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New Jersey Art Therapist and Author on a Mission for Children’s Mental Health

It’s been almost a year since the release of her first children’s book with Our Galaxy Publishing, and Author and Illustrator, Art Therapist, and New Jersey Mom, Robyn Spodek-Schindler, never stops amazing me with the work she does in the mental health field for children.

We knew Robyn was badass long before she came to the press with the manuscript for Three Brave Stars. As a clinical art therapist with her own practice, Paint the Stars Art Therapy, Robyn specializes in anxiety, depression, and anger through art therapy. In a recent feature with Jersey’s Best, Robyn said she’s focused on giving kids, “a safe place to create, and we’re not asking a million questions. It allows them to just release.”

Between that and a slew of academia behind her, Robyn felt like an anomaly as she balanced her career and creative passions while raising two toddlers who were just as poised and sweet as she was the first time we met. It’s no surprise that she was a nominee for Mompreneur of the Year 2022 by New Jersey Family.

Robyn’s book, Three Brave Stars, is a children’s fantasy that supports families to cope with grief and loss through bibliotherapy. In her professional experiences, she has seen the way kids engage with story and the way it helps educate them about various issues. Robyn believes reading Three Brave Stars can help children feel through their emotions and start the conversation about what the experience of grief is like for them.

When recommending books about grief for kids, Robyn said, “Children’s books about death, loss, and grieving can provide comfort, understanding, and hope during difficult times.” And that’s what she hopes to continue to do as an author as she goes on to write her second book.

Three Brave Stars was written after Robyn lost her father to brain cancer. The story doesn’t necessarily give us the ending we want, but it does give us the one we need. "The entire book, in the end, was basically part of my grief journey," Spodek-Schindler told Patch Magazine when the book first launched. 40% of the proceeds earned from the book will go toward organizations that advocate for brain cancer awareness. Most recently, it’s the National Brain Tumor Society.

If you haven’t already, grab a copy of Three Brave Stars here on Amazon.

But Robyn’s work spans far beyond just grief and loss. The ultimate goal is for children to feel comfortable creating and opening up about things they normally wouldn’t. In an interview with The Healing Power of Art & Artists, Robyn said, “I believe that art is anything that a person creates, be it with paint, words, song, dance, etc. Art has a natural healing component in its own right. The act of creating art can be a source of relaxation, a cathartic release, or just a pleasant distraction.”

You can listen to Robyn talk about some of the creative practices she integrates into her art therapy over at the Creative Therapy Umbrella Podcast, like her “Paint-It-Out Boxing” that kids seem to love. In a recent interview with Natural Awakenings New Jersey, Robyn said, “Art therapy is completely different from arts and crafts, or even teaching a child how to do art.” And she’s always looking for new, creative ways to help children express themselves about the things they don’t know how to talk about. If you’re wondering about her journey to becoming an art therapist and owning her own practice, listen to her episode on Hello, Thoughts Podcast where she talks all about it.

What’s more, Three Brave Stars is not Robyn’s only published work. Her writing is also featured in Venus Rising: Musings & Lore from Women Writers, a multi-genre anthology featuring over 50 women writers around the globe, produced by Our Galaxy Publishing. Her free-verse poem, “My Grief,” along with her personal essay, “The Mother Load,” are two testaments to the experience of losing her father and balancing motherhood. You can also read her work with Grown Ups Magazine, where she has a collection of informative blogs about art therapy and creatively working with children.

Now, Robyn’s been asked to be a panelist for the early screening of Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, and Anthony Hopkin’s newest film, The Son. The screening will be held at Basie Center Cinemas in Red Bank, New Jersey on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 6:00 PM. She will be contributing her mental health expertise to the panel about the film with Monmouth Arts. Head over to their website for more details.

The crazy thing is, there’s so much we're probably leaving out with regard to Robyn’s experience in mental health work and advocacy. As her publisher, we probably shouldn’t admit that it’s no easy feat keeping up with a woman like Robyn, who is always on the move to inspire more creativity and support to the kids who need it most. But she does it, and we are blessed to be along for the ride as it all unfolds.

Get to know more about Robyn Spodek-Schindler, and her work, on Our Galaxy’s Team page, and support Three Brave Stars by purchasing a copy wherever books are sold.

If you’ve read the book already, we’d love for you to leave a review wherever you bought it. Your honest feedback matters as we go on to produce and publish works that can create an impact.

Our Galaxy Publishing is a New York City-based, women-owned, and operated independent press with a nationwide team serving aspiring authors the tools to write and publish. Our seamless publishing experience focuses on action-based tools and resources to publish, exploration of all core storytelling elements, and empowering an entrepreneurial mindset. Whether seeking to self-publish a book or find a traditional publisher, work with us for book publishing, book editing, book marketing, and writing mentorship to publish a successful book.

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