University, BA Fine Art in 1995; Southwestern College, MA Art Therapy and Counseling in 2012.
INTERNSHIP TRAINING AND PRACTICUM: Tierra Nueva Counseling Center of Southwestern College, a community mental health center in Santa Fe, NM. Individual art therapy and counseling for adolescents and adults. Sheppard Pratt Hospital Trauma Disorders Unit, Psychiatric Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Art Therapist for groups and individuals diagnosed with severe trauma and dissociative disorders on inpatient unit.
CREDENTIALS: Licensed Clinical Professional Art Therapist in the state of Maryland (LCPAT), Board Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC).
MEMBERSHIP: American Art Therapy Association (AATA), Potomac Art Therapy Association (PATA), Maryland Art Therapy Association (MATA).
SERVICES PROVIDED: Art Therapy Assessments, Individual Expressive Therapy, and Group Expressive Therapy for adolescents, adults, and families.
- Trauma Interventions
- Emotional and Behavioral Functioning (Anxiety, Depression, Life Transitions, Loss, Relationship Conflicts, Identity and Self-Esteem, Mood-Disorders, Personality Disorders)
- Coping Skills
- Stress Reduction