Creative Arts Therapies Assessment Summit

June 24-25, 2023

Full time students will benefit of 30% discount upon presenting proof of enrollment in an academic institution.

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DAY 1, JUNE 24, 2023

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Lisa D. Hinz, Ph.D., ATR-BC is a licensed clinical psychologist and board certified art therapist.  She is an associate professor and director of the art therapy psychology doctoral program at Dominican University of California. Dr. Hinz is the author of many professional publications and three books on art therapy. The second edition of her book, Expressive Therapies Continuum: A Framework for Using Art in Therapy was released in January 2020 and builds upon her interest in materials and methods in art therapy.  Dr. Hinz specializes in the treatment of eating issues, substance abuse, and lifestyle medicine; she maintains a private practice in St. Helena, California.

Art Therapy Assessment within the Structure of the Expressive Therapies Continuum

Assessment within the structure of the Expressive Therapies Continuum begins with a series of at least three free art tasks to determine clients' functional level, or most comfortable approach to processing information.  These assessment sessions determine the targeted starting point for expressive art experiences.  The type of information attended to in the assessment phase includes preferred media, manner of interaction with media to process information and form images, stylistic or expressive elements in the final art product, and verbal communication during the creative process.  All of these elements are surveyed, and information is confirmed with the client and then compiled in order to formulate hypotheses about typical approaches to information processing, decision-making, and action tendencies.  With the presenting issue in mind, knowledge of these factors aids in the formulation of treatment goals and treatment planning at the start of therapy. The ETC structure can be used to assess progress towards meeting treatment goals at any time during the course of therapy.
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Maria Riccardi Ph.D.(c), M.A., M.Ed., ATR-BC, OPQ is a registered art therapist, a career counselor, a licensed clinical psychotherapist and the former president of the Quebec Art Therapy Association. She is an adjunct professor of art therapy at Concordia University and at l’Université du Québec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, as well as a faculty member at Winnipeg Holistic Expressive Arts Therapy Institute.  She collaborates with local non-profit organizations and mental health institutions, developing community-based art studio programs for adolescents and adults who are marginalized due to mental and physical health issues, immigration issues, and poverty.  She has expertise with veterans living with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder within the context of trauma intervention as well as in the evaluation of art processes and products during treatment.  She has founded a clinic in Montreal based on the Expressive Therapies Continuum, providing educational and emotional support to children and families.  Her current research interests include media properties and their role in assessment. 
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Gabrielle Gingras Ph.D.(c), M.A, ATPQ is an art therapist with a Master's degree in art-therapy from Concordia University and a professional member of the Association des art-thérapeutes du Québec (AATQ). Gabrielle is also a lecturer in art therapy at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Her professional experience in art therapy is primarily in mental health in community settings with caregivers, as well as in private practice with various young and older populations. Having worked in Quebec and internationally, she has seen that art therapy is a tool that transcends differences and brings us closer to our human values and potential. She works with a humanistic and participatory approach that emphasizes and respects the richness of each person's experiences and strengths. Her research interests focus on the experience of autistic women with a late diagnosis and social empowerment through an art-therapeutic process.

Expressive Therapies Self Inquiry

While many art therapists are learning important skills and interventions to support their clients, little literature exists to address disruption and repair in this unique relationship. When ruptures occur with clients in art therapy, it can be challenging for novice and experienced professionals alike. However, these challenging moments can be stepping stones to solidifying the therapeutic relationship and accessing the client's relational patterns (Safran & Muran, 2000). Using a case study and the ETSI evaluation, this presentation will explore the nature of the art-therapy relationship, the ruptures that can occur during the therapeutic process, and the art of repair.
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Dr. Sarit Bar-Zaken is a bibliotherapist and senior supervisor, lectures at the Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts. A postdoctoral fellow at the Mofet Institute. An editorial board member of the "Beyn Hamilim": Seminar Hakibutzim Art Therapy Journal. Member of the Scientific Committee of the Israel Arts Therapy Association.
Her research interests include culturally sensitive arts therapy, training of culturally sensitive art therapists, therapy through creative and narrative means, and art therapy supervision using reading and writing.

