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Sarah Waits, a much-in-demand Licensed Mental Health Counselor, is also an artist and a “compulsive” writer. She has published papers, articles, and books in colleges and universities and is widely recognized and respected as a speaker and lecturer on Art Therapy and Self Esteem. At 16 she had her own feature column and cartoon in  The Daytona Beach News-Journal. She now resides on the West Coast of Florida where she shares a modest double-wide with her husband. In the Summer they travel to Colorado for hiking and camping. She has 3 grown children: a scientist, a musician, and an artist, and 6 grandchildren. In The Real Artist, she provides an account of a true case study followed over 30 years which illustrates presenting diagnoses, treatment, and recovery. Ms. Waits’ client was a gifted child so TRA has information about gifted and talented individuals and how to maximize the potential for these. Surprisingly her client was also severely physically and emotionally abused and as a result developed psychological problems such as: Eating Disorder, PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety. In a faith-based approach, Ms. Waits provides techniques for identifying specific diagnoses, treatment, and recovery from disabling past trauma.

           “Whether children or older,” Ms. Waits, who has lectured in museums and colleges on Art Therapy explains “What we draw or paint reflects our inner struggles. Stored maybe for years our true past wounds and current wishes can be found within paintings, drawings, and even creative writing.” Ms. Waits’ client Sara Tonin, recovered miraculously from such trauma as being kidnapped to a foreign country, left for dead, abandoned by the family of origin. For 10 years she was married to a 25 years younger man she loved passionately, who, sadly, became schizophrenic and threatened to kill her. Little by little as Sara Tonin’s life history emerges readers will be able to share the intimate details from the down-to-earth script which may reveal their own kindred soul despite the protagonist’s impulsivity and absolute over-the-top intellectual and creative aspirations. Sara Tonin was 50 pounds overweight but was facilitated to display in later life a gorgeous figure as a result of the metabolic management program she developed and shared with Ms. Waits. “She was 78 but looked about 50 with the figure and posture of a model.” and “With God all things are possible.” The success story points ultimately to a woman who ended up happily married to the love of her life, financially secure and living life out loud.’  

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A grateful heart is the beginning of greatness.

In this personal/spiritual growth painting, we see mists of mental distortions vaporized, meanings behind relationships made clear. Faith "which overcomes the world" is made understandable. We learn that no circumstance needs interfere with obtaining and maintaining contentment-producing levels of serotonin. A seasoned therapist, specializing in art therapy, eating disorders, and addiction recovery, provides the case study, which takes a client from a suicide attempt to a happy life. She offers a wealth of cognitive-behavioral restructuring tools for liberation from perseverating our past. According to the author, love hunger, as a contingency of survival, is our main drive. With therapeutic intervention, our thoughts, behaviors, and feelings become solution-focused. Names of people and places are fictitious, but suspense, humor, and insights tell a true story starting from the 1940s, before political correctness, through the present aftermath of no moral absolutes, no impulse restrained. This book is the go-to for developing outrageously satisfying intimacy with a creative genius not of this world.

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