Art Therapy

Working with Adversity

February 3-4, 2024

Embracing Adversity: Navigating Challenges and Fostering Growth

Working with adversity in therapy encompasses the process of addressing and navigating the various challenges and difficulties that clients face in their lives. Adversity can come in many forms, such as traumatic experiences, loss, mental health issues, relationship struggles, or other life-altering events.
Section Description: This conference section delves into the multifaceted process of working with adversity in therapy, where therapists play a pivotal role in helping clients address and navigate the diverse challenges and difficulties they encounter in their lives. Adversity can manifest in various forms, ranging from traumatic experiences and profound losses to mental health struggles, relationship conflicts, and other life-altering events. During this section, therapists' expertise in understanding and assessing the impact of these adversities on clients' emotional well-being and overall functioning will be highlighted.

The section will emphasize the importance of creating a secure and nurturing environment in therapy, where clients feel encouraged to openly express their feelings, thoughts, and concerns. Therapists act as compassionate guides, collaboratively working with clients to develop effective coping strategies and cultivate resilience. Empowering individuals to confront their fears, traumas, and insecurities will be a focal point, as it serves as a crucial catalyst for personal growth and healing.

Participants in this conference section will gain insights into the transformative potential of working with adversity in therapy. Experts will share innovative approaches and evidence-based techniques that enable therapists to better understand their clients' unique experiences and tailor therapeutic interventions accordingly. Attendees will leave with a deeper appreciation for the impact of adversity on individuals' lives and a wealth of practical tools to support clients on their journey to overcoming challenges and embracing newfound strength and resilience.


Bruce D. Perry
M.D., PhD
Dr. Perry is the Principal of the Neurosequential Network, an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago and the School of Allied Health, La Trobe University...
Cathy Malchiodi
Dr. Malchidi is the Director of Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute and researcher with the US Departments of Defense and Education. Author of over 20 books on arts-based therapies such as Handbook of Expressive Arts Therapy, a standard in the field....
 Ruth Lanius
M.D., PhD

Dr. Lanius is a Psychiatry Professor and Harris-Woodman Chair at Western University of Canada, where she is the director of the Clinical Research Program for PTSD. She has over 25 years of clinical and research experience with trauma-related disorders...

Galit Atlas
Dr. Atlas is the author of the international bestseller Emotional Inheritance: A Therapist, Her Patients and the Legacy of Trauma (translated into 26 languages). She is a psychoanalyst and clinical supervisor in private practice in New York City...
Paola Luzzatto
She is a pioneer art therapist in Italy and has extensive experience in working with psychiatric patients in UK and cancer patients in US. More recently she spent ten years as Honorary Lecturer in Tanzania (2015-2022) where she developped the Trauma Treatment protocol...
 Natacha Pirotte
Certified art therapist from the master's program at HAN University, Nijmegen, Netherlands. In 2016, She joined the humanitarian mission Red Pencil and started the Belgian office.  She now coordinates the association's activities in Europe, Lebanon, India, and other countries...
Jacquie Compton
Trauma therapist, educator, clinical consultant and poet. She is an art therapist, a certified advanced practitioner in sensorimotor
psychotherapy, and an SPI-approved clinical consultant and faculty member and clinical
supervisor at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute...
 Jennifer Marchand
Jennifer is a Canadian trauma therapist and EMDRIA-approved consultant & trainer with over 10 years of clinical experience in diverse settings and cultural contexts. She currently lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, specializing in work with humanitarian aid workers, health professionals...
Maria Regina Alphonso
She began her career in teaching and social development in hard to reach communities in the Philippines in 1990. After completing the masters in art therapy, she is the founder and Director of Magis Creative Spaces and The Arts and Health Institute Philippines...
Elsa Scanio
Clinical and teaching direction of the Art Therapy Interns at Morón Hospital Buenos Aires. Art therapist and member of the SUMS Morón De-Insane Asylum Program with outpatients of the Open Door. Creator of the Art and Clinic Team...
Lucille Proulx
Published Registered Art Therapist in both Canada and the U.S. She is the past Executive Director of the B.C. School of Art Therapy and is an Honorary Life Member of the Canadian Art Therapy Association and founder of Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy...
Oihika Chakrabarti
Pioneering Indian Art Psychotherapist, with over two decades of clinical, humanitarian and training experience, working in India and overseas. She created  the first Art Psychotherapy clinical service in India at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences’s Hospital....

Ecological Models

February 10-11, 2024

Exploring Ecological Models: Nature- and Community-Based Models in Creative Arts Therapies

Ecological models in creative arts therapy offer a comprehensive and holistic approach to understanding and addressing individuals' psychological challenges within the broader context of their environment. Rooted in the belief that human beings are intricately interconnected with their surroundings, ecological models consider the influence of various systems, including nature,  community, culture, and society, on an individual's well-being.
This conference section delves into the powerful integration of ecological perspectives within the realm of creative/expressive arts therapy. Join us as we embark on a journey to embrace the profound interconnectedness between individuals, their creative expressions, and the diverse ecosystems that shape their lives.

