Director of HopeWest Kids program earns therapy credential

Joni Beckner
Joni Beckner

Joni Beckner, director of the HopeWest Kids program in Western Colorado, has earned designation as a board-certified art therapist, the highest art therapy credential.

To earn the designation, Beckner was required to pass a national examination and demonstrate knowledge of the theories and clinical skills used in art therapy.

Becker brings more than 10 years of experience in art therapy to a program that serves each year more than 600 children dealing with serious illness and grief.

“Joni’s strive for growth and continued education makes her invaluable to HopeWest and in her role as a mental health expert in our community,” said Christy Whitney Borchard, president and chief executive officer of HopeWest. “Her guidance and expertise sets the direction of the HopeWest Kids program and creates a model for the nation.”

Becker said she’s grateful for the support of HopeWest to help her earn the certification and hopes her experience and training will help in advising and training staff to use art interventions and activities to help children.

“Ongoing education and training are an integral part of our profession,” Beckner said. “We strive to stay informed about recent research and best practices related to our field. The certification will enable us to provide an attractive placement for art therapy graduate students for internship. It demonstrates our commitment to a high level of expertise in supporting children and teens who are dealing with serious illness and grief.”

HopeWest offers hospice, palliative care and grief support services to a total of more than 4,000 people a year in Mesa County as well as Delta, Montrose, Ouray and Rio Blanco counties. For more information, call 241-2212 or visit the website at