Video Art Therapy Workshop: Saturday, January 19, 12-3pm


This workshop is open to MPS Art Therapy students, SVA undergraduates, and prospective applicants to the MPS Art Therapy program at SVA. Please RSVP to [email protected]

Posted in Alumni, Art, Faculty, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students, Workshops

Adapted Easels and Stories for Children: Child Art Development Class Show

Posted in Art, art galleries, Exhibition, Faculty, Galleries, In Class, Professional Development, Students, Workshops

Clay Sculptures

Clay is a very forgiving and easily manipulated material that is great to work with. Clay sculptures are edifices that have been used in cultures to tell stories, honor memories, and represent families. Today, the first-year MPS Art Therapy students created clay sculptures to represent themselves and their families.

The therapeutic value of clay relates to the physicality of the material. Because of how malleable it is, the creator can channel all of their emotions into pounding the clay, thereby releasing any negative emotions they had been holding inside. The constant handling of the clay can also be cathartic and relaxing for the creator. Clay can help us see something from various perspectives, literally and figuratively. Clay also helps to empower the creator by enabling them to manipulate their environment however they wish.

Posted in Art, Faculty, In Class, Students, Workshops

3 Questions with Tami Herzog-Rodriguez

Javier Duran (MPS Art Therapy Class of 2020), Adaptive art easel for a child with vision impairment

Tami Herzog-Rodriguez, PhD, ATR-BC, LCAT, teaches the Child Art Development course for first year MPS Art Therapy students. The focus of the course is to examine the physical, emotional and intellectual growth of children, as well as the psychological and environmental influences that impact development. Every year the students create and exhibit children’s books that address coping skills. This year there is an added element to the exhibition: adaptive art therapy materials created by students!

Can you share the process and materials required to create an adaptive art therapy easel?
The class learns how to create an adaptive easel using three basic materials; cardboard, glue, and a utility knife. Cardboard is affordable, safe, and durable. Therefore the class uses specific techniques to construct a basic easel using tri-wall cardboard. We go through the steps of measuring, cutting, bending, assembling, reinforcing, edging, sanding, and painting which I learned from the Adaptive Design Association in NYC. Then students customize the adaptation to meet the needs of a specific client and write a justification for their specific adaptation.  For example, one student added a base and straps which could attach the easel to the handles of a wheelchair.

What led you to introduce this method to the child art development class?
In class we study art therapy approaches for a range of physical and cognitive impairments. Yet there are many individuals with disabilities who simply are not able to participate in art therapy without adaptations. Ordering adaptive equipment from a catalogue is an expensive solution which may not fall within a program’s budget for art materials. Also, the adaptations purchased may not fit the unique needs of the individual. When art therapists know how design custom adaptations using widely available, low cost materials, they create an environment of inclusion.

How can the content of this experiential/class be applied to other populations?
While this project is designed for the Child Art Therapy course, creating an easel with tri-wall cardboard can be used for clients of all ages and abilities. The easel itself can be personalized and decorated with the client. The easel can hold a client’s artwork as well as their preferred art materials.

Interview conducted by Jenny Asaro (MPS Art Therapy Class of 2019)

Sarah Fine (Class of 2020)

The exhibition, Adapted Easels and Stories for Children: Child Art Development Class Show, will be exhibited December 5-19, 2018 in the 5th Floor Gallery space at 132 West 21 Street.

Throughout this course, students study ways to adapt art tools and processes for children of all ages and ability levels. The class creates and customizes adaptive easels using three basic materials: cardboard, glue, and utility knives. They also adapt stories by writing and illustrating books on difficult topics such as bereavement, hospitalization, and trauma.

Viewing Hours:

  • Thursday, December 6, 10am-12pm
  • Friday, December 7, 3-5pm
  • Saturday, December 8, 12-3pm
  • Monday, December 10, 3-5pm
  • Tuesday, December 11, 3-5pm
  • Wednesday, December 12, 3-5pm
  • Friday, December 14, 3-5pm
  • Monday, December 17, 3-5pm
  • Tuesday, December 18, 3-5pm
  • Or by appointment, please contact [email protected] or 212.592.2610 to schedule.
Posted in 3 Questions, Art, art galleries, Exhibition, Faculty, Galleries, In Class, Professional Development, Students, Workshops

Welcome to Our World: Saturday, December 8, 12-3pm


The young people of Artistic Noise invite you to their Holiday Pop-Up Shop and collaborative mural installation. Collaboration involves offering the youth creative opportunities to assume leadership and receive social support. Artistic Noise is a private nonprofit that exists to bring the freedom and power of artistic practice to young people who are incarcerated, on probation, or otherwise involved in the justice system.