Through engaging presentations and workshops, we will uncover how ecological models enrich the understanding and practice of creative arts therapies. Discover how therapists leverage the expressive mediums connected with natural environment to delve into clients' relationships with family, community, nature, and culture. Witness the transformative power of the creative process as a tool for exploring clients' unique roles in the wider ecological context.

Explore how ecological models inspire therapists to recognize the cultural diversity and unique narratives of each individual, fostering a deeper appreciation for the tapestry of human experiences. Learn how these models empower therapists to craft interventions that resonate deeply with clients, promoting healing and growth. Together, we will celebrate the interconnectedness of humanity and nature, unveiling new horizons for sustainable change through the dynamic fusion of creative arts therapies and ecological wisdom.


Richard Louv
Honorary PhD
Journalist and author of ten books, including Our Wild Calling: How Connecting With Animals Can Transform Our Lives - And Save Theirs, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, etc. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal Ecopsychology.
Elisabeth Warson
She is the founder of American Indian Art Therapy, with roots in her research at George Washington University and Eastern Virginia Medical School. She currently operates Healing Pathways LLC, specializing in equine-assisted EMDR and arts-informed therapy...
Cathy Malchiodi
Dr. Malchidi is the Director of Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute and researcher with the US Departments of Defense and Education. Author of over 20 books on arts-based therapies such as Handbook of Expressive Arts Therapy, a standard in the field....
Amanda Alders-Pike
Board-certified art therapist and past president of the Florida Art Therapy Association. She is currently education chair for the Palm Beach County Native Plant Society. She has authored the books Eco-Art Therapy in Practice and Improving Memory through Creativity...
Carla van Laar
Australian creative arts therapist with over 30 years’ experience working in the arts for health and well-being in community organisations, justice, health and education contexts, She is a supervisor,  Convenor of PACFA, and she has authored two books and multiple articles...
Kit Kline
Australian social worker and the founder of Nature Based Therapy. She is a descendant of the Wampanoag people on her paternal side.  Kit has 20 years’ experience working in the mental health sector both in mainstream and Aboriginal community healthcare. 
Alexandra Vaccaro
Holding a BSc in Zoo Science from Delaware Valley University, she has worked with mammals at the Bronx Zoo as a zookeeper and currently works at the Raptor Trust. She is a candidate in the Master's degree program in Biology with emphasis in scientific inquiry at Miami University..
Annette Vaccaro
Art therapist, psychoanalyst and a psychotherapist with a general practice, and a specialty in clinical supervision, in Livingston, NJ. She is the Director of Academic Affairs, At ACAP, Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis (, and its academic partner ICPS...
Pamela Whitaker
Pamela is trained as an art therapist in Vancouver and has worked in Canada, Malaysia and Ireland. She is the founding co-editor of Polyphony: Journal of the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists and has written chapters for various art therapy books...
Laila Devalié
Laila is a Danish eco-art therapist integrating art, nature, and body movement into her therapeutic practices. After studied at the Danish Institute for Art Therapy and a one-year special education as a nature therapist, she founded the Danish Institute for Nature-Based Art Therapy...
Tara Harriden
One of Australia’s leading Aboriginal Art Therapists, Tara is currently completing her PhD research into using culturally sensitive, art based, clinical supervision. With a Master of Mental Health majoring in Art Therapy, Tara is helping people find creative solutions in life...
Fyre Jean Graveline
Fyre Jean is a two-spirited, Northern Bush Country Métis from Manitoba, Canada, now living on the East Coast. She is a therapist, heARTist, educator, writer, traditional knowledge keeper and community activist. She is involved in Life as Medicine project...

Art Therapy in the Digital Era

February 17-18, 2024

Art Therapy in the Digital Era: Highlights and Challenges

The integration of digital technology in art therapy opens up new possibilities for creative expression and therapeutic exploration, making it a valuable and relevant approach in the digital age. As technology continues to evolve, digital art therapy will likely continue to grow, offering exciting opportunities for therapists and clients to engage in transformative and meaningful therapeutic experiences.
The Digital Art Therapy section is an exciting exploration of the dynamic fusion of digital media and its transformative application in therapy and business endeavors. Join us as we navigate the cutting-edge landscape of digital art and its profound impact on therapeutic interventions. Discover how digital tools, ranging from digital painting software to virtual reality, open new avenues for self-expression, healing, and personal growth within the therapeutic context. Participants will delve into innovative approaches that harness the power of technology to enhance creative arts therapies, empowering clients to explore their emotions and experiences in novel and engaging ways.

Moreover, this section will also venture into the realm of building businesses in the digital sphere, where creative entrepreneurs and therapists can leverage the vast potential of digital platforms for outreach and expansion. Participants will gain insights into leveraging social media, online marketplaces, and digital marketing strategies to grow their practices, connect with a broader audience, and promote mental health and well-being through the digital domain.

In this forward-looking conference section, experts and practitioners will share their experiences, successes, and challenges related to this new medium. Whether you are an art therapist seeking to innovate your practice or an entrepreneur looking to carve a niche in the digital landscape, this section offers a vibrant platform to explore the fusion of art, technology, and mental health, charting a transformative course for the future of therapy and business in the digital age.


