START UP! Art Therapy is a prevention and early intervention program helping ALL PEOPLE to heal; restoring health and encouraging cultural heritage, while empowering people to improve their own lives and lives of others.
START UP! Art Therapy™ is for the healing of ALL people of ALL ages and ALL ethnicities. START UP!™ was originally designed for people of underserved minorities, who have endured generations of genocide, colonization and racism. Our focus is to provide culturally competent interventions to heal historical, inter-generational, and ALL trauma, ensuring that ALL people of ALL cultures have access to care and a path forward to healing.
Indigenous Healing Arts Alliance/START UP!™ received a Tribal Resolution in 2014, from the Santee Sioux Nation Tribal Government in Nebraska, endorsing the START UP!™ program as a national model for trauma treatment in Native Country. START UP!™ aspires to be a national model for trauma treatment in reservations across the US. Many agencies and educational institutions on various reservations have written letters of support and are requesting the START UP!™ program.
ALL participants are welcome regardless of age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability. START UP! is not affiliated with any religious, spiritual, or political group.
The START UP! Art Therapy System utilizes our proprietary evidence-based & Neuroplasticity-based, culturally competent, Neurodevelopmental Art Therapy (NDAT) Trauma Treatment model, our WHOLE BRAIN healing approach, to rewire the brain's neural networks and relieve the maladapted stress response cycle, moving from a survival state to a state of repair and resilience.Trauma can adversely impact the neural circuitry of the brain, causing disorganization of neural networks, expressing itself through a protective mechanism known as the "fight/flight/freeze" response within the limbic system of the brain. If this stress response is persistent, as in chronic trauma, this may result in a pervasive chronic stress response, or maladapted stress response, that may lead to dysregulation in many systems of the brain and body involved with: Emotion (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, Anxiety, Suicidal Ideation); Sensory Perception (Auditory, Visual and Sensory Processing); Hyperarousal states such as Anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder & Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ ADHD), and Cognitive Function (memory, poor concentration, brain fog, verbal articulation). Symptoms may also include chronic inflammation, digestion issues, low energy, food and other sensitivities, chronic pain, and many other ailments. Detoxification pathways, absorption of nutrients and/or cellular communication can also be compromised. This involuntary or "automatic" bodily system is referred to as the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The autonomic nervous system is a control system that acts largely unconsciously and regulates bodily functions, such as the heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, urination, and sexual arousal. This system is the primary mechanism in control of the fight-or-flight response.
Research has proven that trauma is stored in the right brain. Art is a right brain activity with the power to access traumatic memories and bodily based sensations stored in the right brain. When the right brain has been in a prolonged state of chronic stress response and constant state of activation, it may result in left brain inactivity, causing the left brain to atrophy, or “turn-off.” The left brain is responsible for language, new learning and memory retention, which explains the cognitive deficits during the chronic stress response in all ages. In school-age children we see inability to learn, retain information, low IQ’s, low test scores, low esteem, and high drop-out rates. Combining art (right brain) and language (left brain) facilitates communication between both hemispheres of the brain and allowing the forming, re-forming, strengthening, and rewiring of neural pathways. Neurodevelopmental Art Therapy utilizes a holistic, bottom-up approach, with each START UP! Art Therapy protocol designed to correspond with each of the four levels of the brain, beginning from the lowest functioning part of the brain to the highest functioning part of the brain. The brain’s integrative capacity to rewire its neural circuitry allows for the return of optimal functioning throughout the mind and body, shifting the limbic system from a state of chronic sympathetic response (fight/flight) to a parasympathetic response, or, into a state of repair and resilience. START UP! ™ Art Therapy is a multi-cultural and culturally competent therapeutic intervention for ALL cultures. It was originally designed for Native American youth in Tribal schools within reservations throughout America, implementing mental health into the classroom, with research PROVING IT WORKS!. It is being widely used today with many of the START UP! testimonials being from Native American mental health professionals and educators. START UP! has been so successful with Native American Youth, we decided to make it available to ALL cultures and ALL age groups, being fully accessible and affordable with our online virtual training seminars, virtual Art Therapy Sessions, Books, and Speaking.
START UP!™ was originally designed for people of underserved minorities, who have endured generations of genocide, colonization and racism. Our focus is to provide culturally competent interventions to heal historical, inter-generational, and ALL trauma, ensuring that ALL people of ALL cultures have access to care and a path forward to healing. To ensure this, START UP!™ has uniquely assembled a diverse Cultural Advisory Board of Native American, Asian, Latinx, Black, and White professionals (even though we are not required to have a Board). Our multi-cultural advisory team serves to support, guide, and ensure that there is cultural awareness/competence, and ethical practices within START UP!™. Therefore, you can be guaranteed that ALL START UP!™ offerings are 100% culturally sensitive and culturally neutral, because START UP!™ Art Therapy is a culturally relevant treatment model that is culturally competent for ALL, and we want to make sure we serve everyone in the best way possible!
