Anita Carter, Expressive Arts Therapist

Anita Carter, expressive arts therapist, works with a patient at Sharp Memorial Hospital.
Anita Carter, expressive arts therapist, works with a patient at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

Anita Carter, MA, is a licensed professional clinical counselor, visual artist and former professional dancer. Anita earned her master of arts in counseling from the University of San Diego. She completed a post-masters program in expressive arts therapy, earning a professional diploma from the Expressive Arts Institute of San Diego. Anita also holds a degree in psychology with a minor in women's studies from California State University San Marcos.

Anita offers expressive arts therapy to patients of Sharp Memorial Hospital and Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital. Offering the arts at bedside and group therapy sessions, Anita gives each patient the opportunity to creatively and proactively address their unique physical, mental, emotional and spiritual challenges and opportunities through art making.

Patients with acute and chronic illness, mental health issues, stroke and spinal cord injuries are safely guided in visual art, body and breath awareness through guided meditation, writing reflections and poetry.

Expressive arts methods transform the creation of art into a gentle, yet powerful, process for patients to access thoughts, feelings and memories that can often hold the key to speeding and enhancing a patient's healing and recovery. In this way, a patient's guided art experience becomes a therapeutic resource that brings support, strength and courage to see new perspectives in their lives.

Benefits of Expressive Arts Therapy
As part of the Arts for Healing Program, expressive arts therapy focuses on the creative process not the product, as patients explore art materials through a sensory experience.

  • Provides a safe, nonthreatening environment for patients to express their fears and concerns through the arts
  • Normalizes activities in an "abnormal" environment or situation
  • Facilitates breath exercises for relaxation and stress relief
  • Reduces stress and anxiety before and after surgery
  • Increases self-esteem and feelings of self-empowerment through the act of creating and having choices in the art process
  • Provides patients and their families a creative outlet to share their stories and poetry and to express their fears and suffering

For More Information
Anita provides expressive arts therapy on specific days and in specific units at Sharp Memorial Hospital and Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital. To check Anita's availability, contact Sharp Memorial Hospital's Spiritual Care Office at 858-939-3475 or send us an email.