Anita Carter MA, owner and creator of ArtSense, is a visual artist and former professional dancer. Anita earned her MA in Counseling from the University of San Diego. She completed a post-masters program in Expressive Arts Therapy earning a Professional Diploma from the Expressive Arts Institute of San Diego. Anita also holds a degree in Psychology with a minor in Women Studies from California State University, San Marcos.
Anita has conducted extensive research in the field of learned helplessness, expectation effect, family violence and sex-role stereotyping. Her emphasis in research focused on creating an intervention program for children who witnessed family violence. She also created and implemented an innovative program called “Choices” for high school mothers in San Marcos, CA.
In 2009, Anita was awarded an artist-in-resident grant from the Kenneth A. Picerne Foundation which provided her an opportunity to offerArtSense to the Marines in the Wounded Warrior program at Camp Pendleton. She also created and facilitated an ArtSense program specifically for the Wounded Warrior case managers/nurses at the Navy Hospital on Camp Pendleton.
In addition Anita has offered ArtSense at the following sites:
Hospice of the North Coast for individuals and families grieving the death of a loved one;
Mariposa Clubhouse for the homeless with behavioral and mental health issues;
Veterans Village of San Diego for homeless veterans in recovery and challenged by drug and alcohol addictions;
St. Clare’s Home for homeless and abused women in recovery for drug and alcohol addictions;
Sunset High School for students “at risk” for dropping out of school; and
San Diego Youth Services working with pregnant and parenting teen mothers challenged by drug and alcohol abuse and behavioral issues.
Moreover, Anita has personally experienced the power of art to heal emotional and psychological wounds and healthily move on from personal loss. Overwhelmed and nearly paralyzed by the mix of conflicting emotions her mother’s death unleashed, Anita struggled with traditional psychotherapy. Only when she discovered the power of Expressive Arts to engage the creative process and to tap into the healing wisdom and power of the body, was she finally able to find her healing path. Her experience was so profound it led her to pursue a career as an Expressive Arts therapist.
Anita’s combined experience in Expressive Arts, counseling, psychology researcher and artist/dancer of 30 years lends itself to a thoughtful, dynamic and an aesthetic understanding of the power of art making.
Anita delights in the ordinary things in life such as walking on the beach, making and eating chocolate- chip cookies with her daughter, and watching a hummingbird dance in flight.