MA, ATR, LPCC
Founder/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Carey MacCarthy, MA-ATR, LPCC, is a Registered Art Therapist with the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB), and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor through the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), and professionally active within the Art Therapy field since 2001. She is the Founder, Executive Director, and Facilitator of START UP!™ and is the co-author of START UP!™: A School-Based Arts Curriculum for Native American Youth and ALL Cultures: Interventions for Development and Learning, Facilitators Manual (Amazon Kindle 2017). Carey is a contributing author to the American Art Therapy Association Journal, presenter, lecturer, and researcher. Carey has practiced in the Art Therapy field with diverse populations, specializing in Native American Historical and Inter-generational Trauma, and Trauma in ALL Ages and cultures. Carey is trained in the Red Road Approach to Healing with Lakota/Dakota/Nakota Tribes, and is a fluent Spanish speaker.
Misty is the Regional Director for the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Nebraska with a history of several professional roles: Director of the Dakota Tiwahe Service Unit (DTSU), the Social Services Department for the Santee Sioux Nation for over 10 years. She administered the Child and Adult Protective Services, ICWA, Independent Living, BIA Social Services, AmeriCorps, Native Employment Works Program, Tribal Youth Program Grant (Equine therapy), and the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assualt Program. Misty is also involved in foster parenting, and PS-MAPP trainer. Misty obtained her BS in Human Resources and Family Sciences and a MA in Sociology from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She also teaches at the Indian Center, Inc. and the University of Nebraska Healing Pathways Project. Misty is a Certified Medicine Wheel Model and EAGALA Equine Therapist.
Cesar is a Filipino-American activist, educator and a culturally competent bilingual (Tagalog) psychotherapist. He has been conducting lectures, presentations, and workshops on multicultural issues internationally and nationally since 1989, and founded a program addressing racial trauma. Cesar is also an organizer in strategic development and received Beryl Buck Achievement Award for Social Justice, the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award from the Marin County Human Rights Commission and the Benjamin Dreyfus award from the ACLU.
Founder of Neurodevelopmental Art Therapy (NDAT), and the CATTI treatment intervention, is a nationally recognized expert in art therapy and play therapy, director at the Art Therapy Institute of the Redwoods and adjunct faculty member at several universities. 25 year clinical faculty and researcher with the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Founder/Director of the UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital Pediatric Play Therapy Program, treating childhood trauma. Linda was a federally funded Art Therapy researcher, and has authored/co-authored chapters and papers in prestigious professional journals; Review board member of the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, and author of Neurobiologically Informed Trauma Therapy with Children and Adolescents (W.W. Norton), and co-author of START UP!™: A School-Based Arts Curriculum for Native American Youth and ALL Cultures: Interventions for Development and Learning, Facilitators Manual (Amazon Kindle 2017).
A nationally-recognized cross-sector partnership and cause marketing expert, Bruce Burtch helps the for-profit, nonprofit, education and government sectors develop strategic partnerships which maximize the benefits to all their stakeholders. Clients include the American Red Cross, St. Mary's Medical Center, Ramsell Corporation, U.S. Olympic Committee, Marriott Corporation, AT&T, Special Olympics and March of Dimes and more.
Lona is a Native American Art Therapist with over 30 years experience working with Native Peoples across the US. Lona served as Director for Indian Health Services, Behavioral Health at Pineridge Hospital for 30 years, working with diverse age groups in trauma, and substance abuse. She was co-director of theTakini Network, treating historical trauma in Native adults throughout the Great Plains Region and US Tribal Nations.
MA, LPCOglala Lakota/African American Tribally Enrolled Member, Pineridge Reservation
John is a Board certified Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Substance Abuse Specialist. For the past 10 years he has been providing psychotherapy services in Indian Country. He is currently a psychotherapist for the Indian Health Services in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has served as the Behavioral Health Manager for the Sandia Pueblo and the Denver Indian Health and Family Services, and as the Executive Director for the Denver Indian Family Resource Center. Prior to his career in psychotherapy, John worked for 20 years in development, marketing, and senior management for international, national and local non-profit organizations. John is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, from South Dakota.
Latino Veracruz, Mexico
Gerardo is the Founder and President of two successful LLCs where he provides jobs for the Latino Community. Gerardo has two legally registered patents and a stellar reputation within the San Francisco Bay Area. He has a deep understanding of the Latinx culture and is passionate about business and providing business education and expertise for the Latino population.
Co-founder and Board President of Seven Circles Foundation, a non-profit organization, educating the community in the practices of American Indigenous People. Michael is also the founding director of Ocean Conservation Research, a scientific research and policy development organization focused on understanding the impacts of, and policy solutions to human-generated ocean noise pollution. Michael brings much experience with the not-for-profit, public benefit sector.
Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
Cedric is a counselor and Employee Assistance Program Director for the Oglala People on Pineridge Reservation. Cedric is a long time activist and community organizer, teaching Native children Lakota Culture and the Ways of the Horse Nation.
