Art Therapist-The Hulk

One bag on my left shoulder with my wallet, phone and water in it, and another much bigger one on the other side with paint, brushes, containers, beads, canvas, sketch books and more. There's no way to go empty handed! Trying to hold a tray with a Tupperware containing 6 pounds of kinetic sand on it, a bag of toys and a pink Ukulele between my fingers.

My muscles are working so hard I can feel my blood pumping through my veins. I got think like the Hulk and act like the Hulk with so much on me to be able to make my way from the car to the client's door. An art therapist's gotta travel with her stuff, if not with everything she can imagine that will benefit the client. When I was a student doing my practicum, I used to travel with an old suitcase full of art materials. During those wet and dark winter months, going to older buildings which are neither wheelchair friendly nor old suitcase friendly, was truly a test for whatever positive energy that was still left in me.

It is a part of an art therapist's practice to travel to the place/space that works for the clients. Today I am going to the home of my young client who is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

When I first started I am pretty sure my client can see right through me, literately. He treats me like air. It doesn't matter what I try to initiate interactions, I am just not noticed by him, until I brought in my pink Ukulele. It became the first bridge that let me into his world. The color, the shape of the instrument, the way it makes heart warming sounds when you put your finger on the string. All these in a Ukulele are much more interesting than me.

I got his attention alright. Gradually, I am able to channel some of that attention from the Ukulele to me, to our relationship, and further towards art making...We use the Ukulele ever now and then since he doesn't need to be prompt as often now, but I still bring it with me every session for consistency

Just a couple notes of the song "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on the ukulele calms him down when he is having a rough moment. Music and art, our natural remedy.


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April Jiangge Li BA, DVATI, CHT
Art Therapist
Certified Hypnotherapist
Serving Greater Vancouver BC Canada
in English, Mandarin and Cantonese
Locations 溫東診所:
7667 Nanaimo Street,
Vancouver, BC, V5P4M6
Locations 溫西診所:

204-2786 W. 16th Ave.

Vancouver, B.C. V6K 3C4


©  April Jiangge Li, Hypno-Art Therapy, 2014. Do not reproduce without written permission from April Jiangge Li

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