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E -Portfolio

Leara Glinzak, ATR-BC, MSAT
Owner and Art Therapist
Passionate, Creative, Empathetic  

I am a Board Certified Art Therapist, Palliative Care Art Therapist at UCHealth, Adjunct faculty at PennWest University’s graduate clinical mental health program and art therapy program, and Owner of I Light LLC. For my education, I attended Seton Hill University for my Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy and Mount Mary University for my Master of Science in Art Therapy with a Concentration in Counseling. To enhance my teaching and supervisory skill set I am currently enrolled at Walden University for my Ph.D. in Counseling Education and Supervision.

My passions include advocacy, research, and education. As a teacher, I cannot imagine also not being a clinician because I believe they inform one another.  My teaching experience started as an adjunct faculty member at Grand Valley State University to write a curriculum for Intro to Art Therapy for a face-to-face undergraduate program. Currently, as adjunct faculty with PennWest University, I teach in a hybrid format and the course I have taught includes Ethics and Professional Development, Spirituality in Medical Art Therapy, and Counseling Internship II.  In addition to teaching I provide clinical supervision to post-graduate art therapists. My supervision model is grounded in a person centered model, integrated developmental model, and the discrimination model. 

Since I believe teaching, clinical work, and research inform one another I am involved as a Board Member on the American Art Therapy Association Research Committee. Also, my research on working with adult’s distress with Cancer and a book review was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. Within the field, I have presented nationally at several conferences some include the American Art Therapy Association, Mount Mary Symposium, The Science and Art of Aging Conference, and Leading Age. Furthermore, I have been published in several articles and was interviewed on WYCE radio, Art Therapy Today, and on Fox 17 news for my current international research project, The Traveling Loom. As a clinician, I have worked with those living with dementia, mental health, addiction, spiritual growth, hematology, oncology, medical art therapy, palliative care, community-based art therapy practices, and those experiencing trauma and grief. 

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Leara's promise is to provide a nonjudgmental environment for the person to feel secure and to be their authentic selves, to feel seen, heard, and to provide guidance through a creative process to reach goals to live a more fulfilling life.


Adjunct Faculty, PennWest University, Summer 2021-Present

     Course: Ethics, Spirituality in Medical Art Therapy, and Counseling Internship 

     Program: Virtual Asynchronistic and Synchronistic, Graduate Art Therapy Program

Guest Teacher, Colorado University, August 2022

     Course: A Whole Person Approach: Creative Art Therapies

     Program: Virtual Synchronistic, Graduate Master of Science in Palliative Care

Co-facilitated Walden University, June 2022-August 2022

     Course: Practicum in Counseling 

     Program: Virtual Synchronistic, Graduate Counseling Program

Continuing Education Credit Intensive, Lewis and Clark College, September 2021

     5 CEU Intensive Course: Art Therapy for Community Change

     Program: Virtual Asynchronistic and Synchronistic, Professionals 

Adjunct Faculty, Grand Valley State University, Fall 2019

     Course: Intro to Art Therapy

    Program: Face-to-face, Undergraduate


Teaching Philosophy

Syllabus Example

Sample Intro to Class with Syllabus

Sample Class Clip

Clinical Experience
I Light LLC, Owner and Board-Certified Art Therapist: December 2016-Present

Credentials: ATR-BC August 2019-Present

    • Opened the first counseling and art therapy practice in Grand Rapids, MI

    • Contracted art therapy and counseling services to a variety of organizations in the greater Grand Rapids community

    • Services included: Program development, group therapy, individual sessions, workshops, presentations, and retreats

    • Specialities include topics relate to grief and trauma, medical art therapy, addictions, dementia, life transitions, comfort care, anxiety, and spiritual growth

    • Developed internship program 

    • Design community-based practice to respond to social change

    • Provide clinical supervision to post-grad art therapists grounded in the integrated developmental model and the discrimination model

Palliative Care Art Therapist at UCHealth: September 2021-Present
    • Create art therapy program within palliative care

    • Present at Grand Rounds, Didactics, and Palliative Care Days on trauma informed practice and the relationship between mental and physical health

    • Teach module for Masters of Science in Palliative Care Program on psychosocial patient needs and the mind and body relationship 

    • Develop internship program

    • Assess and triage caseload

    • Collaborate with various providers and team members on research studies and publications

    • Provide family therapy, individual sessions, community-based practices, and staff support

The Faris Foundation Art Therapist at Texas Children's Hospital Cancer/Hematology Centers: June 2020-August 2021
    • Developed art therapy program in the Cancer/Hematology Centers 

    • Collaborated with various service lines 

    • Wrote and created visuals representative of the art therapy program for publication 

    • Involved with team to design art therapy studio

    • Led individual sessions, family sessions, open studio and group therapy

    • Facilitated art therapy community and staff process pieces 

    • Met infection control standards for best practices 

    • Presented on art therapy to staff including fellows, clinical faculty, psychosocial team and cancer center teams

    • Organized rotating art gallery space 

    • Worked closely with palliative care for pain management, comfort, and end of life care

