The Creative Arts in Counseling – 5th Edition

About the Author

Samuel T. Gladding
I grew up thinking I wanted to be a minister. However, at Yale Divinity School I fell in love with counseling. As the old adage goes: “People plan, God laughs.” My life has been transformed by the profession of counseling. I have been fortunate to have earned degrees from Wake Forest (B.A., M.A.), Yale (M.A.), and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro (Ph.D.) and to have had academic and clinical appointments in Connecticut, Alabama, and North Carolina. Since 1990 I have been a professor in the Department of Counseling at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
When not teaching, writing, or providing clinical services, I have taken on leadership roles. I have been president of the American Counseling Association, the American Association of State Counseling Boards, and Chi Sigma Iota (international counseling honor society). I am a Fellow in the American Counseling Association and the Association for Specialists in Group Work. (I have also served Wake Forest in the President’s and Provost’s offices and have chaired my department).
I have published books and articles about counselor identity, family therapy, groups, counseling theories, ethics, and the creative arts in counseling. I am a licensed professional counselor (LPC)and have served as a member of the North Carolina Board for Licensed Professional Counselors. I have taught counseling courses and made presentations on counseling throughout the United States and on every continent except Antarctica.
I was a mental health responder after 9/11 in New York (Pier 94)and after the shootings on the Virginia Tech campus. In the mid-1990s I worked in the homes of Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India. I have been fortunate to have been a Fulbright Specialist to Turkey and China, an external reviewer of counseling programs at universities in Malaysia, and to have studied humor and mental health at Oxford.
I enjoy reading history and humor, swimming, walking, and “hanging out” with my wife, Claire, and our three young adult children. I am an existentialist although I use a variety of approaches in my work as a counselor. Oh, I still like theology.


Product details


American Counseling Association






5 edition
March 23, 2016

Page Count


About the Author

Samuel T. Gladding


“Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals” (D. M. Kaplan, Tarvydas, & Gladding, 2014, p. 366).
In accomplishing its goals, counseling is a creative process, and counselors focus on helping clients make developmentally appropriate choices
and changes. Effective counselors are aware of the multidimensional nature of the profession and choose from a wide variety of interventions when working with diverse populations. As a group, the creative arts is a sometimes overlooked aspect of counseling that can promote the best within the helping arena (Neilsen, King, & Baker, 2016). By its very nature, the arts foster different ways of experiencing the world and are enriching, stimulating, and therapeutic in their own right. When used in clinical situations, creative arts can help counselors and clients gain unique and universal perspectives on problems and possibilities.
In this ifth edition of The Creative Arts in Counseling, I concentrate on how the creative arts can be used independently and complementarily to enhance the counseling process on primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. Speciically, the following creative arts are examined:
• Music
• Dance and movement
• Imagery
• Visual arts
• Literature and writing
• Drama and psychodrama
• Play and humor
• Animal-assisted therapy, horticulture, and wilderness therapy