IEATA Conference Presenters


Albert McLeod

A  Status Indian with ancestry from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and the Metis community of Norway House in northern Manitoba. The list of his cheap research papers is available at  Albert lives in Winnipeg, where he works as a consultant specializing in HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal peoples, Aboriginal cultural reclamation, textile art, and cross-cultural training.

Indigenous LGBTQ/Two-Spirit Artists, Activism, and Healing
This workshop will explore the work of various Two-Spirit artists, writers and photographers who contributed their artistic vision to the indigenous LGBT liberation/rights movement. Much of this work draws on a combination of traditional Aboriginal art, LGBT culture and aesthetics, and contemporary art/media techniques. The themes explored will include queer/trans identity, textile art, posters, drag performers, photographs of (and by) Two-Spirit people, and social media. Participants will create their own collage to express their understanding of gender identity and sexual orientation. Discussion will involve how this historic and contemporary information can be included in education curricula and art therapy programs.

Dr. Allison Wilson

Is an educator, facilitator, and counselor. She studied with Dr. Natalie Rogers at Saybrook University. She later completed a 2-year Person-Centered Expressive Arts (PCEA) Certificate. Allison interned as a PCEA co-facilitator from 2015-2017. She will be a co-facilitating faculty member for the 2017-2019 PCEA cohort through Meridian University.

Person-Centered Expressive Arts and Visioning: Diving Deeper Into Your Calling as a Facilitator
This experiential workshop invites participants on an inner journey using visioning and Person-Centered Expressive Arts. The workshop synthesizes the presenter’s dissertation research findings into creative practices so participants can explore their own deeper calling as facilitators. The dissertation, Facilitators’ perceptions of what contributes to group synergy and collective resonance (Wilson, 2009) uncovered the critical importance of centering practices and inner preparation of facilitators to foster collective resonance in groups. The presenter interviewed 30 facilitators using thematic analysis for the qualitative study. This research shifts the focus from facilitators’ use of “techniques” to the inner state and presence of facility.

Amy Morrison

PhD, LMHC, ATR-BC, is core faculty at Antioch University New England in the Department of Applied Psychology. Amy has a private Expressive Arts Therapy Practice in which she combines Mindfulness and Expressive Arts. Amy is the Co-Chair for the IEATA Social Action Committee and an exhibiting artist.

Cailin Turcotte-Good

MA, REAT, LMHC, is an Adjunct Faculty for Lesley University. Cailin has served six years on IEATA Board as Social Action Committee Co-
chair. Cailin has international experience (Canada & USA) in counseling and teaching in the Expressive Arts. Cailin combines an eclectic theoretical and multimodal arts-based approach with her clients.

Encompass the Arts: Finding a Path in Community
Utilizing a variety of individual and collective arts processes participants will identify issues that they are passionate about. Participants will be invited through the creative process to articulate their own personal and societal connection to the issue of importance. Through conversation and multimodal performance, workshop participants will explore connection/ disconnection with others through embodied language and deliberate dialogue. With knowledge gained through creative experiences participants will be guided to develop action steps to further imagine and formulate their plans to move forward. In closing our focus will be sustaining motivation and how learned skills may be transferred to future projects.

Anin Utigaard

Believes creativity is transformative and world changing. A Registered Expressive Arts Therapist, Anin taught with Natalie Rogers’ Person-Centered Expressive Therapy Institute for 10+ years. Founding and current Executive Co-Chair for IEATA, she has used creativity with clients and groups for over 25 years globally and nationally.

Expressive Arts as a Bridge to Understanding: The Person-Centered Approach for Global Peace
Natalie Rogers combined her father, Carl Rogers’, Person-Centered approach with her mother’s love of creativity to design a process that was culture-centered, and advocated respect for the uniqueness of each individual. Anin will offer the foundations of this approach, an expressive arts counseling demonstration and several creative processes for participants to experience this approach first hand. This workshop will provide insights, tools and a new understanding of the power of PCEXA as a way to heal wounds, hear others from a place of depth and honor, and develop new ways for connections between cultures to promote global peace.


Bonface Njeresa Beti

Is an international artiste peacebuilder, storyteller, researcher and educator who applies theatre-based interventions with grassroot communities to transform conflict and fashion a story of peace. Since 2004, working with Amani Peoples’ Theatre in Kenya, he has used these tools in Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Canada among others. Among his artistic processes includes use of forum theatre, playback theatre, theatre of witness as well as use of storytelling, rituals and African meditative elements in healing trauma and peacebuilding. He’s currently completing his graduate studies in peacebuilding at the University of Manitoba, Canada.

Theatre of the Oppressed for Conflict Transformation and Trauma Healing in Kenya
Ethnic violence, post-colonial trauma and war continue to ravage most of African states to date. Eastern Africa and specifically Kenya, has not been an exception. The latest discussions has shifted on exploring how art based approaches can help in resolving such conflicts. After tracing the development of Theatre of the Oppressed in South America and Europe, the author(s) and planner(s) of this workshop will describe how they have applied Image Theatre, Forum Theatre and Rainbow of Desire from an East African perspective through cultural exchange programs in which they were directly involved. Amani People’s Theatre (Kenya) and Presence Center for Applied Theatre Arts (USA) have collaborated since 2010 on conflict transformation and trauma healing through participatory theatre, in African villages and slums using these theatrical forms to mobilize collective vision for grassroots social change.

Brenda Nixon

Iya Sawu Unequa Nixon, the Council of the Elders, Divine Healers of The Afrikan Healing Circle, and members of Afrikan Village- composed of Social Workers, Artists, Healers, Historians, Djembe and Dunnun-Folas, and naturopaths- utilize the power of Afrikan dance/movements, drum rhythms, song/chants, and the creative process to create an autonomous healing process for all engaging audiences all over the country.

Afrikan Dance & Drum Culture as a Clinical Assessment & Autonomous Healing Process
Afrikan dance & drum culture therapy will be applied by myself and a chosen few elders and members of The Afrikan Healing Circle, who can project this kind of process effectively in a 2-hour span. This 2-hour span will demonstrate this triad of cultural art expression’s power and position. Traditional movements, a chant/song, and the accompaniment of live drumming will be applied; to allow all to experience this indigenous art form clinical abilities through an active participatory engagement. All will then be encouraged to take a self-assessment of their experience which includes any spirit, mind and or body awarenesses- to then: a) have an opportunity to formulate new ways to engage the spirit, body and mind or self differently, and b) practice what has been discovered in a dance circle at the end of the session.

Cari Satran

Has been a Middle-years teacher in Winnipeg for almost 15 years. She pursued her PBDE (2016) and Master’s (2012) degrees at the University of Manitoba, investigating the bridges between Indigenous, Social Justice and Holistic Pedagogies, while exploring her passion, Meditation in the Classroom.

Social Justice Pedagogical Inquiry Project: A non-Indigenous Teacher’s Exploration into Reconciliation in a non-Indigenous Classroom
As I worked through my Masters and PBDE studies, I recognized that my childhood education was one-sided and my perspective jaded in a Euro-centricity I didn’t even know existed.  As a classroom teacher, I understand that it is my responsibility to be part of the change, to bring a truer history of Canada and democracy, and in the process, integrate Indigenous perspectives on a deeper level. I have begun to do this work through a variety of classroom studies, fieldtrips, and our daily meditation practice. Drawing on the work of Battiste, Goulet & Goulet, Epstein, and Miller, this workshop will explore the Social Justice Inquiry project I did with my grade 8’s, outlining how we looked critically at democracy and Truth and Reconciliation, and through which my students explored their roles in Canada, and inquired into its state, with the hope of fostering the compassion that will help them realize that they have the power to take action, and play an active role in Reconciliation in Canada today.

Carolyn Gaspar

Miss Carolyn Gaspar is from Thunder Bay, Ontario. She graduated from Lakehead University with an Honours Bachelor of Arts, Psychology Honours Specialization Degree, and is now completing her MSc Health Science at the University of Saskatchewan. Carolyn’s thesis is in partnership with Sturgeon Lake First Nation looking at empowerment.

Mamāhtāwicikew ‘blueprint’
This workshop is exploring Mamāhtāwicikew, Plains Cree for ‘empowerment’.  This workshop is based off of my thesis a community-based research project studying the ways in which girls aged 10 to 15 describe the concept of mamāhtāwicikew. This project takes a strength-based approach using art-based methods to have the girls create an ’empowerment blueprint’, ensuring that the research is relevant to the youths’ experiences based on their description of mamāhtāwicikew. The benefits of this exploratory study are to help illuminate how girls experience various influences that shape their daily lives, and how they characterize these influences as empowering or disempowering.


Catherine Marrion

Is an expressive arts therapist in private practice in Toronto. A Masters in EXAT will soon be added to her M.F.A. in Performance.  Catherine’s strong commitment to embodiment through all arts modalities is well supported by her somatic studies and extensive theatre experience as an actor, coach and teacher, including 25 years teaching voice and movement in a theatre conservatory training program. Catherine led a “Giving Voice” workshop for 60 participants during the CATA conference in Toronto (October, 2016).

Giving Voice
In this workshop, we will explore the literal and metaphoric voice through breath, movement, playful sounds and spoken language.  “To find your voice” is to break the silence, “to find your own voice” is a search for authenticity, and “to give voice” is to express something publicly, out loud, and often in the face of oppression.  How can we give voice to what is important in our personal lives, in our communities, in our world?  Group exercises and partner work using voice, movement and visual art will culminate with an opportunity for each participant to give voice to something personally meaningful (in any language).  My hope is for participants to enjoy the visceral power of embodied speaking, and to use the power of Voice in service of positive change for themselves, their clients and their communities. Speaking from your heart, mind and spirit is one way to heal the wounds inflicted by violence and systemic oppression.  


Cindy Hartzell

Is a student, teacher, survivor, storyteller, counselor and most recently, a children’s book author.  She is currently pursuing her doctorate at Saybook University and employed as a Rehabilitation Education Specialist with Vocational Rehabilitation in North Carolina.  Her current research focus is on the transformative power of Storytelling.

