Olivia Shumate, M.A., LPC, AT
Ms. Olivia Shumate received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina in Asheville in 2008. Ms. Shumate majored in mixed media arts and minored in psychology. Through this education, Ms. Shumate learned about art therapy and using art as a way to heal and process emotions. As a long time artist, she recognized her own use of art as a way to understand her own internal understanding.
In 2012, Ms. Shumate completed a Master of Arts in Art Therapy with a specialization in Counseling from Seton Hill University in Greensbrugh Pennsylvania. For her graduate-level experience she created an initial Art Therapy program at a state-funded long term inpatient hospital. The program is still in place and run by other Art Therapy students and has evolved to include multiple wards, and therapists. She greatly enjoyed her work on the inpatient unit of holding individual counseling and art therapy sessions as well as groups. As part of this experience Ms. Shumate was part of another pilot program that focused on individuals with a sexual offender conviction. Ms. Shumate worked closely with a psychologist who specializes in this population to receive more training and understanding a trauma and sexual offenses. She ran an art therapy group dedicated to helping these men understand their own past traumas and how this affected their lives and offense history.
In early 2014 Ms. Shumate began working at Family Preservation Services as a clinician on the Assertive Community Treatment Team. ACTT is a community-based team focused on helping individuals suffering from Severe and Persistent Mental Illness stay in the community in the least restrictive setting possible. Ms. Shumate felt drawn to this population after her experiences in grad school at a State Funded Hospital and the integrated team model approach. She spent the next four years there helping to strengthen the team as a clinician and eventual Team Lead. She gained extensive crisis based skills in this job and training and experience working with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness and complex trauma survivors. Ms. Shumate focused on working with individuals who have experienced extremes and severe trauma. She gained knowledge working with Dissociative Identity Disorder through a licensed marriage and Family Therapist who has specialized in this population. She gained skills on how to help internal parts have more communication and transparency with each other and how to address thought patterns instilled by past abusive systems. Ms. Shumate also worked with individuals identifying in the LQBTQAI population. Ms. Shumate worked with individuals transitioning to their identified gender and how to help this process strengthen them as people.
Ms. Shumate gained skills in DBT influenced therapy to help with anxiety, depression and personality disorders. She provided structure to aid in understanding how symptoms of depression and anxiety can overwhelm thought processes and how to work through these feelings and the effect they have on her clients' lives.