Sonsee' rae Sells

Growing up in Window Rock, Arizona, I learned quickly that art was an escape from harsh realities living on the reservation. Currently I reside in Farmington, New Mexico where I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and working to obtain my Art Therapy certification. I was introduced to Morningstar Counseling & Consultation through Dr. Warrior and was granted an opportunity to work with other American Indian tribes. Thus, I am now working as a Provisional Licensed Mental Health Practitioner (PLMHP) providing telehealth counseling for Nebraska. 

My professional background started at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. In 2012, after receiving my Bachelors in Studio Arts, I went to school at Naropa University, in Boulder, Colorado, for a duel-degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Transpersonal Art Therapy. I graduated with my Master’s degree in 2018 and have primarily had experience working with domestic violence populations. Although I’m trained mostly to work with trauma, I also have a wide variety of modalities that I utilize to effectively meet individuals’ unique needs. Other approaches I use include EMDR, social justice and multicultural perspectives as well as strength-based and mindfulness lenses. 

My practices relate to using the art process as a way to authentically connect with myself and others. Art can be a form of language that supports an increase in well-being and can facilitate healing practices. Based on my knowledge as a member of the Navajo Nation, art can provide a sense of community, it can maintain cultural heritage, and it can document experiences. Expressive art is a passion I hold for myself and want to share with others. As an art therapist, I get to learn more about people in a way that welcomes me as a fellow traveler. The artist gets to be the expert and I get to listen and be curious about the process. 

On a personal level, I live with my partner of 8-years and our 9-year-old Border-collie/Blue heeler mixed dog, Luna. If I’m not working on an art project, I like to go out dancing, camping, or traveling. Some of my strengths include creativity, openness to learning, and perspective seeking. I am the third child of four in my family, and I have a pretty typical Gemini personality. I am from White People clan, born to Many Hogan clan. My maternal grandfather was White People clan, and paternal grandfather was Bitter Water clan. In this way, I am a Navajo and White woman with the pronouns, she, her, and hers.