Overcoming “Once Upon a Time:” Tell Your Story and Transform Your World
Well-constructed stories send ripples through our brains, firing synapses and creating chemicals that result in emotional and behavioral changes.  Before we can transform a person, a society or our world, it is important to experience the transformative power of stories on a personal level. The life events that had the most significant impact on your emotions, thoughts and behavior can provide inspiration for stories that can inspire and move others.  Therefore, this multimodal three-hour workshop will focus on the personal healing aspect of telling our stories.  We will explore the transformative side of storytelling from our own unique vantage points.

Yi-Chen (Clark) Hsu; Yunyi Huang 

Clark Hsu

Got his M.A. in Counseling Psychology with Specialization in Expressive Arts from California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). And is currently acting as Adjunct Professor and China program developer at CIIS. Beyond that, Clark also serves as Marriage and Family Therapist Intern at Living Arts Counseling Center.

Yunyi Huang

Is a current M.A. student in Expressive Arts Therapy at California Institute of Integral Studies. She has come to the path of becoming an EXA therapist from a previous career of filmmaking and indigenous culture preservation in Hong Kong and Guizhou, China.

Jiu: Union of Heaven and Earth
Jiu (酒) is the Chinese character for wine or alcohol beverage, and this ancient product is still widely permeating people’s life today. This presentation will focus on the crucial role that Jiu plays in rituals across various indigenous groups in China, and unfold its spiritual messages through arts and tales. We will also review the procedure of Jiu making and the use of chalices to understand the relationship between ecology and transformation in Chinese cosmology. Through theories, anecdotes and experiential, the presentation aims to provide a new perspective on alcoholism and suggest some expressive arts implications for recovery from addiction.

Co Carew

Currently works and lives on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Northwest Montana and is Doctoral Candidate in Expressive Arts Therapy.  Co uses the arts to help connect and ground oneself to one’s culture, ancestry, land and to the Creator.

Understanding One’s Sense of Place Through Art Making
The ninety-minute art based experience will encourage workshop participants to remember and reconnect to their indigenous cultural knowledge thus fostering a feeling of being connected to oneself and one’s environment? A variety of materials; water based crayons and mixed media paper will be used to create imagery that reflects one’s understanding of a sense of place.

D’Arcy Bruning-Haid

Has been in private practice as a body psychotherapist for over 25 years. She is a healer, a writer, a facilitator, a parent and a midwife to the soul. She is the creator of Nourishing the Soul Series incorporating and weaving body psychotherapy, movement, dance, psychodrama, art, Tantra sexuality and dream exploration into her sessions with individuals, couples and groups.  Her passion and love is to bring large groups together in community to celebrate our deepest connection to each other and our spirit as we create and birth new possibilities from within. D’Arcy received her Masters in Counselling Psychology with a specialty in expressive therapies at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has trained and travelled all over the world to different cultures to discover what transforms and heals us at the deepest levels.  Discover her web site at:

Welcoming Us Back to our Roots
As we gather as a diverse community, we dance and move together to one drum.  Inviting all sacred beings into the “womb of possibility” to make room for new ideas, perspectives and inspiring ways of being in the world.  Tapping into the wisdom of our ancestors using music, healing bowls, dance, movement and gentle guidance to bring us back to the roots of time, tradition and inner knowledge as we re-connect back to the different parts of ourselves and the inter-connectedness of all beings.

Dawn Chaput; Donna Garofolo; Angela Meyer; Joye Platford; Dana Stefanson; Joanna Watt; Susan Weldon

The inaugural cohort of the Wheat Institute Art Therapy Diploma Program, came together in 2016 and embarked on a journey of personal discovery, professional development, and cultural understanding. Becoming impassioned through their Indigenous Ways of Knowing course with Leah Fontaine, they used art as a lens through which to view their relationship to reconciliation.

Dawn Chaput 

Donna Garofolo is an artist, potter, educator, facilitator, survivor, mother and art therapy student at Wheat Institute in Winnipeg.  With a university education in both Fine Art and Psychology, Donna’s therapeutic practice focuses on attachment and resiliency to promote growth and satisfaction within a permaculture model.

Angela Meyer

Is a registered social worker with over 10 years’ experience in working with individuals with mental health. She utilizes a variety of approaches including CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution Focused Therapy.  She is currently registered as an art therapy student through the Wheat Institute and incorporates art therapy both in individual and group counselling as well as facilitated an open art studio for over 3 years.

Joye Platford An ordained minister, teacher, cancer survivor and a student of art therapy.  She lives in Pinawa, Manitoba on the Winnipeg River in Treaty 1 and 3 territory. Joye has been involved with reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and the church. She views that art can be therapy and prayer.

Dana Stefanson is a Saskatchewan based Art Therapy student with a background in Visual Arts and Education and is currently pursuing her diploma with an interest in serving youth, women, and indigenous populations. She is fascinated and inspired by the healing power of the creative process.

Joanna Watt is a newcomer to Canada who received a BA in Studio Art and Communications from Lake Forest College, Chicago, Illinois. Currently, Joanna is a Mental Health Proctor III for the regional health authority, Vice President of the Virden and Area Arts Council, board member of the RM of Pipestone Dance Club and the Reston Memorial Theatre Board. Joanna intends to bring art therapy and other mental health initiatives to rural settings with a private practice in Reston, Manitoba.

Susan Weldon currently uses mindfulness techniques, focusing exercises and art with individuals and groups in a school setting. Her work with children on the autism spectrum has shaped her identity as an art therapist in training. She is looking forward to working with adults in similar contexts and expanding her focus to include spiritual development through art.

Meeting Reconciliation: Inner Journey to Action
In this workshop, the authors will address the gap between the abstract idea of reconciliation and meaningful personal transformation and action. With the use of expressive arts as a vehicle of experiential insight, participants will explore where it is that they meet reconciliation. We will share our inspiration, research and resulting artwork from our journeys facilitated by Leah Fontaine, her Spirit Mender Model and the TRC’s Calls to Action. Following the presentation of our projects, participants will be invited to move beyond the conceptual and into the actionable through their own artmaking, revealing their own path to mending social relationships.

Deborah Koff-Chapin

Is founding director of the Center for Touch Drawing. She has been practicing and teaching this simple, profound process since originating it 1974. Deborah is creator of SoulCards and SoulTouch Coloring Journals. She co-founded a community Long Dance circle, ongoing since 1983. Deborah has served on the board of IEATA.

The Human Hand: Evolving Through Touch Drawing
One of the marks of being human is the creativity we access through our hands. From our earliest beginnings, we left our mark the cave walls. In Touch Drawing we use our hands to feel within, accessing subtle layers of awareness. Moving hands on paper that has been laid over a surface of paint, the pressure creates an imprint on the underside of the page. Multiple drawings are created in rapid succession, recording momentary states in a transformational progression. This process allows a more fluid consciousness to emerge. Touch Drawing is a practice of creative, psychological, physical and spiritual integration.

Denise Levy; Karen Caldwell; Heather Thorp; Marianne Adams; Katrina Plato; Linda McCalister

Denise L. Levy, Ph.D., LCSW, REACE is Associate Dean in the Beaver College of Health Sciences at Appalachian State University.  Her interest areas include expressive arts, social justice, and gender/sexuality, and she believes in the power of bridge building and intergroup dialogue to foster understanding and acceptance.

Karen Caldwell is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling at Appalachian State University. She completed an undergraduate degree in music as well as doctoral studies in family therapy and is now a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist. She is happily engaged in mind-body research and teaching.

Heather Thorp, LCSW, REAT is pursuing her EdD in Educational Leadership with a Concentration in Expressive Arts Inquiry, Leadership and Education. She is interested in writing, ritual, collage, connecting creativity and spirituality, and community building.

Marianne Adams holds an MFA in Choreography/Performance from the University of NC at Greensboro and an MA in Clinical Psychology from ASU. She is a founding member of the Appalachian Expressive Arts Collective and has twice been an Artist in Residence at EGS.  She is a professor in dance, bodywork and expressive arts.

Katrina Plato, Ed. D, and a PhD from the European Graduate School, is a registered art therapist and adjunct professor in the arts and expressive arts. Katrina teaches creative process to undergraduate and graduate students with a focus on the importance of materials, meaning making, well-being and the child within.

Linda McCalister, Ed.D is a current administrator in the College of Education at ASU. She has worked both as a teacher, school counselor and instructor. She has a background in arts integration and a personal interest in photography and painting as artistic expression, contemplation, and meditation.  She is currently pursuing her LPC.

Ceremony, Ritual, Research and Sustainability
The inspiration for this workshop arose from collective participation in a university learning community, which began with research questions linking expressive arts, social justice and sustainability. Artifacts created from our previous research were: a labyrinth, a community visual journal and a reader’s theatre performance. In the current phase, we are exploring the question: How do rituals and ceremonies sustain us? Within our workshop, we will bring the pages from our journal research to ‘life’ through performance. This workshop will engage participants at the intersection of ceremony, research, ritual and sustainability to inspire and renew the participants and their communities.

Diana Justl; Brian McLeod

Brian McLeod

Is a Pipe Carrier, Sweat Lodge Leader and Sun dancer. For over 20 years he has built trust between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities throughout Canada, providing workshops, presentations and ceremonial gatherings on the sharing of Aboriginal perceptions and contemporary issues. He is currently the Spiritual Advisor/Elder for Corrections Services Canada and has worked as a Cultural Advisor for the City of Winnipeg, Winnipeg School Division and Manitoba Hydro.

Diana Justl, LMFT, MA

Is a Somatic Psychotherapist offering mindfulness based therapy to groups and individuals. With a background in theatre and yoga, she offers eclectic tools for transformation. Diana completed her Graduate degree in Integral Counseling at the California Institute of Integral Studies with a focus on Experiential Psychotherapy. She has both studied and facilitated at the Hakomi Institute of California, Family Constellation Institute and Holos Institute of Eco Psychology.

Listening to the Land: Applications of Eco Psychology and Indigenous Healing Ways
This interactive workshop will provide applications of Eco Psychology and Indigenous Healing Traditions, exploring how they fit into therapeutic practice. Through experiential exercises and theory presentation, skills will be shared on effective Expressive Arts Therapy interventions such as movement, storytelling, mandala making, ritual, prayer, shamanic drum journey, visualization, and play therapy. Eco Psychology as a fairly recent methodology will be integrated with Ancient Indigenous Wisdom to empower resilience, interdependence, strength in community and creative solutions for holistic health held within local Cree teachings, shared by a local Cree Elder.

