Susan Ainlay Anand

Susan Ainlay Anand is a licensed and credentialed art therapist and fine artist who has practiced in Mississippi since 1982. She conducts training workshops both in the US and abroad.

Art therapy is an evidence-based, integrative mental health profession that combines knowledge and understanding of development and psychological theories and techniques with the visual arts and creative process to provide a unique approach for improving psychological health, cognitive abilities, and sensory-motor functions. Art therapists use art media, the creative process, and a client’s processing of produced imagery to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, and increase self-esteem and self-awareness. Art therapy is useful in helping people unlock emotional expression by facilitating non-verbal communication, and is often used with clients who have experienced trauma, combat, abuse, loss of brain function, depression, and other debilitating health conditions. Art therapy services include individual, family, and group work and are offered to all age groups in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehab facilities, geriatric care, hospice, veteran’s clinics, correctional institutions, crisis centers, wellness centers, community mental health clinics, schools, and other community facilities.

A graduate of the New York University art therapy program, Susan has worked with children and adults in inpatient and outpatient settings for more than 30 years. She was appointed to the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1987 where she provides clinical services and is responsible for educating psychiatry residents and medical students about the theories and techniques of art therapy, particularly group art therapy. Susan provides group art therapy to private clinics in Jackson and has developed art therapy programs for numerous organizations and agencies throughout the state.

Susan has served in many volunteer leadership positions including board member and treasurer of the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB). She was the founding president of the Mississippi Art Therapy Association and has served as a member or chairperson of several committees within the American Art Therapy Association. She currently serves on the Council of Advisors for Professional Art Therapist with the Department of Health.

Susan’s clinical interests include art therapy with psychiatric and medically ill patients and she has extensive experience working with cancer patients in inpatient and outpatient settings. She has presented papers, published results of her work, and facilitated workshops and courses nationally and internationally on topics including strengths-based approaches to art therapy, resiliency, multicultural art therapy, and art therapy with the medically ill.

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