Expressive Art Therapy Workshops

Youth & Family Services collaborates with a number of local artists and art therapists to bring expressive art therapy workshops to the community. These workshops explore various themes of mental wellness and promote self-care and resilience. Workshops have been run for both youth and parents/caregivers. Some workshops focus on the individual experience and self-exploration and others build broader connections to the community, such as public art installations and community mural projects.

We frequently partner with Tova Speter, LMHC, a Needham-based artist and art therapist with over 20 years of experience working at the intersection of arts and healing with the belief that engaging in art-making is inherently therapeutic and formative. Some examples of workshops that have been run in the past include:

Mediative Marbling, which focuses on mindfulness, unwinding stress and centering your mind in the present moment as participants learn a Japanese paper marbling technique that uses colorful inks that float on water. Led by Tova Speter.

Rain Art Scavenger Hunt, which invited youth to create designs that reminded them of the things in their community that help them feel refreshed and renewed, to be included in a temporary public art installation that would reveal the art on Needham sidewalks only when it rained. Led by Tova and sponsored in part by the Needham Council for Arts and Culture, who installed the students' contributions and led a community-wide scavenger hunt for the designs that was held after the workshop concluded.

Brighter Ignited, a super-sized interactive light display created by Tova that featured illuminated artwork by hundreds of participants from local communities including Needham. Students reflected on the ways in which they fight for what they believe in, and each designed a "peg" of light which represented what they were passionate about, dedicated to, and ready to stand up for.

Community Mural Projects at the Bay Colony Rail Trail and the MBTA Tunnel connecting Pollard Middle School and DeFazio Park. Hundreds of community members of all ages volunteered their time and artist talent (no experience necessary) to beautify spaces in Needham that have been hard-hit with graffiti. Youth & Family Services collaborated with expressive art therapist Meg Carleton, LMHC, the Needham DPW, and a team of local artists to complete each mural.

To stay up to date for when registration opens for future art workshops and mural projects, please visit:

For any questions, please email our admin at