May 23, 2019

Lauren Kim, LGPAT, LGPC, ATR-P works as a community based art therapist at Families First Counseling and Psychiatry and an Artist in Residence at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where she provides support and art instruction to patients, caregivers, and staff.  She earned her MA in art therapy from The George Washington University and has experience practicing art therapy in schools, inpatient psychiatry, hospice, and rehabilitation settings.

Born and raised in Hawaiʻi, Lauren is a multicultural art therapist and artist who is grounded in nature and works from an integrative approach.  “My hope for the future of the art therapy profession is that art therapists are as diverse as the populations they serve.”

“Mākua” by Lauren Kim. Acrylic paint on canvas.

Artist’s Statement: “Mākua valley, located on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, was a vital docking point for canoes in ancient Hawaiʻi, and opened to vital fishing grounds. It was and is still a sacred place for Native Hawaiians. Sadly, during WWII, Mākua valley was (and continues to be) occupied by the U.S. military as an ordnance testing site. The destruction of Mākua valley left ancient temples, fishing shrines and wildlife desecrated. Though the military has not conducted live-fire exercises in Mākua valley since 2004, the valley remains full of unexploded ordnances. As an art therapist, I hope to act as the mountains that protect and surround a valley; providing a space for safety, acceptance, nourishment, and growth. Like the clients I work with, Mākua survived extensive trauma yet it still stands and continues to flourish today.”