Creating a safe and empowering space for equality with – race, gender, sexuality, age, economic status, cognitive, physical, spiritual needs and those living with mental illness – through trauma informed care: music therapy, art therapy and psychotherapy, to improve health and well-being.
Meet the Expressive Therapies Staff
Sara Devine owner and founder
MT-BC, NMT-Member, LCSW
Sara is owner and founder of Expressive Therapies LLC. Sara has 20 years of experience working with individuals and groups combining her passions of music and positive mental health together in her approach to optimize potential and promote wellness! Sara is a Board-Certified Music Therapist, Neurologic Music Therapy - Member and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Sara is trained to become an International Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC), currently finishing this process. She is also in her final year of training to become a Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery, working specifically with the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music.
Through holistic, trauma-informed treatment – Sara loves being able to combine both music therapy with psychotherapy and has had the opportunity to work with all ages and a wide variety of populations including: traumatic brain injuries, physical disabilities, autism spectrum, medical diagnoses including cancer, cardiac and physical rehabilitation, cognitive disabilities, dementia/Alzheimer’s disease, addictions, and mental health diagnoses including depression and anxiety due to situational stressors and/or chronic illness.
“My training in music therapy, neurologic music therapy and the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music is a wonderful tool to diversify my verbal therapy approach and one which I have found people can learn to use on their own. I love watching the power of music when it is combined with therapy, to bring patients to a deeper level of healing!”
Rachel joined Expressive Therapies in September 2016. Prior to joining the Expressive Therapies team, Rachel lived in North Carolina and worked primarily with the psychiatric population. Since beginning at Expressive Therapies, Rachel has gained experience working with individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, and emotional/behavioral disorders, individuals in an oncology setting, and individuals who are incarcerated. Rachel continues to be passionate about working with the psychiatric population and seeing how music can have a positive impact on people who are admitted.
“I love how music has the power to reach into so many aspects of a person—everything from movement to cognition; from sound production to emotion recognition and regulation—music therapy can be a truly holistic experience!”
Tiffany became a Board-Certified Music Therapist in 1998 and joined the Expressive Therapies team in 2017. Tiffany has practiced music therapy with a variety of ages and populations including: adult oncology, skilled nursing, Alzheimer’s and dementia, early childhood, pregnancy and childbirth, autism, and developmental disabilities. Tiffany is proud to be able to offer Neurologic Music Therapy as a service, completing training in Toronto, Canada in 2017. Besides being employed with Expressive Therapies, she has been a choir director with VSA Wisconsin for 20 years and is the music coordinator for her church.
“Music Therapy is an amazing tool! I love that I can use music therapy interventions to offer my clients alternate ways to communicate and socialize, facilitate mood change, and to improve cognition, speech and motor skills. It’s so rewarding to see my clients enjoy the process, make progress and feel empowered!”
Pamela is a Board-Certified Music Therapist and Neurologic Music Therapist – Member. She joined Expressive Therapies in September of 2017. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a degree in Music Therapy and Elementary Education. She has enjoyed working with clients of all ages and abilities and has recently taken on a new role to provide support and wellness opportunities within the Expressive Therapies team. Pam is certified in SEVA Stress Relief through Soul Lightening Acupressure and Sound Massage I through the Peter Hess Academy. Pam is passionate about helping others lead a healthy, balanced life.
"May I live this day compassionate of heart, clear of word, gracious in awareness, courageous in thought,
generous in love." John O'Donohue
MS, ATR-BC, LPC, RYT
Alyssa is a Board-Certified Art Therapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Registered Yoga Teacher. She earned her Master's degree in Art Therapy, with an emphasis in Counseling, from Mount Mary University in 2013 and her Bachelor's degree in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, in 2007. Alyssa believes in the healing powers of the creative arts and enjoys sharing how the creative process can be used for reflection, community building, and self-expression.
"Art, yoga, and mindfulness have taught me how to create more space in my body and in my emotional responses, and it is a gift to be able to share these valuable skills with others. My goal is to help others feel more open in their hearts and grounded in their everyday lives."
Alyssa works with clients of all ages, but, specializes in children and adolescents. She has experience working with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mood disorders, anxiety disorders, anger, boundaries, depression, bereavement, self-injurious behaviors, suicidal ideation, relationship conflicts, and life transitions.
Jennifer joined the Expressive Therapies team in January 2018. She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University with degrees in Music Therapy and English with Creative Writing. Jennifer enjoys working with a variety of clients, including: autism, developmental disabilities, hospice, Alzheimer's/dementia, Parkinson's, cancer, anxiety, and homelessness. She is passionate about both music and writing as creative, therapeutic outlets and loves being a part of the Expressive Therapies team!
"Music and language are so unique in their ability to creatively explore and express our individual thoughts and experiences. I love seeing how both outlets provide such incredible means for self-expression, processing, and growth for so many people."
Joanna graduated in 2018 from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where she earned a degree in Music Therapy, with a minor in Dance. Prior to joining the Expressive Therapies team in January 2019, JoAnna worked with children and adults of all ages and abilities throughout her coursework, including those with autism, Alzheimer's/dementia, and various developmental disabilities. She also completed an internship at a children’s hospital in Dallas, Texas, where she got to experience the medical side of music therapy. JoAnna is so excited to be in Wisconsin as part of the Expressive Therapies team!
“Two of my biggest passions in life are music and helping others. I’m so thankful to be in a field where I get to pursue them both. There is something so special about making music that is also making a difference in someone else’s life.”
