Laura Hetzel

Art Therapist + Counselor


adaptive. supportive. client-led

I empower youth, young adults, and families to explore and honor their emotions, build meaningful connections, and identify and reach their goals. I have been practicing in the field since 2017.I enjoy working creatively and intuitively to adapt my services to your goals and strengths, nurturing the spark of creativity in all of us.

lgbtq+ | trauma | youth + family

what is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that utilizes art making. The client creates art work in response to directives designed by the therapist with the client's goals in mind. Through integrative methods, art therapy engages the mind, body, and emotional self in ways verbal articulation cannot. This can allow greater depth of exploration, self-expression, and processing.While some art therapy is clinical, art therapy can also be used in non-clinical settings to explore self-awareness, community, connection, and achieve group or personal goals.

where words fail, art speaks.


i empower people to create and connect.

I currently offer individual and family therapy services in person and online in Philadelphia, PA through the group practice, Artful Explorations, located at 525 S 4th Street, Philadelphia. You can read more about my specializations below.

SpecializationsChild And Adolescent TherapyMy foundations in art therapy began working with children and teens. I have experience supporting kids with diagnoses like ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, BPD, ODD, and through general life ups and downs. Caregiver involvement can be instrumental in getting a picture of the whole child, and creating lasting change by identifying opportunities for new skills to be practiced both in the therapy space and at home. I enjoy supporting children to build their internal resources as well as their skills at self advocacy, so they are able to reach out for support from adults when needed.Trauma and Complex PTSDIn trauma-focused treatment, I support children, teens, and young adults to reduce symptoms, increase their quality of life, build self-confidence, and experience hope. Trauma can be debilitating. Sometimes this is due to one isolated traumatic event, and sometimes it is due to more chronic experiences such as instability, abuse, neglect, or an invalidating environment. This can include experiences of oppression such as racism or ableism. Clients who have endured repeated trauma often feel anxious, disconnected, despairing, and self-critical. In children, trauma often manifests in challenging behavior, big emotions, social problems, and trouble focusing. I pull on multiple modalities to best support clients through the complexities of trauma treatment. I work psychodynamically, meaning I support clients to make connections between their past and present experiences in order to identify and resolve barriers that keep them stuck. The use of cognitive techniques in conjunction supports relaxation, coping, and confidence. I have experience helping children as young as 4 through adults in trauma focused treatment.Family TherapyFor the last 6+ years, I have supported families to strengthen their connections to each other, reduce tension, and enhance the quality of their relationships. Dealing with challenging behaviors, adjusting to change, separations, and simply feeling overwhelmed are common reasons families seek my support. I enjoy collaborating with caregivers to troubleshoot problems, then to identify and implement solutions that make sense for their unique family. Art therapy provides a special space for families to practice their communication skills and being with each other as they navigate creating something new together.Perfectionism, Anxiety, DepressionI help teens and young adults break free of feeling like they just cannot get anything right. I support clients to get out of their heads and unstuck from patterns of rumination, worry, and shame. I support clients to move out of self-limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns to allow for more flexibility, creativity, and joy to enter their lives.Queer and Trans ClientsAs a queer person, I enjoy supporting queer and trans clients and families. I have experience supporting clients through coming out, gender transitions, parenting trans and queer children, self-acceptance, and identity exploration.Sensory Impairments, Developmental Disabilities, AutismI have supported youth with multiple sensory impairments, developmental disabilities, and physical disabilities, as well as autistic clients in group, individual, and family settings for many years. I have worked with youth with a wide range of communication styles and nonspeaking clients. I am skilled at adapting art making to suit different needs. Art therapy can serve as a space for identity exploration, self-expression, and emotional processing beyond spoken language. Clients often work with me to build confidence and process internalized ableism and low self esteem as a result of judgement from others and barriers within society. In addition, I have limited working proficiency in American Sign Language, which can be useful for individuals who utilize some signing.


I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

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