"I'm an Englishman in New York"*: Folktales as an assessment tool in cross-cultural therapy

In the current lecture, an evaluation tool developed through research that assists therapists in intercultural therapy will be presented. The tool consists of a unique application of Jungian interpretation of folktales in order to understand cultural mental patterns. These patterns facilitate the therapist in understanding perceptions, feelings and behaviors of patients in a cultural context. Specifically, I will focus on the cultural context of mothers and maternal role. Motherhood as a cultural pattern is essential in understanding the cultural background of the patients. As an example, the study analyzes 10 Russian folk tales, including an analysis of archetypes and an analysis of 4 aspects that represent the mother: the female aspect described by the female fairy tale characters; the introverted male aspect depicted by the male characters; the basic aspect of the mother nurturing the child; and the transformative aspect that motivates the child to change. This application will be demonstrated by vignettes from the treatment room. Insights derived from this study contribute to culturally sensitive therapy.
*Sting, 1988
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Linda Gantt, Ph.D., ATR-BC has had a distinguished 45-year career in art therapy.  She is well known among art therapists having served as President of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), editor of the first issue of the association’s journal, and chair of the National Coalition of Art Therapies Associations.  She has been awarded the Honorary Life Member citation, which is the highest accolade in art therapy. Dr. Gantt has a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy from The George Washington University and a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Gantt has taught in a number of graduate art therapy programs including the George Washington University, Vermont College, Notre Dame de Namur, and Florida State University.
Her Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale (FEATS), developed with Carmello Tabone, is used nationally and internationally and is helping revolutionize the assessment of psychological conditions. A paradigm shift toward utilizing art therapy in the mental health field is occurring and FEATS is instrumental in that process.
On top of this, Dr. Gantt developed the revolutionary Instinctual Trauma Response® (ITR) together with her late husband, psychiatrist Dr. Louis Tinnin. ITR is a structured trauma therapy approach based on brain science, art therapy and parts therapy. It “finishes” trauma stories that are fragmented memories without words. Years of practice-based evidence has shown ITR greatly reduces or completely eliminates trauma symptoms long-term.

Dr Linda Gantt is offering a training for the FEATS assessment. If you are interested, Here is the discounted price for all our participants (Code ART1) until July 15.


Formal Elements Art Therapy Assessment

The Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale (FEATS) is a standardized assessment tool used in art therapy to evaluate and analyze the formal aspects of an individual's artwork, developed by Gantt and Tabone. It focuses on the visual qualities, elements, and principles of art present in the artwork created by the client.
Dr Gantt will  present FEATS, an assessment tool providing art therapists with a structured framework to objectively assess and interpret the client's artwork, gaining insights into their emotional state, cognitive processes, and overall psychological well-being. By analyzing the formal elements of the artwork, art therapists can better understand the client's artistic expression and its underlying meanings.
The scale consists of various categories, each representing a specific formal element or principle of art. These categories may include line, color, shape, form, texture, composition, balance, and movement, among others. Within each category, the therapist rates different aspects or qualities on a numerical scale, allowing for a more detailed assessment.
FEATS provides valuable information about the formal aspects of artwork, it should be used in conjunction with other assessment methods and clinical judgment. Art therapists rely on their expertise and the therapeutic relationship to interpret the deeper meanings and symbolism within the artwork and to understand the client's unique context.
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Alexandra Duchastel, MS, MA, ATPQ is a psychologist, art therapist and artist Alexandra has been practicing art psychotherapy in private practice since 1993 using art, dreams, play and the body. In 2005, she described her approach centered on the process in her first book: La Voie de l'imaginaire (The path of imaginary) published by Quebecor editions.
During her career, she has been particularly interested in healing processes and the power of rituals. Ms. Duchastel taught art therapy at the University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue for 22 years, notably as a clinical supervisor. She has, among other things, developed an expertise on the evaluation process in art therapy that she has decided to share in an impressive self-publishing (2022) book: The Assessment Process in Art Therapy: From Basic Principles to Repertoire of Tools to a Model for Developing Clinical Understanding (ECCAT-9) - Le processus d'évaluation en art-thérapie: Des principes de base au répertoire d'outils en passant par un modèle d'élaboration d'une compréhension clinique (ECCAT-9) available at BOUQUINBEC. The book* is available currently only in French at
In addition, Ms. Duchastel has also participated as an artist in several painting and sculpture exhibitions. His Les Noces de Plastiques exhibition toured Quebec for 10 years.

*The book (in French only) is available in paper version in North America and in digital version worldwide.