Art Therapist Life Enrichment Supervisor and Dementia Educator at Clark Retirement Community: August 2014-December 2016
  • Taught Dementia education courses to caregivers and within community events

  • Developed counseling and art therapy program for those with Dementia and at the Grand Rapids Art Museum tailored for those with Dementia

  • Collaborated with community to build partnerships through presentations

  • Responsible for groups, individual sessions and family therapy

  • Led monthly support group and monthly grief group

  • Documented notes and identified goals

  • Organized resident art shows 

  • Developed community-wide art therapy process pieces 

  • Educated on Dementia internally and externally

  • Presented on Art Therapy and Dementia to local Universities, Colleges and organizations

  • Built art therapy internship program

  • Integrated art therapy with end of life care

Pittsburgh Ballet Summer Intensive Program: June 2012-August 2012
  • Provided therapeutic programming

  • Developed group rapport

  • Facilitated conflict-resolution sessions 

  • Actively Listened to concerns 

  • Validated and offered support when emotionally and mentally distressed

  • Led art groups to decrease pain

  • Provided a safe space for diverse students and international students

Bradford Woods: May 2009-August 2009
  • Led and co-led therapeutic groups 

  • Adapted art tools and materials to meet diverse physical needs 

  • Facilitated grief processing as a group and with individuals

  • Collaborated with various therapeutic disciplines such as recreation therapy, equine therapy, and outdoor therapy 

  • Responded to conflict-resolution situations 

  • Created a safe space for diverse needs 

  • Guided group sessions to process camp members who died 

Internship Experiences:
Aurora St. Luke's Cancer Center and Behavioral Psych: May 2013-December 2013

     Adolescents, adults, older adults, oncology, hematology, rehabilitation, inpatient, outpatient. anxiety, mental health, domestic violence,              palliative care, open studio, individual sessions, and family sessions. Also developed art therapy open studio program at an outpatient clinic        in Cedarburg, WI.

Exploration through Self with Studio E-Epilepsy Foundation with Milwaukee Art Museum: September 2013-December 2013

     Family open studio 8-week session program in collaboration with the Milwaukee Art Museum, 2 groups with those under 12 and families and      12-18 with families in another group. 

Lutheran Home: January 2013-May 2013

     Older adults, assisted living, skilled nursing individual sessions, and group sessions

Caritas Christi: August 2011-December 2011

     Retired Sisters of Charity, assisted living, skilled living, Dementia, individual sessions, and group sessions

Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic: May 2010-August 2010

     Young adults, adults, older adults, behavioral pscyh, forensic patients, mental health, group support sessions, and advocacy outpatient art          show.



Supervision Introduction Video

Disclosure Statement

Mock Case Collaboration

Leadership and Advocacy

American Art Therapy Association Board Member on Research Committee: December 2016-Present

President of the Michigan Association of Art Therapy: October 2019-February 2020

Education Chair for Michigan Association of Art Therapy: July 2014-July 2016

Wisconsin Art Therapy Association Student Representative: January 2013-January 2014


Effects of Art Therapy on Distress Levels of Adults with Cancer: A Proxy Pretest Study

A Review of "Art and Expressive Therapies Within the Medical Model: Clinical Applications" 

Title: Art Unfolds Words: Expressing Hope Through Creative Among Adolescents and Young Adults Who Have Advanced Cancer (manuscript accepted for publication) in the Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nursing 


American Art Therapy Association Conference July 2014, July 2016, Nov. 2020, 

Oct. 2021, Nov. 2022

Palliative Care Days Oct. 2022

2022 APHON Conference Sept. 2022

2022 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research Sept. 2022

UCHealth Palliative Care Grand Rounds Oct. 2021, Aug. 2022

MD Anderson Palliative Care Symposium Sept. 2021

Parker Arts Panel and Presentation Nov. 2021

Panel Presenter for Texas Art Summit June 2021

Art Therapy in Medical Models to Faris Foundation Board June 2021

Keynote Speaker MTC Artworks Creative Arts Conference March 2020

Panel Presenter Storytelling in the Time of COVID-19 June 2020

Families Against Narcotics (FAN) Grand Rapids on Grief May 2019

Take Charge Women in Recovery Jan. 2019, Jan. 2020

NoMad Gallery Presenter Oct. 2019

Leading Age Conference May 2015

Mount Mary Symposium April 2015, April 2016, April 2019

Pathway to Caregiving Conference Nov. 2015, Nov. 2016, Nov. 2018

The Art and Science of Aging Conference March 2017, 2018, 2019

Memory Loss and Spirituality through Creativity Jan. 2016, Feb. 2016, April 2016

West Michigan Dementia Network Sept. 2016, Dec. 2019

Dementia Friendly Grand Rapids Presenter and Champion rotation series monthly presentations Oct. 2015-Dec. 2016

Workshop Series Facilitator at Dominican Center Aug. 2016-Present

Pilot Study Art Therapy program and Show on display at Grand Rapids Art Museum Nov. 29, 2016-Jan. 30, 2017

In the Media
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