Art Therapy at Magee: Introducing Julie Nolan

After saying goodbye to former Art Therapist Lori Tiberi who’s relocating to the West Coast, Magee now welcomes Julie Nolan as its new art therapist on staff. Julie is excited and eager to start her career at Magee and comes with a wealth of knowledge and great experience. I got the opportunity to sit down with Julie where I learned more about her as both a person and art therapist. I am excited to have her join the Magee team and look forward to getting to know her more in the coming months. If you see her around the halls of Magee make sure to give her a warm welcome! Today, we learn a little bit more about Julie.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m originally from Delaware but have lived in Philadelphia for the last three years. I live with my boyfriend and our furry children (a pug named Oliver and two cats named Lentil and Turnip). I graduated with my undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Delaware, and I went to graduate school at Drexel where I got my degree in art therapy. When I was 16, I shadowed an art therapist who told me that Drexel was the place to go to study art therapy, so it had been my goal to go there ever since! Outside of work, I spend a lot of time taking care of my animals, and I enjoy cooking vegan food and spending time with my friends.

Tell us about your work history.

Before coming to Magee, I worked as a recovery worker at the Wedge Recovery and Education center which is a psychiatric rehabilitation treatment facility in South Philadelphia. I also continue to work per diem at an inpatient psychiatric hospital in New Jersey, as well as at the Ronald McDonald house in Philadelphia where I work with pediatric patients and families on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

I then asked Julie where she finds the time in the day to work a crazy busy schedule, cook vegan meals, and take care of three furry friends!

What do you love most about being an art therapist?

When I was about 15 I decided that I wanted to go to school to become a therapist because I liked the idea of helping others for a living. In my junior year of high school, I learned about art therapy and became very excited about the prospect of becoming an art therapist, as I had always considered myself creative and I come from a very artistic family – it seemed to be the perfect fit.

Since the start of graduate school, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with countless individuals in a wide array of treatment settings. The reason I think art therapy is so powerful is because the creative process can adapt to and bypass whatever barriers a person might be experiencing and can therefore be a powerful vehicle of self-expression for any person who wishes to engage in it. To me, one of the most important aspects of therapy is connecting with people; I feel that through witnessing and supporting another person’s creative process, an even deeper level of connection and understanding can be achieved.

To learn more about Art Therapy at Magee, visit our website

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