Tish McAllise Sjoberg, M.A., CAGS

Expressive Arts Therapist, Coach, Consultant and Art Maker

(The SHORT version)

Tish McAllise Sjoberg

I have personally experienced the power of Expressive Arts in my life when I grieved the death of my parents as well as to support me to create major changes in my life. A fabulous by-product has been the cultivation of my artist self.

At my Expressive Arts Studio in the North Park area of San Diego I have a private practice where I see individuals, couples and families as well as facilitate workshops and groups to help people take a vacation from their daily life or deal with daily and major life issues like divorce, death, job loss, burnout, illness, trauma, and parenting challenges. I also do contract work as an Expressive Arts Therapist serving: homeless; at-risk youth and adults: grieving, dying, and hospice staff; adults with developmental and physical disabilities; elementary, middle and high school classrooms using the arts to build community (anti-bullying) and support social emotional curriculum; and using the arts for adjunct therapy with homeless, addictions and eating disorders.

I am an art maker and I love working with people who do not think they are artists or are not confident in their art making.

If you are interested in working with me individually, as a couple or family using Expressive Arts, I offer a free 30-minute consultation so you can try it out and see if it is a good fit.

(The LONG version)

The death of my mother, father, and beloved dog within a short 6-month period brought me to Expressive Arts, art making, hospice work and the desire to use the arts to help people manage and create change in their lives. I am honored to dedicate the work I do today to their memory and the legacy they helped begin.

My Masters thesis, Artist is a Verb: Meeting the Fear of Making Art with Making Art, looks at my own process of walking through fears around art making and also my work with clients and their path to building creative confidence. I have found the Expressive Arts Therapy and Coaching model to be very helpful in creating a safe place to play and explore, an opportunity to create change in our life, as well as grow our artist self if we choose. Helping people find their own special form of creative expression and building creative confidence is a focus in all my work. I am not here to teach people my style of art, but to help them notice and follow their own longings and pleasures in art and life so they can find their own style and medium.

At my Expressive Arts Studio in the North Park area of San Diego I see individual clients and couples, facilitate workshops and groups to help people take a vacation from their daily life or deal with daily and major life issues like divorce, death, job loss, burnout, illness, trauma, and parenting challenges. I also do contract work as an Expressive Arts Therapist serving: homeless; at-risk youth and adults: grieving, dying, and hospice staff; adults with developmental and physical disabilities; elementary, middle and high school classrooms using the arts to build community (anti-bullying) and support social emotional curriculum; and using the arts for adjunct therapy with homeless, addictions and eating disorders.. I am also a training therapist for the Expressive Arts Institute of San Diego and offer supervision/reflection through the arts to other helping professionals.

I am a graduate of the Expressive Arts Institute of San Diego, an intensive three-year training program that I consider to be one of the best in the world. I received my Masters in Expressive Arts Therapy with a Minor in Psychology from the European Graduate School in Switzerland. I also received a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies for supervision and research as my prerequisite to the dissertation process at the European Graduate School’s doctoral program. I hope to begin my writing process soon. I am currently looking for my topic, my current curiosity is around using Emotionally Focused Therapy with Expressive Arts to help couples.

About Tish’s Art Making

During my expressive arts training, I became an avid painter and visual artist. I try to paint or do art daily, the result of a challenge I made to myself to do 365 Days of Art back in 2003 to honor the anniversary of my mother’s death. It was in the last week of her life that I learned that she had always wanted to be an artist. I did not see any evidence of that in her life and decided I wanted to make art daily so no one, including me, would fail to notice that I wanted to be an artist. I have now been doing art in my daily life for over 7 years. I do not create masterpieces, I put color and words on paper. That is the joy for me, the marriage of my day, the materials (paint, pen, oil pastels) and the paper. It is nice when the end result is pleasing to me, but it is the process that makes my heart sing!

I do mostly portraits that are my own personal investigation into relationships with people I know or have met, into aspects of myself and into the human condition. Most of these simple portraits are drawn while I am blindfolded or with eyes closed in the blind contour fashion: the pen stays on the paper for the entire time, creating one continuous line.  Once drawn, I then open my eyes to paint. This style arouses from my deep desire to paint and right next to it my fear that I would be stalled in perfectionism because I did not know how or what to paint. This process continues to give me pleasure and the opportunity to try new things as a painter and artmaker.

I have been asked to do commission pet portraits in my blind art fashion and now consider myself a “pet portrait painter of a different kind.” My gallery shows have been a great way for me to meet people who are afraid to do art and to share my own story.