Marianne Wobcke
 She is a Girrimay woman from North Queensland. Marianne is a trained nurse and midwife working specifically on birthing practices and trauma recovery. Currently a PhD Candidate with Griffith University's School of Health Sciences & Social work...
Volker Kuchelmeister
Currently working as lead immersive designer and Senior Research fellow at the UNSW felt Experience and Empathy Lab (feel)/Big Anxiety Research Centre [BARC]. He is an expert in presence, embodiment and place representation for immersive applications...
Sun Jin "Nancy" Choe
Licensed marriage and family therapist, board-certified art therapist, and mental health researcher. Her clinical practice, aiding diverse clients in hospital and school settings, reinforces the value of her holistic perspective, supported by updated research and evidence-based methods.
Amy Lister
MA, DTATI, RP(Qualifying), PCC, OCT
Experience as a leadership coach, an educator, an organizational development consultant within health care, a Work that Reconnects facilitator, and an art therapist. Amy weaves together art therapy, emotion focused, polyvagal theory and body-based approaches in therapy...
Emanuelle Cesari
She holds a master degree in art
therapy from the University of Paris V Descartes and a diploma in cyber-psychology from the University of Paris VII Diderot.  Specialized in traumatology, she works with victims of attacks, child abuse, migrants and refugees.
Mark Wheeler
Mark is a photo-art therapist and art psychotherapist. Currently in private practice, he was Principal Art Psychotherapist in Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust until 2021. He received the Diamond Phototherapy Award for services to therapeutic photography...
Alice Albertini
French Canadian art therapist, she is the creator of the Sommet d'art-thérapie francophone, an online event designed to federate art therapy in French and exchange of practices since 2020.
Since 2022, she is offering courses through her Institut de Formation Continue en art-thérapie...
Bevan Klassen
Art therapist, educator and film-maker from Winnipeg, Canada. He specializes in video making as therapy and instructs digital storytelling at WHEAT Institute. He has a background in making independent films exploring identity and personal healing...
Jae Eun (Jane) Song
Jae Eun, a South Korean immigrant, is a versatile artist, educator, art therapist, and counselor. With over a decade of expertise in art therapy across various communities, she conducted doctoral research from 2019 to 2023, studying the impact of an online art therapy program during Covid...
Diana Vozian
As a Canadian registered art therapist and certified counselor, she practices at Mindsession Intercultural Psychology, with diverse populations. She worked previously in public practice art therapy, facilitating art hives at Concordia University...
Natali Ortiz
She is an art therapist, graduate from Concordia University. working currently in school and art hive settings. She has clinical experience with groups and individuals from diverse backgrounds. She is a facilitator at Concordia University Art Hives...
Lindsay Clarke
Registered art therapist and certified counselor, offering, for a decade, art therapy at shelters, schools, and art hives, empowering survivors of violence, suicide, homelessness. At her clinic Atelier Lanterne she guides diverse ages, emphasizing art's transformative power...
Carmen Oprea
Board-certified art therapist, currently pursuing a doctorate in psychology. Her career spans diverse age groups facing life challenges at her clinic, Accès Art. Part of Concordia University's engAGE Living Lab project, she co-investigates research on art therapy and depression...
Jessica Lauzon
Jessica serves as the General Director of the Association of Art Therapists Without Borders and is completing her master's in art therapy. She provides support to children in palliative care at Phare-Enfants et Famille for more than a decade and was previously an ABA therapist...
Ania Zubala

Meet the conference

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Carmen Oprea

Carmen is the main organizer and the host of this conference.
She is a registered art therapist with post-graduate training in sandplay therapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy. Holding three master's degrees in art therapy, fine arts, and design, she is currently a doctoral candidate in psychology.

Her professional career includes art therapy services for individuals and groups of all ages with various life challenges at her clinic, Accès Art. She deeply resonates with Indigenous wisdom and strives to provide culturally sensitive art therapy to Inuit and First Nations adolescents. She offers supervision sessions to creative arts therapists.

She is involved in research projects related to art therapy and depression at at Concordia University. She was the Research Coordinator for the project engAGE Living Lab at the same university, Carmen is fortunate to be part of a dedicated team who collects evidence for public practices in a local mall and to see the community growing. She is also involved in other research
She is committed to promoting accessible art therapy for individuals and communities.


World Art Therapy Conference 2024

If you are unable to attend the free conference or you prefer to watch the presentations at your own pace, simply click the "ENROLL" button below. The video-presentations will be made available to you immediately after the conference dates and will remain accessible for one year, along with handouts, articles, etc. You will get a Certificate of completion after watching the videos.
Please note that prices are listed in Canadian Dollars.
Full-time students are eligible for 50% discount from the full price (450CA$) upon providing proof of full-time enrollment in an academic institution.
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This second edition of our conference is a soul project that gathers sound and innovative ideas in art therapy worldwide. The conference has three sections that will treat different aspects of art therapy. The presentations will focus on benefits, approaches, methods, and interventions in when working with adversity, integrating ecological models, and understanding better the use art therapy in the digital era.
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