Ericha Scott, PhD, Complex Trauma and Co-Occurring Addictions
I had failed fourth grade and I was just about to fail it twice when I overheard my teacher whisper to my mother, “You know she really likes art, why don’t you give her art lessons?” I can remember thinking, “That is a good idea.” So my mother found a flip flopped, long-haired, hippy who drank to teach me how to paint. Entering the world of artist Jim Compton, paint, and color enlivened my life. By fifth grade I was reading college level. While I cannot make a claim that the two are directly related, after decades of study, I would say yes: art helped me read, or at least care enough to read.
I am an artist who uses art with my clients inside the practice of psychotherapy. I have been in the field for 30 years, and I would no longer have this tremendous passion for my work, if I had not used art, all forms of art, as my co-therapist. Thirty years ago my supervisor said to me, “Oh, I don’t know what you should do, why not use art therapy?” I am still slightly embarrassed to admit that I had to ask him, “What is art therapy?” Now, after five more years of college, numerous credentials, recognition, and a few publications in peer review journals, I am still asking that that question.
I use art for a myriad of reasons. There are times, I am just a Sunday painter or photographer. In the long ago past I taught college level photography for Broward Community College and in France for The Cleveland Institute of Art, as an assistant to the photographer Jean-Pierre Cannelle. I have made my own cameras and photo paper, and my photographs have been exhibited in a museum and several galleries. Other times, art is my lifeline, a way to express the inexpressible like the death of my beloved husband from a bone marrow transplant, or my grief about violence in the world. Sometimes I think I am painting as if a Sunday painter, when the rocks below the surface of the ocean water reveal themselves in a way that feels ominous, and later I find, that in a pre-sentient fashion this is a perfect reflection of what was happening that day.
All of that said, art is my medicine, my comfort, my go-to for insight and meaning. Art facilitates my deepest and most accurate intuitions.
Dr. Ericha Scott has 30 years of professional experience working with those who have multiple addictions and complex trauma. As a first year professional in 1985, her clients had the lowest recidivism rate of any therapist in a 200 bed hospital. As the trauma therapist for Sierra Tucson she was granted The Alumni Recognition Award, as one of three recipients out of 285. Over the last 30 years she has published research in peer review journals on self-mutilation by dissociative disordered individuals, her theory of creative arts therapy for trauma and addiction, as well as the psychology of human slavery and ritual cults.
Dr. Scott has run a Tucson center graduate program in counseling psychology, worked as the clinical director for several treatment centers, taught medical doctors how to provide art therapy for physical illness, and she has hosted her own TV show for 2 years.
In California Dr. Scott, licensed as E. Hitchcock Scott, holds licenses as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor #917, and as a Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She is a board certified registered art therapist and a registered expressive arts therapist.
Dr. Scott, who is also an artist, a certified interfaith spiritual director, and a Reiki Master continues to contribute to the fields of addiction and trauma with a deep sense of passion and commitment.
Licensed in California as E. Hitchcock Scott, PhD, LPCC917 (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor), LAADC (Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, a non governmental license), board certified registered art therapist, registered expressive arts therapist, nationally certified counselor, interfaith spiritual director, Reiki Master.