Ellie Schimelman

Graduated with a degree in Art Education from Rhode Island School of Design-Art supervisor, arts/crafts teacher in public schools in the States gallery owner -potter – world traveler studying indigenous crafts – since 2001 director of Cross Cultural Collaborative in Ghana promoting cultural exchange and understanding through the arts.

Using Art for Social Change in a Developing Country
This workshop will cover my approach to working through the arts and creative process with children in a Ghanaian village. The arts have been a catalyst for self awareness, self empowerment and respect for themselves and their traditions. My program encourages a global perspective so that a culture rooted in ceremony and traditions can retain its rich culture and share it. In the workshop participants will explore an indigenous Ghanaian craft and the symbolism associated with it.

Emilio Juri-Martinez; Kiona Medina

Emilio Juri-Martinez M.A, MFTI

Reiki Master, mentor and educator born in Argentina graduated from the Counseling Psychology EXA Therapy program at California Institute of Integral Studies. As an emerging social justice therapist, person of color male identified queer immigrant, Emilio has experience working with LGBTQI, children, immigrant families, and adults from various backgrounds.

Kiona Medina, MFT Trainee.

Teaching artist, and Expressive Arts MFT Trainee born in Colombia and graduate from California Institute of Integral Studies. She teaches children and parents social and emotional skills through the arts. She is very passionate about empowering immigrants and provides expressive arts therapy and groups to low income communities.

Loving our roots: expressive arts and self-care through a bi-cultural lens
This workshop is a celebration of acculturation, integration and pride of our unique identities. We will explore through an innovative program and a narrative approach to working with Latina mothers from the San Francisco’s Tenderloin community. As Latinx immigrant Expressive Arts Therapists, we will weave themes of multiculturalism, and bi-cultural competency when working with migrant communities. Our experiential workshop aims to connect our individual and complex roles as clinicians when working with this population. Only when we can fully love and accept the multiple parts of our identity can we provide safe and loving spaces for others.

Eveline Milliken; Debra DiUbaldo

Associate Professor Eveline Milliken incorporates Indigenous teachings into courses; Debra DiUbaldo, Indigenous Student Advisor/ Counselor/ Selection Coordinator/Elder helper introduces the importance of traditional Indigenous ways, organizes Elder-lead ceremonies and supports daily use of traditional ways; a student who began drumming while in the program; a graduate who is a social worker from community.

Valuing Ceremony in a Social work curriculum- Perspectives on the evolution of ceremony, drum and art within an Inner City Social work program
The Inner City Bachelor of Social Work program has a 35 year history of education with students who face barriers to education. Inclusion of Indigenous ways of supporting students has been a challenge. Elder-guided actions have resulted in increased use of ceremony, drum-making teachings leading to drums being available for student use, teachings that guide arts-based activities for student reflection and empowerment (e.g. identity shields). Voices of students will be shared through data collected on the inclusion of traditional arts in their educational experience. Students report strengthened sense of identity, recognition of the important of process over product, and recognition of the importance of grounding oneself in spirit.

Fyre Jean Graveline

RSW, PhD, RCAT is a two-spirited. Northern Bush Country Métis. therapist. heARTist. teacher. writer. traditional knowledge keeper. community activist. is keenly interested in how Spirituality. and the Arts. can bridge structural divisions (of race. culture. gender identity. Sexual orientation. age. ability. class. and geography). can heal. teach. transform. our connections with self. each other. Earth Mother. Author of many published books, articles and poems, including: Circle Works: Transforming Eurocentric Consciousness (1998). Healing Wounded Hearts (2004). Just Reach Out (2011). Circle Works: Transforming Aboriginal Literacy (2012). / 

Opening to Spirit: Soul Printing
Indigenous healers believe that opening to Spirit is essential for any transformational process. This is often overlooked and undervalued in Western modes of therapy and healing. We will open with a series of images created to deepen my connection to Earth Mother and all my Relations, using a “soul printing” technique. Images will be accompanied by spoken word, sound, and/or movement. Participants will then be invited to experience their own encounter with Soul Printing: an opportunity to deepen Spiritual Connection through enhanced Oneness with Self, Others and Earth Mother. Both Ceremonial and Practical, this hand-on workshop is designed to Ground and reConnect to Life Vision, Soul Purpose, and Ancestral Memory. The collective healing practices of Drumming, Song, Breath, Sound, Spoken Word, Movement and heART will be embraced and shared.

Haley Fox

Artist/psychotherapist Haley Fox wrote Follow Your Bliss (2000), contributed to Expressive Therapies for Sexual Issues (2012), and co-authored Minstrels of Soul: Intermodal Expressive Therapy under her former name, Helen Barba (1995/2005). Now on the core faculty at Alder University/Chicago, her interests include song writing, improvisational art, archetypal psychology and art-based research.

Cultivating Sensory Awareness through Nature and the Arts
This hands-on workshop introduces participants to an enhanced version of the SAI (Sensual Awareness Inventory), a tool for nature-guided therapy (1998). George Burns designed the SAI to help people reconnect with joy and comfort, for self-awareness and as a coping strategy. The workshop leader will first lay down theoretical grounding rooted in an understanding of Eros and ecopsychology then offer an integrative experiential exercise incorporating early recollections and intermodal transfer to enrich and deepen awareness and engagement of all our senses. The enhanced process can assist client interventions, teaching, coaching and art-based clinical supervision.

Jan Stewart

Ph.D is a Professor and the Coordinator of Advanced Studies in Education in the Faculty of Education at The University of Winnipeg.  She is currently Acting Associate Dean and the lead investigator of a three-year national research program funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC), and Mitacs Canada. Jan is the author of The Anger Workout Book for Teens, The Tough Stuff Series, and The STARS Program and Supporting Refugee Children: Strategies for Educators.

Rebuilding, Healing and Transforming: Using the Arts to Support Children Affected by War
The presentation is drawn from research conducted in post-conflict settings and with refugees who have resettled in Canada. The findings provide insight into the effective use of expressive arts as tools to support the personal, social and academic development of youth who have been affected by trauma, torture, loss, and the effects of war. Several innovative approaches for supporting children and youth will be discussed and participants will be provided with practical activities and lessons to use to promote healing. A school-based model for healing and transformation will be discussed and considerations for implementation will be explored.

Jean Tait

Is a woman of Indigenous (Saulteaux) and Scottish heritage, a member of Berens River First Nation, MB. Since 2008, Jean has been in private practice as art can heal in Spruce Grove, AB and has conducted numerous workshops that include indigenous content throughout Canada, including the TRC in Edmonton.

Four Worlds
The circle represents the wholeness contained in the four dimensions of existence: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual. We understand that within this wholeness, everything is interrelated. We can create new ways to build balance in our outlook and lived expression of our journey. We will look at our experiences through four aspects: Self, Family, Community, the larger World. Beginning with a talking circle, to build understanding and acceptance, discussion will center around how to approach Indigenous people with respect and tolerance. The integration of this learning is done through a hands-on art workshop, and a circle of sharing.

Jennifer Herbert

ATR-BC, LCAT is an artist and art therapist in New York City with over 10 years of experience working in communities affected by trauma and violence.  She is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the School of Visual Arts, where she received a Master’s Degree in art therapy.  She is currently the Director of Clinical Services at the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation where she oversees clinical services and arts based programming, and supervises clinical staff working with youth affected by trauma in a violence intervention and prevention program across New York City.

Self-care in supervision: addressing issues of vicarious traumatization through art
During this 90 minute workshop, participants will be able to identify at least two ways in which vicarious trauma can impact the worker. Workshop attendees will participate in a hands-on experiential art activity that will address vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue in the context of group supervision. Participants will be able to take away several techniques and applications through which they can continue to promote self-care for the clinician in a supervision setting, in order to maximize the potential for healing and growth in the context of their work.

Jessica Gilway

Is founding principal of a Dual Language Immersion public school with a background in bilingual education, educational leadership, and expressive arts. Karen Caldwell is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling at Appalachian State University where she teaches expressive arts, counseling, and family therapy.

Walk of the Chameleon: An Expressive Arts Movement Framework for Children
Expressive arts movement processes for children have support from research, but the question remains how to integrate traditional drumming and singing practices into these processes. A creative movement framework based in a developmental sequence was created that incorporated recordings from African musicians and traditional dance movements along with rituals, drawing and written reflections. Children in a public school were invited to participate in the sequence, and variations were created based on their responses. The Walk of the Chameleon provides a joyful way for children to explore movement through traditional indigenous arts, develop physical skills, channel energy, stimulate imagination and promote creativity.

Jill Therrien

Jill Therrien, MA, MFT Intern, is an Anishinaabe woman with German ancestry, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Michigan and the Youth Cultural Therapist at the American Indian Child Resource Center in Oakland, California. Additionally Jill runs a small private practice as a creative wellness consultant, working with adults to support their creative processes while managing grief and trauma responses. She holds a BFA in fine art from California State University and an MA in counseling psychology with emphasis on the Expressive Arts from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Weaving Our Identities:
Supporting Indigenous Urban Youth through Expressive Arts and Storytelling
This presentation will address the emergence and integration of identity in multi-cultural adolescent communities living in urban environments. Informed by a group case study of adolescent females who identify commonly as Indigenous, while individually express a wide range of identities, this sharing will address the complexity, intersections, strengths, and challenges of identity formation from an indigenous perspective. Utilizing Medicine Wheel teachings will illustrate how indigenous wisdom relates to the intermodal work of EXA. Participants are invited into a brief experiential process to deepen understanding of shared insights. Modalities discussed include ritual, meditation, storytelling, using the metaphor of weaving throughout.

Joan Stanford

MA, ATR-BC, created a high school class “Alternative Mirrors,” addressing body image and self-esteem issues, and won Soroptimist’s “Making a Difference for Women” award. Joan is the author of “The Art of Play,” has a private practice, and offers imagination playshops and creativity retreats at the Stanford Inn.

