The Center For Expressive Therapies

Where the expressive arts encourage healing.

At The Center, we’ve long recognized that creative arts can help people cope with mental, physical, emotional and spiritual issues. The need of the individual determines whether these activities can be used exclusively, under supervision by trained therapists, or in conjunction with additional counseling and/or clinical therapy. These activities can:

  • Relieve stress.
  • Encourage creative thinking and problem solving.
  • Increase brain connectivity and plasticity.
  • Boost self-esteem.
  • Improve quality of life.

Once a person experiences any of these benefits, he or she is more likely to willingly continue the activity, thus magnifying its therapeutic potential. That’s why, for years, we’ve made expressive therapies an important area of focus at The Center. Today, these programs have evolved into the Therapeutic Expressive Arts Institute of South Texas. Its mission: to provide clients with high-quality experiences in traditional mental health counseling and therapeutic expressive arts, including visual art forms, poetry and prose writing, dramatic expression, therapeutic rhythms and music therapy.

Creative expression has therapeutic value.

Experts agree that the process of making art can help people in many ways:

  • It can give a sense of life affirmation or control.
  • It can provide an outlet for emotions or ideas.
  • It can be a positive distraction or escape.
  • It helps build a dialogue between counselor and client.
  • It can empower the artists to control themselves and their environment.
  • It can integrate various levels of cognitive processing which can relate positively to physical healing.
  • It can connect the artist socially and personally with others.

We’ve proven that value, year after year.

Traditional therapists and specialized art therapists working at The Center have often used expressive techniques to help individuals deal with issues. After years of observing their success, we organized programs and events designed to offer the benefits of the expressive therapies to a wider community and larger groups.

The Open Art Studio.

The original idea was to offer clients and guests a studio art experience, free of charge, even with free art materials, supervised by a working artist who is also a certified and experienced therapist. Open Studio Sessions are offered at The Center. All materials and supplies are provided by therapists and volunteers. Initially intended for drawing and painting, the program has expanded to include sculpture, collage and other forms of visual art.

Art Heals Hearts.

This event was originally organized as an annual exhibition of visual artworks created during Open Art Studio sessions or privately by clients, personnel, supporters and guests of The Center. However, because of enthusiastic response by participants and the community, we expanded the idea to include sculpture, poetry, prose, and music. We expanded the event, too. It now consists of:

  • A formal Opening of the Visual Arts Exhibition with artists and invited guests.
  • An exhibition which includes a visual art display by professional and Open Studio artists, poetry readings and performances of original musical compositions held at The Center, free and open to the public following the opening.
  • A traveling visual art and poetry exhibit available on request to churches, schools or other venues in the community.

Now TEAIST expresses our ongoing support.

Our original programs taught us that expressive arts are powerful and positive ways to help people deal with issues that affect their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual lives. So at TEAIST today, clinical art therapy continues to be available to counseling clients. You’ll also find programs, events, and opportunity for all sorts of creative outlets, including:

Not a current client at The Center? Not a problem.

Our desire is to make TEAIST and these specialized opportunities available to everyone in the communities we serve, not just our active clients. So if any of these artistic areas interest you, learn more about upcoming programs. Most programs are open to all. No previous skill or experience with the art form is required – just a curiosity and a desire to participate. For more information, including current program schedules, check our website or call 210.616.0885.

Fees for Counseling and Related Services

Our intent is to help all who need us. And thanks to donations from individuals, religious congregations, foundations and businesses, we turn no one away. Yet because our services and programs have real value, we make sure that they generate income wherever possible. We take many forms of insurance for counseling services. We also offer scholarships for educational offerings. Please call The Center at 210.616.0885 for more information.

Insurance and Funding Organizations

  • TriCare/Champus Accepted
  • Most Medical Insurance Accepted Including Medicare
  • Tx Vet Commission Grant Funds
  • Other Grant Funds May Be Available

TEAIST Mission

The Therapeutic Expressive Arts Institute of South Texas will provide a diversified array of therapy options for clients using visual art, poetry and prose writing, therapeutic rhythms, music therapy and dramatic expression. As a center, we are devoted to providing high-quality experiences in traditional mental health counseling and The Expressive Therapeutic Arts.