Our Story



How We Began

We started small, and have been building ever since. It began with a few of us who saw the need for a place for Art Therapists to come together, create art therapy work in North Carolina, create community amongst ourselves, and educate others about the field. We worked together to create this, and in 2006, ATI was founded as a program under the umbrella of a community mental health agency. We immediately started hitting the streets to tell everyone who would listen about art therapy and why it was important.

With the help of a local nonprofit consultant who helped us clarify our mission as well as vision for the future, and a pro bono lawyer to help with filing paperwork to become 501 (c) 3, we became our own nonprofit in 2009. We started small and have created a wide variety of work in the community, work with a number of impassioned clinicians and board members, and always have interns working with us through the local universities as well as a host of volunteers to help with our fundraisers and art shows. In addition we have been sought out to present at conferences, provide guest lectures, and workshops and trainings to other professionals.

We have become an NBCC Provider to continue to be a resource to the community through educations and trainings as well, as there was a real need in our community for this that we are thrilled to fill. We continue to grow and thrive as our reach increases. Through our work and mission, we will also continue to honor the memory of Ilene Sperling, one of ATI’s founders and directors who passed away in March of 2014. 

 Using art therapy, we help clients:

  • Express feelings too difficult to talk about
  • Increase self esteem and confidence
  • Identify feelings and blocks to emotional expression & growth
  • Find an avenue for communication through the use of simple art materials

ATI’s initiatives include:

  • Masters-level clinical work in community settings
  • Educational workshops
  • Presentations at professional conferences
  • Community art shows
  • Supervision of interns
  • Community collaboration and partnerships with nonprofit and governmental agencies, universities, and public schools

Services offered:

  • Art Therapy groups and individual sessions 
  • Tailored workshops, training opportunities, and graduate level internships.
  • Some of our therapists are mental health providers on the following insurance panels: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna Duke Select, Magellan, United Behavioral Health, HealthChoice and Medicaid.