February 28, 2019

Emily Grabo, ATR, LPC, is the Art Therapy Coordinator for the Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center at Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio.  She provides comprehensive art therapy assessment and treatment for patients and their families and develops therapeutic art programming to support staff and mitigate burnout.  Currently the only full-time art therapist on staff, Grabo looks forward to the continued expansion of art therapy services at Akron Children’s Hospital and hopes it will become a training site for pediatric medical art therapists in the future.

After graduating with her master’s from Ursuline College in 2014, Grabo began her career at the Cleveland Clinic, facilitating art therapy in short term crisis stabilization and working with adults on a mood disorder unit, acute psych unit, and medical detox unit.  She believes art therapy lends itself to representing experience beyond traditional verbal therapy because it “gives the artist the power over the narrative, allowing them to tell their story, but also to transform and reframe their story in a safe and containing way.”

Grabo has volunteered with her local chapter, the Buckeye Art Therapy Association, on their social media team to help increase public awareness of art therapy and encourage the public to advocate for licensure in Ohio.  “My AATA membership has helped me to feel connected and rooted in the art therapy community,” says Grabo.  “Attending conference, reading the blogs, and utilizing resources from the website all have been wonderful reminders of how unique our field is and how fortunate I am to have the ability to work with creative expression in the capacity I do.”

"Solace in Nature" by Emily Grabo. 2014