Saturday, December 8, 2018, 12-3pm
SVA MPS Art Therapy 132 West 21 Street 5th Floor Studio Space

Youth artists: Samantha, Arianna, Khadijah, Gennesis, Savio, Carlos, Kevin, Ivan, Eleiona, Joe

MPS Art Therapy students: Simi Shukla, KasMone’ Williams, Jennifer James, Cindy Bulding, Jessamyn Henschel, Ariel Roland Waring, Holly Brennan, William Mcmillin, Evelyn Mora

Artistic Noise staff: Francesca DeBiaso, Sophia Dawson

Art therapy supervisor: Liz DelliCarpini

For more information please contact Liz at [email protected]

Posted in Alumni, Art, Faculty, Galleries, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students, Workshops



Posted in Alumni, Art, art galleries, Faculty, Galleries, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students, Workshops

3 Questions with Frances Fawandu

Frances Fawandu, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, is a practicing art therapist as well as a new addition to our faculty. Frances currently teaches Multicultural Issues in Art Therapy with Val Sereno, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT. The course explores the impact of ethnicity and culture on the therapeutic process to increase students’ awareness of their biases, cultural background and how that effects their world view and clinical work. Frances has expressed an interest and knowledge in religion & spirituality, which will be one of her contributions to the course.

1. Would you share a bit about your interest in religion and spirituality?

A number of studies suggest that religion and spirituality are beneficial resources in the recovery process of clients struggling with mental health and substance abuse problems. My interest in religion and spirituality has allowed me to be especially sensitive in assessing the religious and spiritual concerns of clients as it relates to the provision of multicultural art therapy services.

2. Could you share about past experiences with multiculturalism in your art therapy practice that have informed your approach to this class?

My experiences with multiculturalism in art therapy practice includes providing art therapy treatment services for clients from culturally diverse populations in multiple clinical settings. Throughout the years, I have also provided art therapy workshops for both students and professionals of diverse cultural backgrounds.
These diversified experiences have challenged me to examine my own biases and assumptions in order to consider alternative possibilities. It has caused me to be especially sensitive to the individualized treatment needs of the clients that I serve. As an instructor, I encourage art therapy students to increase their sensitivity and awareness of various cultural perspectives. In therapy we cannot adapt a “one size fit all” approach to treatment. Each client is an individual and as clinicians it’s crucial to gain knowledge and understanding of our clients’ worldview in order to effectively serve them. Sue and Sue (2016) said it nicely when they wrote, “Because groups and individuals differ from one another, the blind application of techniques to all situations and all populations seems ludicrous” (p. 58). The art making process and engaging clients in therapeutic discussions about their artistic productions provided greater insights concerning their worldview and problematic issues. Thus, this allowed me to offer interventions that promoted resilience, empowerment, and motivation, thereby further enhancing their individualized recovery process.

3. Could you describe your work at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center? Does this inform your approach to teaching?

As Director of Creative Arts Therapy, I consistently ensure that our therapeutic programming is client centered and culturally responsive to meet the special needs of the diversified client population we serve. This experience has most certainly informed my approach to teaching. I want to ensure students understand that becoming a culturally responsive therapist is an ongoing process that involves each individual’s self-awareness examination to increase understanding of how their own cultural background and experiences may influence their attitudes, biases, and assumptions concerning interactions with culturally diverse populations.


Written and compiled by Jenny Asaro (Class of 2019)

Posted in 3 Questions, Faculty, Students

SAVE THE DATES: December 7 & 8

Learning Objectives:

  1. To raise awareness around and provide specific case examples of how oppressive systems in the USA are impacting the mental health of families and individuals.
  2. To offer specific clinical interventions and strategies that support clients who are dealing with the ramifications of systemic dysfunctionality.
  3. To offer strategies on how to be resilient and effective therapists while working with clients who are suffering from the trauma caused by systemic injustices.

Panel Facilitators:
Diana Gil Velez, MS, LCAT, ATR-BC is a New York state licensed creative arts therapist, board certified/registered art therapist, and a psychoanalyst-in-training.  She has a private practice in Manhattan called Evolve Through Art – Creative Arts Therapy, PLLC (ETA) since 2012. Diana also works as a creative arts therapist at Jacobi Medical Center’s inpatient psychiatric unit where she’s been serving the Bronx community for over 7 years.  As a psychoanalyst-in-training with the National Psychological Association of Psychoanalysis (NPAP), she provides low fee psychoanalysis at their Theodor Reik Clinical Center for Psychotherapy. Diana is dedicated to providing top quality mental health services in disenfranchised settings.  She uses a multi-culturally and eclectic approach in her work, ensuring to tailor her psychotherapeutic interventions to her patient’s needs. She is a member of Creative Arts Therapists of Color and Art Therapists for Human Rights.