Water as Mirror, Water as Medicine
The focus of this workshop is understanding our sacred relationship with water, the lifeblood of Mother Earth. Water is a healing metaphor for transformation, provides a corrective lens to our faulty worldview of separateness and is rich with symbolic associations. Through a video presentation and an experiential process participants will return to a more indigenous view that all life is interconnected and sacred. The First Nations people embodied this spirit of Manitou, this omnipresent life force. Insights gained foster respect for the environment and each other, and remind us of our role as agents of personal and social change.

Joanna Black; Allison Moore; Leah Fontaine

Joanna Black is Professor of Art Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. Her research interests encompass human rights, Indigenous art, new media pedagogy in relation to art education She has received an award from the Centre for Human Rights Research at the University of Manitoba.

Allison Moore is Art Educator, Youth Programs at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. For seventeen years she has taught art in diverse art settings. She is also a professional artist: her interests encompass explorations of the creative process pertaining to embodied/holistic learning, building identities, and empathy on healing journeys to reconciliation.

Leah Fontaine Artist, educator, and scholar, Leah Fontaine connects with her Dakota/Anishinaabe/Metis heritage to intuitively attain the iconography and worldview display in her artwork and practice. Throughout the past, Fontaine’s education, artistic skills, and abilities have transpired in theatre, television, art exhibitions and national events. In addition, has received many awards for her artistic expressions in both artistic and academia venues. See detailed Pre-Conference Facilitator Bio.

Contemporary Indigenous Art Education: A Journey Towards Reconciliation, and Honouring Indigenous Culture
Presenters will discuss case study research to address gaps in knowledge regarding K-12 contemporary Indigenous art. Methods: during 2016-2017 we held seven workshops at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on “Contemporary Indigenous Art Education” to examine and help develop educators’ pedagogical methods, curricula and insights working with and guided by Indigenous experts in visual art within Manitoba. We will share findings regarding struggles to create curricula and teach Indigenous Canadian Visual Art in K-12 schools through respect, reconciliation, and honouring Indigenous culture and practices in light of shared understandings of history, residential schools, treaties, reconciliation, and contemporary Indigenous visual artists practices.

Karen Caldwell is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling at Appalachian State University. She completed an undergraduate degree in music, doctoral studies in family therapy and a certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy. She is happily engaged in mind-body research as well as teaching and supervision.

Qigong and Tai Chi: Written Reflections from Young Adults
Problem: Students in college experience high levels of stress and mental challenges. Ancient practices for stress relief include qigong and tai chi chuan which are Chinese traditional healing arts. Methodology: Combing movement in classes and writing in journals, students in tai chi chuan courses reflected on what they learned about themselves in class and how they were applying the principles of tai chi in their daily life. Journals were reviewed qualitatively for themes. Outcomes: Themes included (a) managing stress, (b) practicing relaxation, (c) moving from the center.

Karina Colliat; Kayla Hochfelder; Nikyta Palmissani

Are all Expressive Arts Therapists and Ecotherapists. Together they launched Ecoutearth in Oakland, California 8 years ago. Since then, each of them continue to cultivate their own practices, as well as offering Ecoutearth in their respective current locations — Kayla in Vancouver, Canada, Nikyta on Lopez Island, WA, and Karina in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA.

Ecoutearth: A Healing Arts Practice Fostering a Deep Connection to the Earth
Ecoutearth is a form that combines mindfulness, Expressive Arts Therapy, and Ecopsychology. The combination of these disciplines builds a unique relationship: Through mindfulness we listen, through Expressive Arts we respond, and through ecopsychology we build a relationship to the larger body of earth. Ecoutearth harkens us to our history of being indigenous people listening and responding to the animate world around us in sacred relationship. Reclaiming this relationship is essential to tractionable activism, alleviating ecoanxiety, using creative solutions to improve policy, and saving our world in crisis.

Kelly Bernardin-Dvorak

MA, MMFT, RSW is Director of Jonah Community Projects, a non profit community development group and sister agency to Jonah Counselling & Consulting. She is a committed helper and educator, seeking to embody active reconciliation towards possibilities for all to Live Well Together.

Reconciliation Dialogue, Creativity, & Social Change
This workshop will highlight a creative, community building, instructive approach to engaging reconciliation dialogue. Jonah Community Projects has hosted several Decolonization Dialogue Circles and Living Well Together Community Art Exhibits. (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017) These events have been examples of truth-telling and community-building, and we’d like to share some of our stories and art with you. This learning opportunity where facilitators will help you envision a relationship based, creative approach to helpful dialogue that has the potential to shift narratives in the direction of mutuality and unity. No specific art skills will be taught.


Krystal Demaine

PhD, REAT, MT-BC, RYT is associate professor of creative arts therapy at Endicott College and adjunct faculty at Lesley University and Salem State University.  She is also co-chair of the professional standards, REAT, committee.  Krystal lives in Beverly, MA, USA with her son Ezra and their dog sage.

The roots and rhythm of the heart: An integration of sound, image, and story
The heartbeat is the first rhythm that we hear inside of our mother’s womb connecting us to our birth ancestors. Rhythm is an organizer and a container that allows us to create a connection within the self and with others. The arts allow us to reflect on the internal while making connections to others. This workshop will allow participants explore their heart as a connector to roots of self, identity, and authenticity through rhythm, image, and story.

Leslie Anne Belnavis

Is a Registered Art Therapist (ATR) and native to Jamaica. Her experience ranges from working in schools and homes for persons with disabilities; community centres, prison, and private practice in Jamaica. She co-authored the book chapter on Caribbean Art Therapy in the Wiley Handbook for Art Therapy (2016).

Sensory Awareness Techniques: Art Therapy in Jamaica with Persons with Disabilities
Jamaican Art Therapist – Lesli-Ann Belnavis, ATR, has worked with children to adults with physical, neuro-developmental and pervasive developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome at educational and children’s home settings. She has developed art therapy techniques, which are culturally appropriate and involve elements of singing, drumming, sound and movement. This workshop will highlight some “sensory awareness” art therapy techniques that Belnavis has used to help persons with disabilities communicate their thoughts and emotions in a non-verbal manner, reduce self-stimming behaviour and tactile resistance, and increase self and body awareness.

Lisa Anthony

Is a person-centred counsellor and expressive arts practitioner, currently teaching counselling and psychotherapy at the University of Warwick in the UK. Her clinical practice has focused on person-centred, creative and spiritual approaches to working therapeutically and to increasing accessibility of services to marginalised communities.

What do you see? Sharing person-centered expressive arts with sex workers
Facing stigma and known to be hard to engage, we worked with an existing community project for sex workers to offer self-esteem building through photography and weekly expressive arts groups. This presentation uses case studies to outline lessons learned from the project, including the challenges in engaging and sustaining work with these marginalized women. Participant feedback suggests that the work helped them to discover and develop their creativity and further self-empowerment through therapeutic work and peer relationships.

Livne Yael

The Sea Turtle`s Journey: Water Play Therapy

Lorrie Gallant

Is a visual artist, writer, author, illustrator, storyteller, educator, Expressive Arts practitioner born and raised on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario.  She is Cayuga Nation turtle clan and a generational survivor of residential school.  As Education Program Coordinator at the Woodland Cultural Centre Museum in Brantford ON, which is the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School, Lorrie designs educational presentations, provides tours and workshops.

Art can be a medicine and a bridge way to open conversations. The goal of this expressive arts project was to create art that worked for both youth and elders. The legacy of residential school affected our First Nations communities and to return to holistic health we need to nurture the vital relationship between youth and elder. Survivor’s experiences need to be valued. Youth need to appreciate their freedom to proudly be indigenous. Together they discover a voice within the art, and spiritual connections began to unfold. I will share how an art project using First Nations artists to assist in bridging indigenous youth and residential school survivors can be a catalyst in the healing process. This workshop will be presentation and participation.

Madeline Rugh; Straja Linder King

Madeline Rugh

Ph.D. ATR-BC. Dr. Rugh is an assistant professor in psychology and art at St. Gregory’s University in Oklahoma, where she designed and taught innovative coursework in ecopsychology and the expressive arts therapies. For over twenty years, Rugh has been writing, researching, developing and teaching workshops and courses in art, nature and spirituality.

Straja Linder King

 MA, ATR-BC. Linder King has extensive experience in spiritual/nature-based expressive therapies with the unique specialization in animal-assisted therapies, both canine and equine. She is an author, poet, and eco-artist. Linder King has done pioneering research in program design and teaching at graduate and undergraduate levels. She lives and works in Calgary, Alberta.

The Resilient Heart: Transforming the Disconnected Western mind through Animal Assisted Art
Research on resilience indicates that having good relationships is critical to developing resiliency. However, most studies focus on human relationships to the exclusion of the natural world. The Lakota Sioux have a word for understanding our deep connection with all life; Mitakuye Oyasin – everything is my relative. Through discussion, art making and direct experience led by Alberta hero therapy dog Twillow Rose, this workshop will expand our limited notion of relationship to include the more-than-human realm; provide nature based practice with the heart as an organ of perception and demonstrate ways to integrate animals in art therapy. 

Maria Gonzalez-Blue

M.A., REAT, REACE, is in private practice as an EXA Therapist and Consultant/Educator. She worked alongside Natalie Rogers at the Person-Centered Expressive Therapy Institute for 12 years. As a 10-year IEATA board member she drafted the first international registration procedures for Expressive Arts Consultants/Educators desiring to help take the arts into broader communities. She teaches Person-Centered Expressive Arts Therapy at California Institute of Integral Studies. A 30-year relationship with shamans from Mexico has influenced her commitment to the arts and ritual as a spiritual practice. With roots in Mexico, she is bilingual and has taught in Argentina, Mexico and Guatemala.

Celebrating Diversity Through Ritual While Building Community
For a community to bond, it may first have to go through a phase where deep-seated experience surfaces for individuals. If a group is mature enough to hold the tension, commonalities will surface and empathy will arise. Arnold Mindell calls this “sitting in the fire”, a willingness to sit through conflict. To create such an environment, the Person-Centered approach offers a compassionate formula for individual and group healing. Through visualization, movement, writing and art, we will honor the individual while discovering group universalities and create a closing ritual together. The concepts of acceptance, collaboration and witnessing within a person-centered environment have global possibilities for peace.

