Shanti Sponder - Handel Behavioral Health
Shanti Sponder Headshot
Counselors & Appointments

Shanti Sponder, LMHC, ATR

For Telehealth/Online Appointments

(413) 287-7168 View Availability Join Virtual Waiting Room

Counseling Style

Shanti is an experienced counselor and art therapist who views therapy as a collaborative, judgement-free integrative process leading to personal growth. She understands it can be difficult for a client to just sit down, open up and talk about their feelings and uses various techniques to help the client feel more comfortable. She approaches therapy by meeting each unique client where they are and tailors her style to support their therapeutic process.

Art therapy is a form of self-expression that can help facilitate the therapeutic practice through the use of various art materials and art-based interventions. The client does not need to be an “artist” to engage in this form of therapy because art therapy is about the clients’ relationship with the process of art making and the meaning of their artwork rather than the esthetic of the art piece. It can be used as the primary form of treatment unless the client prefers a more traditional talk therapy approach. Both verbal and non-verbal expression can help the client express themselves creatively. Using your personal imagery to express yourself and process your narrative can allow you to resolve issues in a creative way.  Shanti also understands that not everyone wants to use art therapy when entering the therapeutic space and can work with the client using techniques such as CBT, narrative therapy and person-centered psychotherapy.

Working with Shanti will allow you to establish goals, problem solve, develop coping skills, learn to advocate for yourself and work on getting you to a place where you’re able to feel empowered and independent. Her style of therapy is flexible, and she believes the client is an integral part of developing the course of treatment.


Shanti has worked in a variety of settings such as a residential hospital, disability day service for adults and at a community-based outreach agency serving ages three through the lifespan.  She uses numerous approaches to help tailor the therapeutic process to each client such as:

  • Art Therapy (Utilizing art-making to help facilitate the therapeutic process).
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Identifying negative thoughts/behaviors and replacing them with positive ones).
  • Narrative therapy
  • Play Therapy (For children and adolescents)
  • Strength Based
  • Mindfulness
  • Family Therapy


  • Anxiety/Panic/Phobias
  • Depression
  • Anger Management
  • Grief/Loss/Bereavement
  • Self-Injurious Behaviors/Self-harm
  • Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD/ADD)
  • Eating Disorders (Anorexia/Bulimia/Binge Eating)
  • Domestic Violence
  • Ethnic/Cultural Issues
  • PTSD/Acute Stress
  • Academic/Occupational/Work Issues/Career
  • Trauma

Clinical Modalities + Treatments

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Art Therapy

Authored Articles & Interviews

red orange blue green drawn lines on cut out hand shaped paper which sits on a black and white photo of ferns and a rock, the rock is centered with index fingers touching the corners of the rock

Art Therapy: What is Art Therapy and What Can Art Therapy Help With?

May 3, 2022

legs under the dining table with woman's feet on a glowing scale

Practice Tips: 8 Ways to Navigate the Holidays with an Eating Disorder

November 17, 2022