Heather McDonald brings her gifts of intuition, artistic vision, psychological training and a listening ear to her work as an art therapist. She utilizes her rich experience in medical art therapy, trauma-informed therapy, counseling kids and adults, as well as from traveling the world and being a mother. Her skill as a healing presence was cultivated through years as a group home manager and live-in care provider for adults with developmental disabilities. Heather has a Bachelors of Fine Arts from UWO and in 2012 received a Masters in Art Therapy from Mount Mary University. Her thesis and art opening focused on sacred space where she explored creating healing environments for clients through art, meaning and a heart of hospitality.
“I’m honored to work in a field where I get to hold sacred space with each client by using the healing power of art to sojourn with clients as they discover their potential, their worth and their inner strength.”
MT-BC, NMT Member
Angie, a board-certified music therapist, neurologic music therapy – member, joined the Expressive Therapies team in December of 2019. She graduated from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in vocal music before continuing to Western Michigan University to complete the music therapy equivalency program. She completed her internship through Music Therapy Services of Central Wisconsin, where she offered services to adults and children in Pediatric, NICU, Palliative, Oncology, and Neurorehabilitation units of Marshfield Medical Center. Throughout her coursework, Angie has had experience working with many different populations, including adults with Dementia, adults and children with developmental disabilities, and children with Apraxia of Speech. She is currently finishing her graduate work in music therapy and will be receiving her master’s degree of music therapy in June 2020.
“Music is an incredible therapeutic tool because it is a part of everyone’s lives and can have such deep meaning so people. It is so powerful, it can change neuropathways in the brain! I feel such joy when I see a client reach a goal, they never thought possible, sing when they are unable to speak, or express themselves in a new way through music. Music has always been a huge part of my life and sharing it in a way that helps someone achieve their greatest potential is incredible!.”
Bethany is a board-certified music therapist who graduated with her master’s degree in music therapy from Illinois State University in December 2019. Prior to pursuing music therapy, she received her bachelor’s degree in music education and taught K-12 music, band and choir in Michigan. She joined Expressive Therapies in February 2020 and enjoys working with a variety of clients including those with autism, developmental disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, dementia, and with older adults.
“The healing power of music does not require perfection, multiple takes, or others’ stamp of approval;
Healing comes from the artist’s intention and act of creating.”
Kim joined Expressive Therapies in June 2020. Kim has earned her Master’s degree in Art Therapy, with an emphasis in Counseling from Mount Mary University in 2020 and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Expressive and Therapeutic Arts from Marian University in 2017. Kim has worked with a variety of clients including individuals who struggle with mental health issues and drug abuse, children with disabilities, developmental and physical disabilities, skilled nursing, Alzheimer's, dementia and hospice care. Kim believes that creating art can be used to safely address challenges or topics in our lives. She strives to use arts in various forms to build strong therapeutic relationships with individuals to find a way to express themselves.
“I believe in the creative arts process to help individuals safely address challenges or topics in their lives.
I have witnessed – through creative arts – individuals were able to feel empowered through art making,
gain confidence in themselves and able to express their own beliefs.”
Victoria is an art therapist who joined Expressive Therapies team in June 2020. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree and a Bachelor’s of Science- Psychology Degree. She then attended Mount Mary University to achieve her Master’s Degree in Art Therapy with a Concentration in Counseling. She believes the power of art therapy has the potential to be the stimulant for positive transformations, insights and internal/external changes that occur through meta-verbal communication. Her innermost goal as an art therapist and artist is to collaboratively create a holistic plan that fosters strength and empowers one to be your best self, all while showing compassion and empathy. She deeply enjoys working with and has experience with groups and individuals, families, adults, adolescents and children; with concerns within the following areas: identity exploration, life transformations, boundaries, anxiety, developmental disabilities, depression, suicidal ideation, trauma, relationship conflicts and is an ally for the LGBTQ community.
“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.” Carl Jung
Melissa has been overseeing all administrative functions as Office Administrator with Expressive Therapies since April of 2018. Along with her Bachelor’s in Accounting, she brings over 20 years of customer care experience, an ability to achieve thorough-ness and accuracy when accomplishing tasks, and a personal passion for art and music. Melissa is a wife, a mother of three teenagers, and a labradoodle. On her down time, she enjoys yoga, working out/running, and being at home with her family.
"By combining your passion, your strengths, and personal experiences in your day to day life; not only will you continue to learn new things you will also find positive uplifting moments in each day!"
Nou joined Expressive Therapies in November of 2019. She graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Art at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. Nou brings to the team her many years of customer services, empathy for all people, and passion for the visual arts. Nou spends her free time immersed in a book, catching a movie, and painting. She especially enjoys thrillers and suspense themes. Nou is quick to brighten anyone’s day with her smile and her willingness to help all.
"Life is like cooking. Some people follow a recipe while others like to experiment. At the end of the day the only thing that truly matters is enjoying a well-cooked meal with love ones.”
Debbie Wagner, Community Relations Specialist, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 30 years experience in the areas of mental health, and drug and alcohol, assessment and treatment. Debbie has had the privilege of working with a wide variety of clients from teenagers to geriatrics both as a group and individual therapist, and social worker, in the inpatient and outpatient settings. She has direct experience in treating major mental illness, psychotic illness, personality disorders, depression, anxiety, behavior and substance addiction, and assessing risk competency issues. Debbie has served as a provider in addressing medical diagnoses including HIV, cancer, and chronic illness, utilizing a lifestyle medicine approach.
Debbie is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers - Wisconsin Branch
" I believe in a strengths-based, client-centered approach, which connects clients and their caregivers with community-based services, working with collateral providers for the best possible treatment outcome. Utilizing the arts in treatment not only supports long-term healing and growth, but provides tools for ongoing progress and stability."