The Introspective Odyssey: Getting to Know Millie Lachman-Chapin [Drawn from Building L: Issue 15]

by Maggie Hackett

With a stellar resume fit for publication as a short novel and an art bio of similar stature, it was hard to imagine that former GW adjunct professor and art therapist, Millie Lachman-Chapin, MEd., ATR, CCMHC, would be doing anything other than working dutifully on her contributions to the field of mental health or preparing for an upcoming art exhibit. But on a Sunday afternoon in February, she admitted to sorting and packing for her upcoming relocation to Tuscon, Arizona. Her current home in Sedona, Arizona, a city covering approximately 15 square miles of private property surrounded by National Forest, is touted for its breathtaking scenery, four delightfully mild seasons, clean air and water, and unlimited recreational opportunities. These serve as an attraction for many artists and writers, including Lachman-Chapin. After spending some time in Tuscon, she plans to return to Sedona this summer, in time to host several art retreats in her home. During each of the three week-long retreats, two people will have the opportunity to create art in an inspiring environment under the mentorship of Lachman-Chapin herself.

Although Lachman-Chapin has chosen to retire and paint in Sedona, she continues to provide art therapy services occasionally. As a Registered Art Therapist, Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, and National Certified Counselor, she uses her training in art therapy, art, and dance to teach and conduct training workshops. In May, the GW Art Therapy Program will host Lachman-Chapin’s workshop, “Transposing Images.” A focus of the workshop will include the concept of creating art alongside clients in response to their creations, a way of utilizing one’s own imagery as part of the therapeutic experience. Her approach to this topic is unique in some ways and bold in many.

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