Michelle Napoli

Is an expressive arts therapist, art therapist, William James College faculty in the Expressive Arts Therapy Emphasis in the Counseling Department, and Tribal member of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria in California.  She is exploring an arts based Indigenous methodology and identity formation process as her research.

Language Acquisition through Art: An Indigenous Methodology
To inform my identity formation and research process I integrate practices of walking the land, learning Tamal Machchaw (Coast Miwok language), listening to stories, reading Tribal history, creating space for community conversations, and making art. This presentation focuses on the 14 pichasna (embodied & spiritually connected concepts in Tamal Machchaw) informing my current Indigenous Methodology. Participants choose from the 14 pichasna to reflect on for their identity formation process. Participants will learn about steps to deconstruct current theory/methods and ways to put ones’ culture at the center.

Mitchell Kossack

Ph.D., LMHC, REAT, is Associate Professor in Expressive Therapies at Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Past President of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Arts and Health. He is the author of, Attunement in expressive arts therapy:  Toward an understanding of embodied empathy.

Rhythmic Attunement: Alignment with the Heart Beat Pulsing at the Center of the Universe
This workshop will look at rhythm as a source of healing that has been used for centuries in indigenous traditions for health and spiritual alignment and how this knowledge can be applied in clinical settings. Simple techniques that use breath, sound, drumming, movement and art making will be introduced to create profound shifts in sensory, neurological and perceptual awareness leading to a more balanced nervous system and deeper states of awareness and relaxation. In addition, the theoretical frameworks of rhythm, entrainment, and resonance as they relate to all the arts and to interpersonal and collective attunement will be discussed.

Dr. Myrle Ballard

Is Anishinaabe from Lake St. Martin First Nation. She is part of a team conducting research on flooding and health that is funded by CIHR. She has two documentaries on flooding and its impact on the health and livelihoods of First Nations’ people after the 2011 flood in Manitoba.

Participatory video as a research tool for storytelling and two-eyed seeing
Little Saskatchewan First Nation (LSFN) was forced to evacuate in 2011 due to a manmade flood. A participatory video (PV): “Wounded Spirit: Forced Evacuation of the Little Saskatchewan First Nation Elders” documented the hard choices faced by elders when they were asked to evacuate. PV is a tool that captures the art and skill of oral tradition and oral history which does not come across in journal publications. Elders and key informants were video-taped on a one-on-one basis using an interview guide. PV is owned by the community and is a powerful tool for two-eyed seeing and storytelling.

Nancy Kovachik; Sadie Dixon-Spain

Nancy Kovachik

Manitoba born artist, educator dedicated to promoting health and well-being thorough connection to the arts and talent development. Co-creator of The Canadian Walking Youth Theatre in 2011. Nancy completed the Expressive Arts Therapy Certificate program through WHEAT and is currently completing her Post baccalaureate diploma in counselling.

Sadie Dixon-Spain

Founder of The Walking Theatre Company (TWTC), Sadie has enjoyed a long and creative career, with National Repertory Theatre, TV and broadcast credits to her name. She thought when she moved to the country, her acting days were done, however life in rural Argyll has proved her wrong. TWTC was created a s a direct creative response to the rural landscape, shaping Sadie’s work as an actor and writer to develop a unique brand and methodology behind award winning theatre work. In 5 years TWTC has built a tremendous reputation for creating “interactive theatre in the open landscape” and bringing ‘walking theatre’ shows to sites and venue’s all over Scotland and we are proud to say that no show has ever been cancelled due to the rain.

Understanding Personal Narrative
This workshop will introduce participants to “waling theatre” as a tool for using personal narrative in highlighting interactions in cross-cultural situations. Using personal narrative in this way allows relationships to be strengthened. Participants will be guided through the steps involved in creating international arts partnerships for youth. They will be introduced to The Walking Theatre Company from Argyll, Scotland, and through video will witness the birth of The Canadian Walking Youth Theatre Company and the performance of “Selkirk’s New Nation”. This play was written by Sadie Dixon-Spain based on personal histories and archived documents of the Metis and Red River Settlement and was performed by the Theatre group in Canada and Scotland.

Nancy Rowe; Cora Morgan; Jodie Williams

Nancy Rowe is a Mississauga, of the Credit First Nation, ON. She is an educator, consultant and a Traditional Practitioner of Anishinaabek lifeway’s, views and customary practices and is currently completing a Master’s degree of Environmental Resource Studies. She coordinates Akinomaagaye Gaamik, providing educational opportunities in Indigenous perspectives of life, health, education, history and the environment.

Cora Morgan has spent 15 years leading Indigenous organizations and developing programs and services for Indigenous Peoples. After 8 years working in Indigenous Restorative Justice, Cora knew that we had to do our best for children in Child Welfare as they were being fed to prisons and jails. She is now the First Nations Family Advocate in Manitoba.

Jodie Williams is Chair of the First Nations, Métis & Inuit Education Association of Ontario and a fierce advocate for the environment, land based learning and Indigenous Knowledge, including the revival of Indigenous Languages. Jodie travels across the province delivering workshops and presentations that focus on building community relationships in order to support student well-being and success.

The Mocassin Project - So They Can Go Home
The Moccasin Project is a national campaign to raise awareness about child apprehension impacting Indigenous children in Canada. During this presentation participants will learn how The Moccasin Project can be used as a powerful tool in any setting (e.g., classroom, community organization) to become more aware of the historical and ongoing impact of colonization. Through the project, while learning about the facts on the child welfare system, participants make a pair of baby moccasins that are sent to First Nation Advocates groups who then distribute them to apprehended babies.

Narae You

I am a Tamalpa Practitioner, REAT, registered nurse, registered health teacher, registered psychologist and counselor in South Korea. I have a MA, Ph.D. in transpersonal psychology & counseling at Seoul Buddhism University. I also graduated from the movement based expressive art therapy & education program at Tamalpa Institute in California, an internationally renowned training center.  Now, I am working as a chief researcher in Catholic University of Korea, College of Nursing. I conduct National Psychological Counselling Training Program for HIV/AIDS patients.

A Study on How to develop Effective Mechanism in PTSD Treatment Program by Soma-based Expressive Art Therapy
In this workshop, I will present two things. One is a presentation of the study, developed PTSD treatment program by soma-based expressive art therapy, and another is an activity related of the study. The study’s goal is threefold: developing a group PTSD treatment program based on Soma-based Expressive Art Therapy, showing the effect of the program and testing whether the ‘Creative Connection Scale’ can be a process variable affection effectively program. In order to develop this PTSD program, previous studies, principles of PTSD treatment, trauma and art therapy were examined, and then the best components were selected, which determined the final program. The program served 18 people, 2 groups that met weekly for 150-minute sessions over a course of 8 weeks. As a result of study, Creative Connection Scale variables and indicators of psychological symptoms, such as symptoms of PTSD and Complex-PTSD decreased. The study hypothesis was validated, confirming that items from the Creative Connection Scale would act as process variables in the PTSD treatment program.

Nicki Koethner

MA, MFT is a Multi-Media Artist, Expressive Arts Psychotherapist and Educator. She is devoted to playfulness, joy, embodied earth-based spirituality and transforming trauma into empowerment through creativity. She has a private practice in German and English in Berkeley She is adjunct faculty at Sofia University, CIIS, supervisor at Art of Health and Healing, on the Board of BodyTales and Board Advisor to IEATA.

Elemental Movement- Indigenous Roots of Embodiment
The elements – fire, earth, water, air – are part of any culture and are our indigenous roots of being a human. By embodying the elements through movement, painting, drawing, sounding, and storytelling in a sacred container, we become resourced and can face time of chaos with grounded centeredness. By focusing on elements we can connect with, transcend and transform stuck emotions and patterns to enhance our aliveness and sense of wellbeing, release stress and dissolve separation to nature and other cultures. Participants will take away tools for self-care, patient-centered care, somatic awareness and consciousness for body-mind integration, anxiety and stress management.

Olesya Bonadareva

A documentary film maker and a psychotherapist, creates exhibitions where the problem of sacred objects losing their meaning and influence is addressed head-on, placing esoteric art objects alongside photo and video materials portraying significant moments of a religious or healing tradition to which it belongs. She captures the personal experience of the mystical tradition.

GURU ART: The Last Dervish of Kazakhstan

Every spiritual tradition has its own history, canons, and means of artistic expression. Such mystical arts are commonly created by shamans, healers, monks and other religious leaders. Mystical arts are the combination of visual arts, performance, ritual and even healing therapy. Torn out of their environments and placed in museums, sacred objects often lose their meanings and their potential to influence people’s perception. Instead, the art turns into traces, relics or echoes of what they really are.

Part of the Guru-Art series, “The Last Dervish of Kazakhstan” exhibition presents the spiritual and healing traditions of Kazakhstan. The focus of the exhibition is Bifatima Dauleutova, a reknowned in Kazakhstan Sufi master and shaman. The main art objects of the exhibitions are so-called “dervish maps”, sacred drawings made by Bifatima. Olesya spent many months with Bifatima, sharing in their lives and assisting her in ritual and other activities; the use of art as a healing tool. Her personal experience of living with the creators of mystical art, the masters of the tradition, result in an insider’s point of view, a recording of personal immersion into the tradition. 

Orion Harris; Larissa Hul-Galasek; Nicki Koethner

Orion Harris,

MA is an MFT intern and expressive arts therapist at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez California. He also works as a group leader and mentor for young men through the rites of passage program, Stepping Stones. He is inspired by weaving expressive arts and earth-­based wisdom into his work with people on developmental thresholds of all ages.

Larissa Hul-­Galasek

Is an EXA and MFT trainee at Contra Costa Health Services in California. She utilizes music, dance, visual art, poetry, mindfulness, and socio-­emotional support as well as person-­centered and narrative therapy with a variety of clients in the hospital and outpatient groups. She also provides ecotherapy to youth.