Assessment Process in Art Therapy: From a Repertoire of Tools to a Model for Developing Clinical Understanding (ECCAT-9)

Alexandra presents her work of two decades collected in her new book: The evaluation process in art therapy (2022), the origin of the project, its motivations as well as the major questions she has tried to answer through this imposing work.
She offers an in-depth reflection on the basic principles of assessment in art therapy. She also presents ECCAT-9 model: a practical guide to observing the images produced during art therapy sessions and developing a clinical understanding of clients' needs.
The presentation addresses the following topics:
• An overview of the evaluation process.
• Tasks related to key moments in the evaluation process.
• Food for thought to guide the art therapist in choosing the right assessment tool in a given context.
• Ways to formulate realistic art-therapeutic objectives and plan.
• The ethical way to transmit the results of art-therapeutic evaluation.
• A guide to understanding and navigating through the various record keeping forms.
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Carolina Peral Jiménez, Ph.D., MA is Assistant Professor at the Complutense University of Madrid. She is a member of the UCM research group EARTDI (Art Applications for Social Inclusion) where she has collaborated in different R&D projects such as ALETHEIA: Art Therapy, Trauma and Emotional Memory and Brundibar: The Creative Process and Art Therapy as a way of Wellbeing in the face of Child Trauma. She has recently joined the Art Therapy project at LABE: Laboratorio de Arte, Bienestar y Educación (Art, Wellbeing and Education Laboratory) at Conde Duque Contemporary Culture Centre in Madrid.
Her doctoral thesis: "Art Therapy as a Way to address trauma and Violence against Women: Design, application and Analysis of Methodologies and assessment tools", received the first prize from the Government Delegation against Gender Violence for Doctoral Theses on Violence against Women called by the Spanish Ministry for Equality (2021).
She also had the honour of winning the Early Career Researcher Prize Runner-Up called by the The British Association of Art Therapists with the research paper: OBAS-ATT: observation-based instrument for assessment in art therapy with traumatised Women
Since 2015 she is the Secretary of the Research Journal: Art Therapy. Papers of Art Therapy and Art Education for Social Inclusion edited (Arteterapia. Papeles de Arteterapia y Educación Artística para la Inclusión Social) edited by the Complutense University of Madrid.

Observation-based Assessment Art Therapy Trauma Tool (OBAS-ATT)

Art therapists need specific instruments to measure treatment outcomes. The development of assessment instruments for special purposes, such as measuring key elements of the therapeutic process, is a growing and important area of research. Standardised instruments can help to compare and contrast data, and this may contribute to the development of the discipline.
The aim of this research was to design a new, process-oriented instrument that can help art therapists assess the therapeutic progress of the treatment for women who have suffered traumatic experiences. The instrument was called Observation-based Assessment Art Therapy Trauma Tool (OBAS-ATT).
The preliminary design of the tool was based on observation instruments and the analysis of the psychological scales commonly used with the target group. The first version of the tool was submitted to a panel of experts as part of a Delphi study to reach consensus on the content of the tool. Then, a focus group was held to improve tool usefulness.
The final result is a structured template composed of 50 items organised in 11 dimensions that helps to collect qualitative and quantitative data.
The designed tool is an interesting starting point for developing useful and standardised tools. Experts participating in the study highlighted the importance of combining qualitative and quantitative data.
This tool can help art therapists gather organised information and evaluate the patient therapeutic process, which should improve practice in the field. Further research is required to determine inter-rater reliability and the psychometric properties of the scales.
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Susan C. Parente, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist, with additional certifications in school psychology, and music therapy. As a psychodynamic and relational practitioner, she incorporates a variety of therapeutic techniques including mindfulness approaches, EMDR, and cognitivebehavioral modalities, to lend a holistic, integrative orientation to her work. Dr. Parente has provided child, adolescent, family and adult psychological treatment services, comprehensive psycho-diagnostic assessment, clinical supervision, and creative arts and play therapy in multiple settings. She maintains a private practice in her Montclair, N.J. office.

The Multiple Self-States Drawing Technique: Creative Assessment and Treatment with Children and Adolescents

This workshop presents material from the author’s publication, “The Multiple Self-States Drawing Technique: Creative Assessment and Treatment with Children and Adolescents” (Routledge, 2019). Psychologically overwhelming and traumatic experiences, lay the
groundwork for dissociated, disowned or disavowed self-state processes – rendering individuals as experiencing “me” and “not me” states. The MSSDT, a contemporaneous version of a
projective figure drawing activity provides a novel opportunity to bridge the gap in youngsters’ awareness of discrete emotional states. Emotionally dysregulated, trauma-based, and dissociative
self-states are discovered and compassionately explored, while focus on adaptive, resilient states of well-being is encouraged and promoted. The experiential, psycho-educational tool can foster a
beneficial relational encounter, therapeutic self-expression, and promote a mentalizing stance.
Treatment strategies may emerge from expressed material. The MSSDT, an arts-based, creative, trans-diagnostic, clinical assessment tool may be advantageous for practitioners endorsing
diverse therapeutic orientations, modalities, and integrative approaches. Workshop participants will be guided through the MSSDT experience