Dakota, Santee Sioux Nation, Nebraska, Co-founder of The Red Road Approach to Healing (recognized by The American Psychological Association)
Educator/Counselor for over 30 years. He has served as; Chairman of the Santee Tribal Government, Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council, Great Plains Indian Gaming Association, Indian Commissioner for the State of Nebraska, Mediation Commission for the Nebraska Supreme Court, National trainer- Fox Valley, Technical College for Bureau of Justice Assistance grantees, and The Tribal Historic Preservation Office as Tribal monitor.
Pomo, Wylackii, Konkow
Spiritual Leader, Round Valley Indian Reservation in Northern California For the last 25 years Ron has served as a member of tribal councils and tribal governments. Ronald has worked to preserve traditional and spiritual ways for over 30 years, and has fostered the re-emergence of respect for indigenous peoples’ way of life. Ronald is a presenter at many educational gatherings, raising awareness, offering wisdom and healing knowledge, to empower upcoming generations.
I am Native American and my culture uses a circular thinking process, rather than a linear thinking process. How will this program work for my brain? And will this program clash with my religious beliefs?
Many of our clients have been predominantly Native American, as well as, of underserved cultures, which means that we prioritize cultural awareness, sensitivity, and cultural competence at START UP!™. We acknowledge and embrace such communities and deeply understand the history of racism and colonization, and the effects of Historical Trauma and its ability to form the cognitive process; how groups of people think and behave. Art Therapy is a culturally competent healing modality which creates cultural continuity, shown to be the most effective in treating trauma in Native American and other cultures. Though circular thinking and linear thinking may be different, neuroplasticity still operates in the same way in all brains, allowing the brain to regenerate and rewire from trauma no matter how old the trauma is. It can be trauma stored within the genetic markers from colonization (historical trauma), or it can be a recent trauma; START UP!™ utilizes guided and self-directed neuroplasticity to heal and rewire the brain. This healing can change the genetic markers for trauma within the DNA to heal holistically. START UP!™ understands that the people we serve practice a wide variety of spiritual paths and religions. We understand how important these practices are, and have incorporated this into our program so each individual has the opportunity to independently incorporate their own values and spiritual/religious beliefs into their therapy, and are openly welcomed encouraged to do so.
A traumatic event is an incident that causes physical, emotional, spiritual, or psychological harm. Trauma can happen after you experience an event or events that affect you physically or emotionally. Trauma can have lasting effects on your mental, physical, and emotional health. Experiencing trauma puts people at risk of developing mental health conditions, such as: Anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and even chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivities, and other conditions. Trauma can also result from world events such as pandemics, and political actions. Symptoms of Trauma Shock, denial, or disbelief. Confusion, difficulty concentrating. Anger, irritability, mood swings. Anxiety and fear. Guilt, shame, self-blame. Withdrawing from others. Feeling sad or hopeless. Feeling disconnected or numb.
START UP!™ is a Neurodevelopmental Art Therapy model which uses the brains’ integrative capacity to rewire your brain from trauma. Your brain is capable of creating new neural pathways (neurogenesis) which were damaged in the traumatic experience/experiences. Through rewiring your brain you will decrease the maladapted stress response within the limbic system. You may find that other issues you thought were unrelated to trauma may clear as well. See the Issues START UP! Treats (add link) for more information.
START UP!™ uses a holistic approach, utilizing the integrative capacity of the both sides of the brain, from side to side, and bottom to top, addressing limbic system impairment, while ensuring optimal functioning in the all four functioning levels of the brain. It is more than talk therapy, which only engages the left brain, whereas Art Therapy engages both left and right brains, allowing for an integration and rewiring of neural circuitry to allow your brain to function optimally again (neuroplasticity). START UP!™ creates structural and functional changes in ALL parts of the brain, no matter your race, gender, etc. The START UP!™ Program is evidence-based with outcome research in neuroscience, demonstrating its efficacy and power to strengthen and rewire the brain from trauma. Art Therapy is not new in the psychology profession, but it is quickly gaining recognition from the neuroscience field as a new paradigm in health and healing.
Depending on age (as children have more pliable neuroplasticity than adults), severity of trauma, and how long you have suffered from symptoms, as well as how devoted you are to practicing the START UP!™ practices, tools and guidelines, in your session and outside of sessions. Some people might start to see positive changes very quickly after they begin the therapy process, while it may take more time for others. Children tend to have quicker results due to their pliable neuroplasticity, but this does not mean you will not see quick results if you are not a child. We cannot expect results overnight and it is not useful to put a timeline on one’s healing process as this can create anxiety and perpetuate the maladapted stress response. Just know that with commitment and dedication, you are rewiring your brain, and your symptoms will begin to dissipate and disappear.
The START UP!™ Program’s successful outcome research is based on children’s symptom reduction after completing The START UP!™ Program sessions twice weekly, however you can do the sessions as many times as you wish before moving on to the next module, because repetition builds and strengthens neural pathways. Your commitment and dedication, and your choice to implement suggested START UP!™ tools outside of the sessions may require more of your time, but you may see a reduction of symptoms sooner than you would if you only do this program once or twice per week.
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