Creative Counseling 101

A Photo Gallery of Inspiration

Many of our readers e-mail me to ask how I get my ideas for the techniques and activities on the site. I would love to share the information with you on how I get my ideas and creative juices flowing.

The photo gallery page will offer inspirations for you. Follow me on my creative journey and learn how to be more creative for yourself and your clients!

Play Therapy Tools:

This is my most famous puppet I own (I have over 50 other puppets). His name is Bully Wolf. He has been with me since I was a first grade teacher.

He has taught many kids how to use bullying coping skills. The story goes that he was once a bully in my first grade class. He grew up, went to counseling school, and now is my "assistant counselor". He turned his bullying into helping others.

The kids love him, even though he looks a bit scary. He helps me with guidance lessons and bullying prevention role plays with my students.     

Meet the Family:

This is my son and he graduated from high school last year and is now off to college. I have to brag that he is on the deans list at his college. He has always been my greatest source of inspiration!

I have written books based on his life and times. He is studying biology and wants to become a corporate scientist! 

He helps me come up with great ideas for bullying prevention coping skills to teach my students.

Travel Inspires Us:

My mom and I were visiting the island of Oahu, Hawaii this past February. We came across this sea turtle resting in the sand. Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. If you have never been to Hawaii you are missing out. My favorite island is Maui, but they are all special and unique in their own right.

My mom is suffering from third stage Alzheimer's Disease. She has always dreamed of seeing Hawaii. The day after she was diagnosed I booked the trip.

I truly believe that the Hawaiian Islands are "magical". Even though it is a long journey by plane to the islands it is certainly well worth the trip. I hope to go to Kauai one day. If you only take one trip in your lifetime this would be one of the top ten places I would recommend to visit.

This is my wonderful husband! He likes to travel around and explore places with me. Traveling around really opens up your mind to the creativity of other cultures.

This is a picture of us in Ireland last June. We went to visit to see where our ancestors came from. I actually met a distant cousin while shopping for sweaters in a wool store!

My husband and I are always looking for ways to be more creative. He makes the sand trays for sand tray therapy that I sell on my site. Once trained as a mechanical engineer, he now has a home decor business that sells custom wood pieces. He is also a master wood sculptor and sells these creations. I used my creative techniques of how to find creativity within on him. Now, he is a better artist than I am!


These are my two dogs. Kasey is a fourteen year old German Shepherd. She is blind and deaf. Spruce is our new rescue puppy. They adore each other. Spruce is a real cuddler too!

A Cottage in the Woods:

I left the suburbs a couple of years ago and now live deep in the woods nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. We have three acres of woods with a stream on it. I get daily visits from deer, an occasional bear, fox, bobcat, and now we have wild boar to watch out for.

It is here that I find great inspirations on daily walks with the dogs in nature. My writing / artists studio is on the top floor. Living in the rural mountains has truly changed my life for the better and opened up so much creativity for me.

Bonding with Animals:

When I was in Ireland last June I fell in love with all the Irish sweaters and wool products. This is a picture of me with a lamb. We were walking in the countryside off the Isle of Dingle.

This little guy was one of the few lambs left who had survived the lamb slaughter that takes place in the spring (Now I know why I am a vegetarian!). He jumped on top of this old stone fence and was bleating at me. He became quite shy when I went to pet him. His fleece was so soft!

Last spring before my trip to Ireland, I worked with one of my Special Education teachers to hold a "stress free workshop / group" for our Special Ed. kids. We taught them how to finger knit, do yarn art, and make things out of pom pom balls.

We also started a knitting club for our teachers after school. This really helped everyone calm down and destress .

I try to knit and rug hook a few times a week as it is so calming. I am also learning how to do "felting". Crafting is so good for the brain!

Word of the Month: "Charity"

This is "Blaze" a rescue foster care horse. Some people just left him in a pasture to fend for himself for months. He is the inspiration for my January Warm Fuzzy named "Charity". Our school will be "adopting" him and buying some hay and feed. See my January guidance lesson plans to get the counselor "Word of the Month" story on "Charity".

Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.

*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed  mental health professional immediately.

"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.

For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.

Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.

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