Nicki Koethner,

MA, MFT is a Multi-­Media Artist, Expressive Arts Psychotherapist and Educator. She is devoted to playfulness, joy, embodied earth-­based spirituality and transforming trauma into empowerment through creativity. She has a private practice in German and English in Berkeley. She is adjunct faculty at Sofia University, CIIS, supervisor at Art of Health and Healing, on the Board of BodyTales and Board Advisor to ieata.­explore-­

The Sickbed becomes an Invitation for Transformation: Expressive Arts Therapy in Hospitals
Expressive arts therapy is offered to clients in medical and psychiatric units as well as outpatient support groups through Contra Costa County Health Services in California. In western medical fields, expressive arts are returning to the holistic healing capacity in hospitals and thereby expanding the colonized definition of “medicine” returning agency, life force and creativity to the individual and the environment. In this interactive workshop we provide an overview of our innovative program while including movement, poetry, music, and drawing to foster reflection and to inspire conversation about the challenges and rewards of integrating expressive arts into current medical models.

Pamela Jimenez Jimenez

M.A. Licensed Psychologist.  Magister in dance, with emphasis in Dance Education. ADTA member. Founder member of DMT and BMC student and researcher.  Academic Professor in the Center of Artistic Research, Education and Extension (CIDEA) of the  Universidad Nacional (UNA), Costa Rica.  

Self-care through the arts and movement
Conexiones para la Creatividad is an integrated Project that belongs to the Artistic Center for Research, Education and Extension (CIDEA) of the Universidad Nacional (UNA) of Costa Rica. The project has developed community, educational and health processes, and integrates the arts schools: dance, theater, visual arts and music. The purpose of this experiential workshop is to share part of our methodology and contributions from the body and artistic disciplines, in health and community settings. This workshop is based on Dance, DMT and Authentic Movement dynamics, in which the attendees could have the experience of the following themes: body awareness, non verbal communication, body listening, kinesthetic empathy, expression, creativity.

Phil Weglarz; Danielle Drake; Patricia Rojas-Zambrano; Shoshana Simons

Phil Weglarz

MA, MFT, REAT, CIIS Expressive Arts Therapy Program Core Faculty, sculptor and dancer, has over ten years of diverse clinical, teaching, and supervising experience in expressive arts. Phil’s research interests include the conceptualization and training of multimodal arts therapies to meet the needs of increasingly diverse student-practitioners and mental health service recipients.

Danielle Drake

MA, PhDc is faculty in the Expressive Arts Therapy Program at CIIS. She is a poet with over fifteen years community service experience.  Her clinical work focuses on the use of creativity and spirituality in the African American community, which incorporates Black feminist, African-centered, Narrative Therapy and liberation psychologies.

Patricia Rojas-Zambrano,

MA, MFT, CIIS Expressive Arts Therapy Program Clinical Supervisor, and artist who has worked for over twenty years in the arts and community service field, beginning in her native Colombia. Today, she is in private practice, adjunct faculty at the BIS program at CIIS, Director of the Wellness in Action Program and founder of Art Journaling Workshops.

Shoshana Simons,

PhD, RDT, CIIS Expressive Arts Therapy Program Chair and improvisational performer is a seasoned educator & change agent joyously infusing the creative impulse into all aspects of her work. She has published & presented extensively on collective narrative arts practices, transformative leadership and the development of socio-emotional spiritual learning (SESL) curricula for Jewish educators and students.

Promoting Diverse & Inclusive Teaching and Supervision in Expressive Arts
This workshop welcomes Expressive Arts educators, faculty, and supervisors into an arts-based inquiry of decolonizing pedagogies, diversification of curriculum, and ways of successfully training and graduating students historically marginalized from mainstream psychology education (e.g. students from minority ethnic groups, LGBTQ, neuro-diverse and disabilities). We will embody the field’s Tree of Life, beginning with its multiple indigenous roots and our shared commitments to social change, social justice, and transformation to explore ways in which we can bridge the existing gap between these roots and the mainstream field of Expressive Arts Therapy. Participants will be encouraged to continue the collaboration post-conference.

RaShonda Labrador & Rhonda Kaalund

RaShonda Labrador

RaShonda Labrador has over 10 years of experience enhancing the overall wellness of the military and civilian community. As a motivated leader and dynamic speaker, she has taken an innovative approach to professional education. RaShonda is driven by creativity and is humbled by respect received from her peers and superiors.

Rhonda Kaalund

Educator, Counselor, Radio Personality, and Joy Enthusiast, Rhonda Kaalund has over 18 years of experience touching the hearts and minds of many. Rhonda is passionate about educating the masses in the most creative ways. Connecting through Laughter Yoga and Vision Board trainings are two examples of how Rhonda empowers others.

Expressive Healing: A Laughing Matter

This presentation of evidenced-based techniques will increase one’s knowledge of how the combination of laughter exercises and the principles from yogic breathing reduces stress-related hormones, enhances trust, increases pleasure, and improves immune system health. Participants will gain insight into how laughter elevates mood, reduces anxiety, ameliorates pain (physically and emotionally), and promotes healing. Exploring the science of Laughter Yoga through a review of research findings and proven health benefits, will introduce creative ideas for implementation into counseling practices. Opportunities for interactive learning will be provided for participants to demonstrate expressive healing through laughter. 

Rosario Sammartino

PhD (cand.) RSMT, RSME is a core faculty and the co-director of Tamalpa Institute. She is professor at Meridian University co-founder of Anthropos, an Art and Self Development Center located in Argentina, where she is originally from. Rosario has worked in various settings, such as psychiatric hospitals, shelters, and educational centers, and with diverse populations, including incarcerated women, the homeless, and at-risk youth. Currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Rosario continues to teach and lead community projects in the Tamalpa Life/Art Process®.

Tamalpa ArtCorps: Dancing across borders
This workshop will introduce participants to the Tamalpa ArtCorps, the social engagement program developed at Tamalpa Institute, ( which helps bring the healing power of dance and creative expression to marginalized communities. Watch Video One primary question will be explored: As students and practitioners of the Expressive Arts, what are the new borders we need to cross in order to meet each other? Through experiential work and group discussions, participants will explore the role of movement and the arts as a catalyst for change and social transformation, gaining resources to incorporate into their professional practice when working cross culturally.

Sally Brucker

LCSW ,CAGS, ATR-BC, is a US educator, consultant, workshop leader, certified SoulCollage® practitioner, artist, and life-cycle celebrant. She is an educator and therapist specializing in mental health, women’s issues, cross-cultural understanding. Her artwork tells stories of inner worlds, utilizing found materials, handmade books, and collaborations with community groups.

SoulCollage ® as a Tool for Cross Cultural Understanding and Healing
SoulCollage® is a Jungian self and group analytical collage technique, that requires little artistic skill or art materials. Suits of cards are created, each of which represent an aspect of personality, culture, transpersonal influences, and the natural world. This workshop will present an overall framework of the history and practice of SoulCollage® , a hands-on making of the cards and exercises in using them to work on individual and cross-cultural issues. Applications of SoulCollage© in different settings and with differing age groups and issues and a group ritual of placing the cards in a collective format , will be taught.

Samantha Ryder; Yunyi Huang

Samantha Ryder

Is a current M.A. Counselling Psychology student in Expressive Arts Therapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is a trained visual artist, and her other professional identities include geographer, mapmaker, and researcher in hydro-ecology and environmental health fields.

Yunyi Huang

Is a current M.A. student in Expressive Arts Therapy at California Institute of Integral Studies. She has come to the path of becoming an EXA therapist from a previous career of filmmaking and indigenous culture preservation in Hong Kong and Guizhou, China.

Shape Your Practice: Geometries in Expressive Arts Therapy
Geometric shapes as symbols, metaphors and forms, influence the aesthetic quality, energy, and dynamics of therapeutic work. Across cultures, places, and time, shapes like circles, squares, and triangles appear in social dynamics, spiritual inquiries and nature. As expressive arts therapists, we constantly invite metaphors, movements and stories into our therapeutic processes. This workshop will offer multimodal activities such as dramatic play, visual arts, and movement to bridge theories of consciousness, cosmology and rituals to expressive arts practices. We hope to provide a new perspective of consciously using geometric shapes in expressive arts interventions with groups, families, couples and individuals.

Shauna DeGuire

MA, REAT, Metis founder and director of the Ecological Expressive Arts Organization has worked in partnership with artists and ecological groups including Golden Gate Audubon Society, Half-Moon Bay State Beach California, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, as well as having a private practice, Seed Tree Counseling.

Ecological Awareness Through The Arts
Love of nature is the pathway towards healing ourselves, healing communities, and healing our sacred mother earth. In the Ecological Awareness through the Arts workshop, participants will learn how to combine eco therapy with expressive arts therapy from an indigenous lens. During a 90 min AM workshop, attendees’ will learn how to recognize animal and plant spirit guides as well as using specific eco therapy tools for clients with trauma that can be used inside and outdoors. This workshop will be held indoors for most duration and includes a brief meditative walk. All practices will be wheelchair accessible.

Shoshana Simons; Ellie Lotan

Shoshana Simons,

PhD, RDT, CIIS Expressive Arts Therapy Program Chair and improvisational performer is a seasoned educator & change agent, joyously injecting the creative impulse into her work. She has published & presented extensively on collective narrative arts practices, transformative leadership and the development of socio-emotional spiritual learning curricula for Jewish educators and students.

Ellie Lotan

Is an Expressive Arts Therapy graduate from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. As a long-time Jewish community organizer, group facilitator, activist, and ritualist, Ellie is passionate about working towards healing collective and ancestral trauma by weaving tools from earth-based spiritual practice, guided imagery, somatic experiencing, and the arts.

At Home Beneath the Stars: Celebrating Sukkot through Ancient & Contemporary Ceremonial Arts Practices
Many therapists from dominant social groups feel a deep sense of being drawn to the practices of indigenous cultures. However, Native American psychologist Eduardo Duran contends that all therapists need to explore their own culture-centered traditions & refrain from practices of cultural appropriation. This workshop, coinciding with the ancient eight-day agrarian festival of sukkot, welcomes Jews and our allies to participate in ancient and contemporary Jewish rituals including shaking the lulav and the etrog, symbolic sukkah decorating & Hebrew chanting practices, rekindling our relationship with the six directions and the essential fragility of life.