DAY 2, JUNE 25, 2023

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Arika VanBrunt, LPC, ATR-BC, BC-TMH, ACS, received her Master’s degree in Art Therapy from Eastern Virginia Medical School, and has been practicing in the field for over 20 years.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia, a Board-Certified Registered Art Therapist, and an Approved Clinical Supervisor.  With a decade of experience in the Alexandria Community Services Board, Arika is a child and family welfare advocate and has been awarded the Center for Alexandria’s Children 2013 Outstanding Dedication to Children Award. Arika provided community-based services and developed programming in shelters, schools, and community forums, where she continued to assess needs and efficacy of services.  Arika completed advanced training in the Circle of Security from the Mary Ainsworth Clinic and has completed Theraplay and MIM certification with The Theraplay Institute.  She provided strength-based art and play therapy interventions to effect change in family systems private practice for another decade, championing client self-advocacy, supporting efforts for wrap-around care, and joining insurance panels to provide affordable services to clients across Northern Virginia.  In response to changing mental health needs during the COVID pandemic, she also became Board-Certified in TeleMental Health to promote accessible and ethical therapeutic services. Arika joined the George Washington University Art Therapy Program in the Fall of 2015 as an adjunct faculty member.  Her international collaboration began with the Global Alliance for Africa Therapeutic Arts Program, when she accompanied students and professionals collaborating with therapeutic artists in Kenya to foster cross-cultural understanding, an exchange of professional experience, and resiliency. Since taking on the role as Director of the GW Art Therapy Clinic, she remains committed to providing quality and affordable mental health services, supporting the student interns, clinic research, and provision of ethical, culturally-informed clinical services.
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Sangeeta Prasad, MA, ATR-BC has over 30 years of experience working as an art therapist with children and adults and is currently in private practice. She is co-founder of Circle Art Studio in Virginia, USA, and vice president of the Prasad Family Foundation. She has published two books, "Creative Expressions: Say it with Art" and "Using Art Therapy with Diverse Populations, Crossing Cultures, and Abilities." She founded the Indian Art Therapy Discussion Forum (IATDF) in 2015. She is helping start an MFA in Art Therapy at the Maharastra Insititute of Technology (MIT) Pune, India. She also designed the introduction to art therapy course at the Women's Christian College (WCC), Chennai, India. She was a director of the American Art Therapy Association Board from 2016 to 2018. She is a certified mindfulness teacher from the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certificate Program (MMTCP). Sangeeta pursues her passion for art through painting using traditional Indian art techniques and hand-woven Indian fabrics. Her websites are and
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Jennifer Baldwin, ATR-BC, LCPAT, ATCS, GC-C graduated with a Masters in Art Therapy from The George Washington University and has been working as a clinical art therapist in Northern Virginia/D.C. Metro area since 1997. She is nationally board certified in art therapy, a certified grief and trauma therapist through the Wendt Center for Healing in Washington, D.C., and a licensed professional clinical art therapist in the state of Maryland. She has successfully blended the areas of art therapy and traumatic grief when working with people of all ages by using art therapy techniques and interventions alongside traditional talk therapy to help support the difficult journey of grieving. Jennifer enjoys presenting and conducting trainings for clinicians and community members through programs that include the Health and Wellness Program through the Falls Church City Public Schools and the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing®.

Roundtable: Developing Cross Cultural Applications with Traditional Art Therapy Assessments in Academia

Faculty from GWU's Graduate Art therapy program in Washington, DC and MIT's Graduate Art Therapy Program in Pune, India have established a collaboration to broaden the cultural lens surrounding the applications of art therapy directives within diverse practice settings, populations, media options, and cultures.  As part of their Assessment training, students have conducted foundational art based assessment tools in their Eastern and Western settings, and the faculty have built in the opportunity to work in international groups to compare variables and outcomes in the curriculum to present to the class.  The traditional assessments explored included: the Kramer assessment, HFD, ETC, PPAT, Bridge Drawing, DDS, BND, and MARI.  This process has fostered collegial and international collaboration, developed first person awareness of differences and need for further assessment development in the field, and made cross-cultural considerations and communication accessible.
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Dr Ellen G Horovitz, ATR-BC, LCAT, ERYT 500, C-IAYT is a licensed art therapist, psychotherapist, registered yoga teacher, certified yoga therapist (, trained EMDR clinician, and a hypnotherapist. Ellen has over 45 (+) years of clinical experience with patient populations (aged 3-96). Her approach is working within a family systems model using a spiritual mind/body model.
Beyond her clinical work, In the 1990s, she founded and directed the graduate Art Therapy program at Nazareth College. In 2016, Ellen retired from academia as Professor Emerita. She served on the American Art Therapy Association board for 12 years and was President-Elect fromc2002-2004. While she has authored more than nine (9) books, she continues to work clinically in private practice, and lectures worldwide. To learn more, visit her Amazon page.

