Hillary Rubesin & Laurie Selz Campbell

“How Does the Butterfly Know it will Emerge?”:
Public Narrative, Expressive Arts, and Peer Support in a Community-Based Mental Health Group

Hillary Rubesin, Ph.D., PhD, LPC-S, REAT, Executive Director and Expressive Arts Therapist, NC Art Therapy Institute

Hillary Rubesin is an intermodal expressive therapist, and has trained in numerous expressive therapies fields, including art, music, dance, drama, and creative writing. In addition to her duties as the Executive Director at ATI, Hillary provides expressive therapy to newly-arrived refugees and immigrants in local schools and community-based settings, and is the co-founder and co-facilitator of the Arts and Peer Support Group, a free, weekly, outpatient arts group for adults living with severe and persistent mental illness. She believes that all art forms hold great potential for healing on both individual and community levels.


Laurie Selz Campbell, MSW, Clinical Associate Professor, UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work

Laurie Selz-Campbell is a Clinical Associate Professor at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work, where she teaches courses in social justice, disability, the life course, and mental health recovery, among others. She has worked for many years in mental health recovery and peer support, and, in 2011, partnered with Hillary to co-found the Arts and Peer Support Group. Laurie continues to co-facilitate this group, and is committed to engaging the voices of consumers, families, and peer supporters in social work education.


In the public narrative process, people come together to share their personal stories of challenge and choice, articulating their deepest values as they work toward well-being and transformation. Beginning with an arts-based public narrative experience, participants will learn about a community-based, recovery-oriented group integrating expressive arts, wellness, and peer support.

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will describe how the expressive arts can help with recovery.
  • Attendees will explore the benefits of art therapy by reflecting and connecting to their intuition and creativity through a simple demonstration.
  • Attendees will discover how art therapy can be an effective way for people to express complex or confusing emotions which may be difficult to verbally communicate.