Si Transken

My childhood was one of poverty and violence. Having escaped that very early in life I had to accomplish an education in unconventional ways while supporting myself. Those memories are always with me in the university classrooms (Social Work/ Gender Studies) and workshops I facilitate. In most of those contexts I find Indigenous people who have some similar struggles. We share affinities, creative urges, and resilience. Completing my art therapy training is an excellent addition to my toolkit. Much of what has been done in grassroots healing and struggle terrains has parallels to what is framed as ‘art therapy’. I’m delighted by this.

Creativity, Struggle, Resilience in northern grassroots contexts
This panel will have four creative social justice activists/ARTivists who have been working in small northern communities using poetry, storytelling, multimedia art, journaling, block sculptures, quilting, action figures (doll reconstructions) and other modes of expression for as long as 30 years. Three of us are Indigenous/Metis (and social worker/ nurse/ art therapists) and one of us is White Bush Trash (Associate Professor/ art therapist). All of us are looking for ways to be useful to really vulnerable populations of Indigenous people (survival sex trade workers, homeless women, low income students, men in half way houses, victims of abuse, people struggling with addictions). With certainty we have ongoingly witnessed the power and elegance of art therapy concepts in our every day care and connection in individual, group, community work. Our praxis builds on the contributions of Fyre Jean Graveline, Ellen Levine, Jo-Ann Episkenew, Arlene Goldbard, Joyce Green, Anne Bishop and others.

Suzanne Rancourt

Abenaki/Huron, applies neuro-cognitive methods that emphasize the strengths and resources working in your life now.  Suzanne emerges from her experiences, and formal education, transforming theories into practice. Her book, Billboard in the Clouds was the winner of the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award.  Ms. Rancourt is a veteran.  

Aikido: a holistic approach to trauma recovery
Aikido, the art of reconciliation, when taught with trauma awareness and action based movement methods, changes our body chemistry. “Bringing the mind back” is an ancient concept especially relevant for today’s survivors of trauma. Thomas D. Osborn’s Keganin No Shenshi method of PTSD focused Aikido can be done by ALL people. No uniforms required, no falls taken. Warming up to each other, blending, redirecting, respecting each other – all are essential in the quelling of our involuntary vagal responses. Patience, time, and quiet: Aikido is a Way of coming home.

Suzanne Rancourt

Abenaki/Huron, applies neuro-cognitive methods that emphasize the strengths and resources working in your life now.  Suzanne emerges from her experiences, and formal education, transforming theories into practice. Her book, Billboard in the Clouds was the winner of the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award.  Ms. Rancourt is a veteran.

Multi Modal Post Traumatic Growth: Making the Tree Whole Again- an opportunity to explore identity of self in relation to our work, methods, clients, and environment
Who we are as human beings often defines us as practitioners. Who we are as practitioners often dictates the methods we are inclined to employ. In this multi modal experiential exploration of EXAT, we address the following questions: Why do some methods work better for survivors of trauma than others? Why do I feel better after dancing, painting, writing, singing? What is neuroplasticity and what does that have to do with PTSD? What is Cortisol? What is Nature and why do you want me in it? Being multi modal is key. Find out why.

Tanja Woloshen

BA Hon, MFA, Bed. Tanja is a contemporary dance artist and educator, with a profound curiosity for Butoh; she continues to research, practice, and share the earth of this form. Her work focuses on themes of recognition, otherness, and non-linear identity. Her current dance research explores relationships with nature and intrinsic wildness.

Dance as a Decolonizing Process: Butoh and the Body
Butoh Dance is investigated as an inquiry of embodied knowledge, and holistic imagination. Through Butoh experiences, we will address questions about body connection, nature, recovery, trauma, awkwardness, rhapsody, and re-dreaming. This work is positioned as an indigenous approach to education, and as a potential decolonizing process- a heutagogy of place.

Terri Goslin-Jones; Janet Rasmussen

Terri Goslin-Jones,

Ph.D. is a workplace psychologist with expertise in creativity, expressive arts and leadership development. Her mission is to Discover the Wonder of People at Work™.  She is the Creativity Studies Lead Faculty at Saybrook University and a 2016 graduate of UCLA’s Mindfulness Facilitator Training program. 314-378-4508 

Janet Rasmussen,

Ph.D. a licensed psychologist, utilizes breath work, expressive arts, and meditation in her in private practice.  She specializes in working with individuals to uncover suppressed emotions, self-silencing, spirituality and personal transformation.  She has been trained in EMDR and uses this technique in conjunction with Expressive Arts Therapy.612-865-7422,

Mending Social Fabrics: The Alchemy of Self-Compassion
Self-compassion is often dismissed in the healing process. Change begins from within and compassion is a bridge to integrating and healing our suppressed emotions and suffering. This experiential workshop offers Person-Centered Expressive Arts to explore and utilize self-compassion to care for oneself, help others, and mend social fabrics. The healing process involves first acknowledging the wounds within and developing a personal practice for self-compassion. Exploring personal distress with expressive arts enables healers to develop their own practice of self-compassion. In turn, the healer becomes attuned with the suffering of humanity and can become an advocate for change. Mindfulness, movement, art-making, sound, writing, and witnessing will be offered as a process to facilitate self-compassion. Therapists, educators, consultants and community organizers can utilize these processes for self-care and for healing others.

Theresa Benson; Betsy Funk; Topaz Weis

Theresa Benson

Is a licensed psychologists, interfaith interspiritual minister, and Registered Expressive Arts Consultant Educator.  She currently works as a clinical counselor, training coordinator, and co-chair of the integrative health and wellness outreach team at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  She has a passion for ministering to others through community work focused on social justice and the expressive arts.

Betsy Funk

Is a clinical social worker and Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner in private practice and co-founder of Omaha Therapy and Arts Collaborative. She has specialized training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as Expressive Arts Therapy. Her passion involves bringing the arts into treatment in a way that promotes healing and resiliency. She is the developer of the “GREAT” Teen and Kids Groups, which are Expressive Arts therapy groups she facilitates in the OTAC studio and in area elementary and middle schools.

Topaz Weis, BA is an Expressive Arts Facilitator and founder of Expressive Arts Burlington in Vermont, USA. Her work with individuals, groups and in contracted events uses multi-modal arts processes to empower people to come together for fun and profound experiences which refresh the spirit and grant new and exciting pathways towards growth and wholeness. Topaz can be reached at:, [email protected] and +1 (802) 343-8172.

Reclaiming Our Roots: An Expressive Arts Journey of Spiritual Empowerment
This workshop explores how people, whose ethnic and spiritual heritage may have been lost through migration from their homeland, find a basis for spiritual practice that is connected to the land without culturally appropriating practices from indigenous people. Using movement, visual arts and creative writing, participants will examine how they define their spirituality, what it means to grieve a heritage lost, and how the expressive arts can connect people with meaningful, nature-based spiritual practices without engaging in cultural appropriation. The processes explored can deepen cultural understanding of spirituality and expressive arts as applied to training, counseling, and community engagement.

Tiff Chan

(B.F.A. Oxford University, M.A. Movement Studies, University of London, 1st year M.A. EXA, EGS). While studying Dance Therapy in Berkeley California in 2015, she found herself teaching a friend Cantonese, and stumbled upon the tools that have quietly accumulated throughout her life as a linguist and creative catalyst.

Visual and Kinaesthetic Tools to Support the Teaching and Learning of Languages
When indigenous languages are threatened of being obliterated by languages of world-dominating economies, what incentives do we have to motivate new generations of learners, whether amongst locals or immigrants? Workshop participants will learn how connecting tonality, an essential component of tonal languages, to a visual, musical scale, could then be transcribed onto one’s physical hand, and integrated into personal meaning-making through inventing stories. These tools can be applied to speech training for any language or dialect, as they witness its effectiveness in teaching Cantonese to English-speakers, enabling learners to master native tones and pronunciation with the least resistance.

Tzafi Weinburg

Is an art therapist. She studied art therapy at the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute, BC, and currently is a Doctorate student in Mount Mary University, Milwaukee. Her research topic deals with dyadic art therapy with indigenous foster child and foster parent. Tzafi has experience working with First Nations children in a private practice in Winnipeg.

Dyadic art therapy intervention with indigenous foster children and foster parents
Literature shows implications that abuse-related trauma and placement in foster care for children can occur and effect early brain development. This relates to the foster children’s behaviour and their difficulties in communicating with their foster parents. The workshop will present art techniques for working with the dyad focusing on the indigenous culture.

Vicki Kelly

Is an Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University. Her areas of teaching are: Indigenous Education as well as Art, Ecological, Contemplative and Health Education. Her research is in: Indigenous Epistemologies, Knowledge Practices & Pedagogies and Education for Reconciliation & Healing. She is a visual art and movement therapist.

Ceremony as Pedagogy and the Role of Indigenous Art Praxis
Indigenous art practices are ecological encounters of profound ethical relationality that acknowledge the act of co-creating through living embodiment. What is provoked are potential elegant enactments that ask us to fully engage in making such that the ceremony of these sacred practices makes and unmakes us. It is in such powerful acts of attunement and through returning to the ancient teachings that we learn to radically re-imagine and re-animate ourselves, creation longs for the alchemy of sacred acts, ceremony offered as medicine to our ailing Mother Earth. Here art becomes ecological activism. How can Indigenous Arts praxis reconcile and heal?

Wai Yip Chen

Is Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at Caritas Institute of Higher Education, whose interests lie in practicing and promoting photography-based intervention. He, together with his colleagues, published the first book on photography-based intervention in Hong Kong in 2015.

Stress Management: A Photography-based Intervention
In this workshop, I analyze the application of photography-based intervention in stress management for a group of social workers in China. Chinese are regarded as implicit in expressing themselves and interacting with others. Incorporating a photography-based approach can facilitate their articulation of thoughts, feelings, and their connection with others through photographic images and their narratives. In focus groups, the participants share the benefits of visual expression as an alternative form of intervention in the developing social work profession in China. Through experiential learning, the social workers can apply photography-based practice in direct services.

