Owen Karcher, MA, LPC, ATR-BC (he/they)

Owen Karcher

Adjunct faculty, art therapy
Art therapist, author, and social justice consultant.


AT 542 Adult Development and Family Therapy

Researches and specializes in:

Research interests: healing intergenerational and internalized oppression and dominance; supporting LGBTQ clients and therapists; liberatory methods for healing. Specializes in: LGBTQ clients; trauma; sex positivity and healing from sexual or intimate partner violence; supporting undocumented immigrants. 

Owen Karcher (he/they) is an art therapist, author, and social justice consultant. He co-founded the Center for Community Healing, the first LGBTQ focused art therapy center in Wisconsin. They work with the individual and collective healing of trauma and oppression through embodied, creative expression. Owen facilitates group processes that invite participants to learn how power, privilege, and identities impact their relationships and work. He has fifteen years of experience working in the fields of mental health, violence prevention and intervention, child sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS, building healthy relationships, LGBTQ resiliency, and organizing towards social justice. He has presented workshops and taught courses across the United States & internationally and currently teaches art therapy at SAIC & SIUE. He is a novice guitar player and experiments with woodworking and pottery.


Karcher, O.P. (2021). A review of ‘creative arts therapies and the lgbtq community: Theory and Publications practice.’ Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, DOI: 10.1080/07421656.2021.1880813

Karcher, O.P., Caldwell, C. (2018). The role of privilege and oppression in arts-based research: A case study of a cisgender and transgender research team. In M. Capous-Desyllas & K Morgaine (Eds.) Creating Social Change through Creativity: Anti-Oppressive Arts-Based Research Methodologies (37-53). United Kingdom: Palgrave MacMillan.

Karcher, O.P. (2017). Sociopolitical oppression, trauma, and healing: Moving toward a social justice art therapy framework. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 34, 123-128.

Karcher, O.P., Caldwell, C. (2014). Turning data into dance: Performing and presenting research on oppression and the body. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 41 (5), 478-483.”