Cover art for podcast Austin Art Talk

Austin Art Talk

106 EpisodesProduced by Scott David GordonWebsite

The goal of the podcast is to facilitate connections with and to learn from the successes, struggles, life experience, and wisdom of the people featured, most of whom live and create in Austin, Texas. The honest conversational flow of these weekly long form interviews lends itself to some really gre… read more


Episode 22: Elizabeth Hendley - The Power of Art Therapy

“Giving people compassion and respect, it just goes such a long way to healing. You never know what somebody is going through or what could happen in their lives.”

A lot of people don’t know what art therapy is but for those who do they probably understand and appreciate its power and potential. Elizabeth Hendley, the art therapist at Dell Children’s Medical Center, might not think she is a saint but she is doing really important work. It’s the kind of work that has a good chance of making a visit or stay in the hospital a little easier or at least a little less horrible. She is part of a team that also includes experts in music therapy and play. These expressive therapies allow kids to explore, process, and share their feelings in a healthy way with a trained professional and are a part a family centered care approach.

Elizabeth has had a lifelong love of art and creating, and an openness and compassion for others. Especially people that might not fit in or be as easy to relate with. But as she says everyone deserves compassion and respect. Her desire to help others led her to art therapy as a career. It’s a job that is not very common or completely understood so the Second Lady Karen Pence, an artist herself, started an initiative to raise awareness. Mrs. Pence met with Elizabeth last year which helped spotlight her work at Dell Children’s within the medical center and to the whole city of Austin and beyond.

This conversation will enlighten you to the world of art therapy and inspire you to think about the ways you could incorporate it into your own life. Art can be a powerful force if we allow it, by letting go of the perfectionism, the judgment, the fear, and just letting ourselves play. Please enjoy this conversation and consider donating to the Art of Giving event or directly to Dell Children’s. And share this episode far and wide so that more people can know about art therapy and what an influential force for good it can be in anyone’s life.

Some of the subjects we discuss:

What is Art Therapy?
Creativity growing up
Wanting to help early on
College/Discovering art therapy
Moving to NY to pursue dream
Attending Hofstra
Learning Art Therapy
Also being an artist
Therapy in action
Karen Pence’s initiative
Promoting art therapy
How it started/history
Art as therapy/art psychotherapy
Tree painting example
Working with families
Coping strategies
Relating to people
Compassion and respect
Preparing to work with someone
Pain management
Having an impact
Art in your own life
Everyone is creative
Elizabeth’s family
Supporting kids interests
Model magic/drawing
Painting breakthrough
Art of Giving event
How to support

Art of Giving

April 8, 2018

Banner photo taken in the lobby of Dell Children's Medical Center.


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