An Art Therapy Primer on Assessment, Diagnosis & Treatment

In this workshop, you will learn the basic tenets of psychological projective tests to determine whether an individual is appropriate for individual, group, and / or family treatment. Varying case studies (ranging from children to older adults) will be presented through the lens of comorbidity of physiological and psychological issues. You will understand how to write up results for assessment reports and include treatment recommendations, objectives, and modalities; conduct various projective and standardized assessment batteries; and exit well versed in assessment and analytical skills necessary to conduct salient oral and written reports in an interdisciplinary workplace. Additionally, applications to track efficacy and best practices over time will be presented in addition to conducting assessments and working via a telehealth format.
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Dr. Paula Lebre (Phd Human Kinetics, Rehabilitation), is Auxiliary Professor at Faculty of Human Kinetics, Lisbon University, Portugal, Researcher at Inet-Md-Polo Dança. Paula has been involved in the MARA project since 2018, when she trialled MARA in her practice context of local government community dance programs in Almada, Portugal. Paula’s contribution to the MARA project since then includes the development of the Framework and MARA for application in a group program for participants with disabilities, development of the Excel tool for use of the Framework without an iPad, translation of instruments into Portuguese and use of the Framework to establish group objectives for psychomotor interventions and develop a group profile (2018-ongoing). This latter project was undertaken with Soraia Juma, psychomotor therapist and Emilia Prudêncio of the Dança & Gira Project at Almada City Council, and documented in Lebre, P., Dunphy, K., & Juma, S. (2020). Exploring use of MARA (Movement Assessment and Reporting App) to establish group objectives for psychomotor intervention. Body, Movement, Dance and Psychotherapy
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Simea Schönenberger-Howie, from SRH University Heidelberg, Germany, has completed her Masters research project exploring the application of MARA with music and other creative arts therapists. The article is available online: Schoenenberger-Howie, S., Dunphy, K. F., Lebre, P., Schnettger, C., Hillecke, T., & Koch, S.C. (2022). The Movement Assessment and Reporting App (MARA) for Music Therapy. GMS Journal of Arts Therapies, 4,Doc03. doi: 10.3205/jat000018.
She is also trained both as a music and dance movement therapist, with diverse experience in settings including neonatal, and perinatal, with children, teenagers in an inpatient setting, with adults in forensic low security, rehabilitation, acute and with older adults, participants with brain injuries and disabilities, mental health issues, participants with addictions, older adults and with Parkinson’s.

MARA Movement  Assessment

MARA is an assessment tool for dance movement therapy, developed in response to a range of formal and informal trials with DMT practitioners and users. MARA is intended to facilitate more regular and efficient assessment than is possible with paper-based processes that need additional work to process into reports. MARA has been developed to help dance movement and other creative arts therapists support clients better, by strengthening their capacity to assess clients’ progress. MARA supports evidence-informed practice by enabling the creation and use of data about clients to inform practice decisions, from planning right through to completion of therapy.  MARA also offers a range of assessment modalities: quantitive, qualitative, media (photos, video, voice recording and drawings) with all of these options available for client self assessment. MARA provides quantitative data in a range of graphed forms, and reporting templates using all of these forms of data.
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Prof. Susana Pendzik Ph.D., RDT, Former Head of the Graduate Program in Drama Therapy at Tel Hai College (Galilee, Israel), lectures also at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Dramatherapy Institute of Switzerland, the Universidad de Cuyo, in Mendoza, Argentina, and does extensive international work. She is the author of numerous publications in the field, including a book for using action techniques with abused women (1999), co-editor of the volume Assessment in Drama Therapy (2012), main editor of The Self in Performance (2017), and co-author of Dramaterapia: Un enfoque creativo para el trabajo terapeutico (2018). She has developed the 6-Key Model of assessment in drama therapy and the creative arts therapies, as well as an intervention tool called “dramatic resonances.”