Wendy Miller

Wendy Miller, Ph.D. ATR-BC, LCPAT, REAT, LPC, BCPC is an expressive arts therapist, writer, sculptor, and educator. She taught for over fifteen years in various universities throughout the country, including JFK University, San Francisco State University, Southwestern College, Lesley College, California Institute of Integral Studies, and The George Washington University. She is the co-founder of Create Therapy Institute, which offers clinical services in arts-based psychotherapy and trainings in the expressive arts. She is a founding member, and first elected (past) executive co-chair of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, where she continues to be on their Advisory Council. Her current work is evolving as she continues the legacy of her late husband’s work, pioneer of creative aging, Gene Cohen, and his Washington DC Center on Aging, where she is guiding it into projects on intergenerational communication. She continues to research the relationships among the arts, creativity and health, and recently published her book from the writings she and Gene did together, entitled: Sky Above Clouds: Finding our way through creativity, aging and illness, released in March 2016 from Oxford University Press.

Sky Above Clouds: A conversational reading on the healing power of creativity through illness and adversity.
What happens when as clinicians who help others, we come to face the deepest losses of our own? What happens at the intersections of adversity and possibility, of crisis and creativity, of health and illness? How can our own individual creativity be a catalyst for hope, love, and healing under any circumstances and at every age? This workshop explores the existential territories of aging, illness, and creativity, focusing on the phenomenology of hope. Reading from her new book, Sky Above Clouds, Miller explores questions of mind-body medicine and health, reflecting upon groundbreaking work on aging, the presenter’s work with her late husband, a pioneering psychiatrist, researcher and writer about creative aging, and his struggle with terminal illness, even as he continued his life’s work. This workshop will use a conversational reading format, coupled with imagery and dialog, offering participants an opportunity to explore their own internal medical and spiritual narratives of loss.

Wendy Phillips

Ph.D., REACE, REAT, LMFT is interested in the naturally occurring Expressive Elements in Traditional Indigenous and Popular Art Practices. She is the founder of the Expressive Arts Therapy program at Goddard College and is the co-founder of the Expressive Arts Therapy Training Institute, El Colectivo Macondo, based in Mexico.

Traditional African American Songs and Games – Inspiration for Multimodal Activities
The Indigenous African people who arrived in the United States as forced migrants during the Afro-Atlantic Slave Trade brought their spiritual and ritual practices, songs and other musical traditions with them. These traditional practices evolved to become mechanisms enslaved people used while working to help them withstand the demands of forced labor taking the form of work songs. Traditional songs and activities also informed children’s games. Traditional Indigenous-African derived practices were passed down through the generations, and are still found in contemporary culture. We will experience games and songs that will inspire our Multimodal Practices with our clients and communities.

Wesdyne Otto

I am a formally trained abstract painter but I consider myself an art facilitator.  Five years after a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, I began studying art therapy and expressive arts therapy through World Arts Organization.  I develop disability culture awareness programs for persons living with disability, businesses and schools.

Exploring Disability Culture
The purpose of this workshop is offer alternative ways of understanding disability experiences. Cultural belonging, autonomy and sensory processing difference will be explored using arts-based exercises. References will be supplied so you can continue to explore disability culture and disability arts in Canada. The objective is providing therapists with tools to better work with individuals, couples and families who live with disability in a culturally sensitive manner.


IEATA 2017 Pre-Conference & Conference Speakers

*For detailed bios, click HERE*

Pre-Conference Facilitators

*Choose any two any individual Conference Days*

Pre-Conference offsite workshop: October 4th – Lower Fort Garry (Transportation Provided)

Allen Sutherland (White Spotted Horse) is an Anishinabek member of Skownan First Nation, Manitoba. He is a Registered Professional Trainer (RPT), Professional Certified Heritage Interpreter and a certified practitioner of Time Line Therapy. He provides Canadian Indigenous cultural historical awareness, dispelling myths and stereotypes and establishing linkages between historical events, such as treaties, and present day issues.

Pre-Conference offsite workshop: October 5th – Turtle Lodge (Transportation Provided)

Dave Courchene Nii Gaani Aki Inini (Leading Earth Man) has travelled internationally, carrying a message of hope and peace. Dave shares the ancient knowledge of the Original People of Turtle Island, that he believes can act as the foundation in supporting the New Life that Mother Earth is now entering, and that the Elders have confirmed has arrived.

Pre-Conference 2-day workshop: October 4th-5th – Hotel Fort Garry

Armand Volkas is a psychotherapist and Registered Drama Therapist in private practice and Clinical Director of the Living Arts Counseling Center in Berkeley, California, where he directs a training program for students, interns and therapists who want to integrate drama therapy into their practice.

Pre-Conference 2-day workshop: Hotel Fort Garry
October 4th: Rhythms & Symbols of Indigenous Arts of Ghana
October 5th: Mystery & Soul of India; Indigenous Arts of India

Kate Donohue is an adventuresome soul who has traveled to almost all the continents following the muse of her passion for culture , the arts, expressive arts and healing. She has created seminars in Ghana and India that explore the roots of healing through delving into the indigenous arts of these two cultures, the roots of expressive arts therapy.

Pre-Conference 2-day workshop: October 4th-5th – Hotel Fort Garry

Leah Fontaine Artist, educator, and scholar, Leah Fontaine connects with her Dakota/Anishinaabe/Metis heritage to intuitively attain the iconography and worldview display in her artwork and practice.

Pre-Conference 2-Day Workshop facilitator: October 4th-5th – Hotel Fort Garry

Victoria McIntosh Artist and teacher, Victoria was born in Ste. Boniface and raised on Sagkeeng First Nation. She spent her first years at the Fort Alexander Indian Residential School. She spent her first years at the Fort Alexander Indian Residential School. She has fond early memories of her grandmother as her first art teacher.

Conference Keynote: Friday 9 AM in Ballroom

Dave Courchene Nii Gaani Aki Inini (Leading Earth Man) has travelled internationally, carrying a message of hope and peace. Dave shares the ancient knowledge of the Original People of Turtle Island, that he believes can act as the foundation in supporting the New Life that Mother Earth is now entering, and that the Elders have confirmed has arrived.

Conference Keynote: Friday 1 PM in Ballroom

KC Adams graduated from Concordia University in 1998 with a B.F.A. and has had numerous solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and has been in two Biennales. She has participated in residencies around the world and received several grants and awards from Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts.

Conference Keynote: Saturday 9 AM in Ballroom

Jade Harper founder and owner, manages SpiritFusion and brings with her several years experience in program development and management with specialized skills in the areas of group facilitation, community mobilization, engagement and consultation.

Conference Keynote: Saturday 1 PM in Ballroom

Fyre Jean I am grateful for this opportunity to introduce myself as the Director of Circle Works, a qualified clinical therapist, a trained art therapist, a prolific writer and artist, a dedicated activist for Earth Mother, and an enthusiastic ceremonial leader.

Conference Keynote: Sunday 10 AM in Ballroom

Dr. Niigaan Sinclair is Anishinaabe, originally from St. Peter’s (Little Peguis) Indian Settlement near Selkirk, Manitoba, and is an Associate Professor and current Head of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba.

Conference Closing Ceremony; Planetary Dance – Sunday 11 AM in Ballroom

Daria Halprin is a dancer, poet, teacher, and author, is among the leading pioneers in the field of movement/dance and expressive arts  education and therapy. Her work bridges the fields of somatic psychology, movement/dance therapy, expressive arts therapy,  community based arts and health education, organizational consultancy, leadership development,  social change and performance. Bringing a life-long practice in the arts to her work , published writings include : Coming Alive; The Expressive Body in Life, Art and Therapy; contributing author Expressive Arts Therapy: Principles and Practices, Poesis: Essays On the Future of the Field; Body Ensouled, Enacted and Entranced. In 1978 Daria co-founded the Tamalpa Institute where she directs training programs in movement/dance and expressive arts education, consultancy and therapy. She teaches in educational, health and art centers throughout the world.

IEATA 2017 Conference – Poster Sessions 

Aleck Kwong is a Registered Arts Therapist of ANZATA, singer-songwriter, actor, and movie producer. He graduated from the Master of Expressive Arts Therapy program at the University of Hong Kong. He has over 10 years of experience working in education and corporate settings. He is currently applying expressive arts therapy in various populations including adolescents, people with HIV/AIDS, mentally ill, mentally challenged, bereaved, and ethnic minorities.

Expressive Arts Group Therapy for People Living with HIV/AIDS Using an Existential-Phenomenological Framework: Efficacy and Cultural Issues

People living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) face a number of existential challenges. An existential-phenomenological framework can be used in expressive arts group therapy for PLHIV to help them make existential meanings from the creative process, which in turn overcome challenges and enhance their well-being. A mixed-method research design has shown that after participating in expressive arts therapy group PLHIV displayed improvement in various domains of the quality of life, positive and negative affects, group cohesiveness, and creativity. Cultural issues are also discussed with the experience of working with PLHIV in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Cambodia.

Alison Odendaal, a Postgraduate student assistant in the University of South Africa’s Psychology Department, holds a BA Honours in Counselling Psychology and is currently pursuing a Masters in Research Psychology. She is a registered counsellor, using art as a therapeutic tool and is also pursuing studies in Expressive Art Counselling.

Spaces for expression: Acquired Brain Injury inpatients in rehabilitation

This poster presentation documents the phenomenological study of the experiences of a group of black adult male, Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) inpatients in a public neurorehabilitation hospital in South Africa, who participated in a structured expressive art therapy program. Through semi-structured interviews, themes of the patients’ experiences were analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. There are currently no formal expressive art therapy programs in public neurorehabilitation hospitals in South Africa. Applied implications of this study are further research and developments into the implementation of permanent expressive art therapy programs for ABI inpatients in South African public neurorehabilitation hospitals.

Leslie Wakeman is the Program Leader for Socially Responsible Citizenship in Sunrise School Division which includes promoting Indigenous history and perspective in collaboration with the divisional AAA cohort.

Sunrise Student Leadership Cohort:  reconciliation through student voice

The Sunrise Student Leadership Cohort builds student leadership and voice with a group of Grades 7 to 11 students with a focus on reconciliation. Learning from Elders, guest speakers, MCIC and spending time at The Turtle Lodge, students developed a deepening understanding of residential schools, Canadian history and gender roles. Learning was directed by student questioning. Participants were a part of designing, leading and presenting at the annual Spring Feast providing leadership to over 500 division students from Grades 5 to 12.