Rachel Sikorski, LCAT, ATR-BC, RPT-S
Rachel has been working with children, adolescents, adults, and families for over 15 years. She firmly believes that psychotherapy should center on promoting development at all levels, and as such, effective treatment can and should be creatively adapted to meet people where they are developmentally, cognitively, emotionally, and physically. Rachel has spent her career learning how best to engage her clients in the work, which by definition must be rooted in ethics, applied psychological theory, and traditionally "talk-based" counseling approaches. Rachel enjoys utilizing visual, tactile, and sensory materials, as well as the tools and narratives of play, to make treatment both palatable and beneficial to children and adolescents, in particular, at all stages of development.
Rachel's professional experience includes several years of work providing trauma-informed, arts-based psychotherapy to youth in residential treatment and educational settings, children and adults in outpatient mental health clinical settings, and all ages in private practice. She has experience working with a variety of client populations, including those with treatment concerns related to trauma and adjustment disorders; anxiety and depression; suicidal and self-injurious behavior; oppositional and conduct-related issues; executive functioning and neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD/ADD and ASD.
Rachel firmly believes that therapy should be short-term, client-centered, solution-focused, and strength-based in its approach. She works to build a trusting partnership with her clients, their caregivers and families, as well as supplemental providers to coordinate effective treatment and achieve sustainable results. Common treatment goals for many of her clients include increasing self-awareness, self-esteem, and confidence building skills for emotion identification, affect tolerance, and regulation; as well as strengthening both internal and external resources for coping with a full spectrum of emotions, experiences, and sources of stress in daily life.
Rachel Sikorski, LCAT, ATR-BC, RPT-S is a New York State Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), nationally registered and board-certified art therapist (ATR-BC), as well as a nationally registered play therapist and supervisor (RPT-S). She has a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, and a master's degree in Art Therapy from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY.
In addition to her degree and certification in the professions of art and play therapy, Rachel has extensive professional training and experience utilizing cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, attachment-focused, solution-focused, mindfulness, and trauma-informed treatment approaches in her clinical practice. In addition to completing full training and ongoing professional development in EMDR Therapy, she also completed 9-month certificate for treating trauma in children and adolescents through the Trauma Institute/Child Trauma Institute (TI/CTI). Rachel maintains professional memberships with the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), the Association for Play Therapy (APT), and the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA).
Rachel is a founding member of Art Therapy Buffalo, a professional network of local art therapists whose mission is to educate the community and advocate for increased access to professional art therapy services within the Buffalo-Niagara area. For the past several years, her group has hosted free, community-based, public art activities at Larkin Square’s Food Truck Tuesday and live music events, as well as coordinated educational art therapy exhibitions at the Buffalo Arts Studio, ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, Project 308 Gallery, and most recently, The Crucible Art Collective. These exhibitions featured the work of client-artists of all ages who have benefitted from art therapy, as well as art therapist responses to client experiences and beyond. For more information and updates on current events or art therapy in the news, find Art Therapy Buffalo on social media or visit them on the web at arttherapybuffalo.com.
Rachel has been the Art Therapy Minor Program Coordinator at Buffalo State College, in the Art & Design Department, since 2018. In this role, as well as while serving as a part-time lecturer teaching the ATS 320: Introduction to Art Therapy and ATS 325: Art for Children with Special Needs courses, Rachel enjoys mentoring students interested in the art therapy minor and future pursuit of graduate training in art therapy or a related field of mental health or human services (art therapists, like all psychotherapy professionals, must earn a master's degree at minimum to provide services to the public). Her goal is to expand this program to increase access to graduate-level training in art therapy locally, in order to support increased representation in the field and access to more culturally and racially diverse art therapy professionals within the communities of Western New York and beyond.
Rachel has been in private practice for the past 15 years. She began working privately on an in-home basis, before opening offices in Amherst and Allentown, in the city of Buffalo, respectively. She relocated her practice to Gates Circle in 2017, where she shares space with a talented group of independent practitioners who specialize in trauma treatment for adolescents, adults, and couples.