The 6-Key Model for Assessment and Intervention
in Drama Therapy and the Creative Arts Therapies

Creative Arts Therapies involve a journey back and forth between two distinctive but interconnected realities –the reality of everyday life and the reality created through the art medium. Considering the client’s engagement with both realities is a complex and elaborate task that requires a keen observation method that would not only reflect on the manifested contents, but also on the aesthetic choices made by the client in order to express them.
The 6-Key Model is a useful tool that can be applied in clinical practice with individuals and groups. The model allows the therapist to survey creative arts therapies core processes, facilitating the organization of the material in a way that promotes effective therapeutic assessment and informed interventions.
This lecture explains the basic principles of the 6-Key Model, including a case study that illustrates its use in clinical practice.
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Takira Jackson, LAC, MA, MFA is an accomplished Expressive Arts Therapist based in Arizona. With a Master of Arts in Counseling from Ottawa University-Phoenix specializing in Expressive Arts Therapy, Takira has devoted her career to using creative expression to promote healing, self-discovery, and growth in her clients. Her areas of expertise include Autism Spectrum Disorder, behavioral interventions, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, gender identity, family communication, parenting, grief, life transitions, and skill-building. Takira's empathetic and strengths-based approach ensures that her clients receive the support and encouragement they need to reach their full potential.
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Nicholas Jordan is a multi-talented professional with diverse experiences, ranging from behavioral specialist to cybersecurity analyst. Currently residing in Atlanta, GA, Nicholas has studied at Howard University, Villa Maria College, and Montreat College's Carolina Cyber Center. Inspired by his partner's work and his mother's background as an LCSW and therapist, Nicholas has developed a passion for mental health and wellness. His ability to conceptualize and explain complex concepts allows him to contribute effectively to the field of Expressive Arts Therapy. He has worked with developmentally disabled individuals, at-risk youth, and juveniles in detention centers, using innovative approaches to guide them toward emotional growth.

Assessment Process in Diagnostic Multimodal Expressive Assessment for Interdisciplinary Treatment Approaches

Based on the Expressive Therapies & Materials Continuum, this diagnostic assessment is created to help clients feel or act on emotions (or form) to enhance decision-making, thought processing, and problem-solving in order to reach the flow state for clarity and understanding. By providing a supportive environment and customized approaches, we cultivate the space for clients to develop self-expression, self-knowledge, self-actualization, and self-efficacy, ultimately improving habits, emotional regulation, and self-awareness. The assessment utilizes expressive arts modalities such as art, dance, music, drama, and creative writing to strengthen the mind-body connection, identify emotional, psychological, and physiological areas of weakness, and pinpoint imbalances in the body's energy. This information is used to tailor a therapeutic kinesthetic-sensorial experience with personalized interventions. Initial expressive directives will give insight to client functioning and preferred method(s) of information processing.
Four variables are examined:
1. Preferred medium
2. Manner of interaction with expressive media
3. Details of expression
4. Verbal communication
To reach the highest cortical functioning and attain analytical, logical and sequential skills, we must enhance our visual processing and emotional processing respectively.
By understanding the relationships between brain, body, color, energy and emotion we help clients become active partners in the forming strength-based treatment goals and overall well-being.
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Anne Mills, ATR-BC, LPAT, LCPAT, LPC, is a licensed counselor and a Registered and Board Certified Art Therapist in Alexandria, Virginia, USA.  Anne specializes in the treatment of survivors of early severe trauma, particularly those who are highly dissociative.  As an expatriate Canadian, she also provides resiliency-focused treatment for people who have experienced difficult transitions such as loss of nation/culture or status, as well as job, health, or bereavement losses. In private practice for more than 30 years, she now works entirely remotely.  Anne’s current volunteer work on behalf of the field of art therapy is with the state Advisory Board on licensure and as Director of the Diagnostic Drawing Series Archive.  

The Diagnostic Drawing Series:  Why It Is Essential Knowledge

The Diagnostic Drawing Series (DDS) stands out from other art therapy assessments because it is a standardized evaluation that has been extensively researched. It blends the core elements of art therapy, such as materials, tasks, and processes, with the research methodologies commonly used in social sciences. Unlike other assessments, the DDS does not rely on a single model of art therapy or verbal psychotherapy, making it a flexible tool for clinicians. Over the past decade, the DDS has proven to be a valuable resource for clinicians, and its administration and usefulness in clinical practice are explained within the framework of a structural approach. This approach can be effectively taught to students and promotes accountability to both clients and therapists.
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