Sandra Ramos-Watt, MA, MT-BC, LCAT is a New York State licensed mental health practitioner and nationally board-certified music therapist.  She is the founder of CATs of Color (, a network of creative arts therapists of color, that addresses the need for greater multiracial diversity in the creative arts therapy profession.  Sandra is the clinical director at Heartsong, Inc. She has served as a board member for the New York State Office of the Professions/Mental Health Practitioners for the past 10 years.  Sandra has maintained a private practice in the Bronx since 2010. Her approach focuses on the therapeutic relationship and on how one’s way of being in the world is situated within the frameworks of their social and cultural histories.

Diana Gil Velez, MS, LCAT, ATR-BC (Facilitator/Panel Presenter)
Sandra Ramos-Watt, MA, MT-BC, LCAT (Facilitator)
Gabriela S. Ortiz, MS, LCAT, MT-BC (Panel Presenter)
Adam Stevens, MA, LCAT-P (Panel Presenter)

133/141 West 21 Street, Room 101C. Lectures are FREE to the public. CEC’s available for ATR-BC’s; CE hours available for LCAT’s



Posted in Alumni, Art, Faculty, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students, Workshops

Art Therapy & Technology

Certified SketchUp instructor Steve Gross teaches two children how to use the SketchUp at an iSTAR camp.

(the video shows the examples of Sketchup used by children with ASD)

Around 8 years ago, a number of parents with children on the autism spectrum contacted the SketchUp team to tell them how this three-dimensional design program has provided their children with a means of expression. This program is able to utilize the extraordinary visual and spatial abilities of those with autism. Project Spectrum along with the Autism Society of Boulder Country launched a program in order to help children with autism. SketchUp provides a means in which nonverbal autistic children could communicate and express themselves through visual imagery. For other autistic children, it enabled them to realize educational and career goals that can serve them in their lives. In some situations, they might not have even contemplated on being able to fulfill these goals, but with SketchUp, they are given that opportunity. Their self-esteem increases because they are able to better express themselves.

Hearing about these stories led Cheryl Wright, Family and Consumer Studies Associate Professor at the University of Utah, to examine the possible benefits that SketchUp may provide for autism. She decided to start a camp called iStart that utilizes SketchUp.

Through thorough observations of the campers, Professor Wright’s team was able to discover that the campers not only learned a skill set that would be beneficial to future employment, but also they developed strong interpersonal skills and confidence. The camp helped these children by focusing on their hidden talents rather than the disorder. This enabled the children to discover more about their strengths, thus leading to better self-esteem.

The Animated Mask
Jeff Jamerson discusses how he can use traditional mask making, and create an animated version of it on an application. He would take a picture of the mask, and adjust the photo of the mask as desired. Afterwards, a person can record his or her voice and create a talking animated mask. This can be used for storytelling and creating narratives.

Drawing and Writing on the iPad
Technology seems to help autistic children connect to the world. Emma is a non-verbal autistic girl. She uses art on the Ipad to better express herself. Through art on the iPad, she is able to create sentences to describe what she sees. As the therapist speaks and colors on the ipad, Emma is able to repeat after her and understand some verbal cues. Afterwards, she repeats to check her understanding.

Compiled by Sung Jae Chang (MPS Class of 2019)

Posted in Art, Professional Development, Workshops

‘I am…’: Intersections of Addiction and Transgender Experience

‘I am…’: Intersections of Addiction and Transgender Experience

S.J. Langer, LCSW-R

Friday, November 30, 2018
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

80 Fifth Avenue
Room 1408
New York, New York 10011

*This talk has been approved by New York State for 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit for LMSWs and LCSWs.

When do you know that you know? This could be asked of a person recognizing their addiction as well as to a person who is understanding their gender. These are self-identifying phenomena. This is not to suggest that a trans identity is a diagnosis or addiction. There are however profound changes for the individual in recovery and those who live their authentic gender: both “know a new freedom and a new happiness”. How do we expertly shepherd patients through these explorations? Does one recognition need to supersede another? How does addiction infiltrate one’s psyche and feed denial of one’s authentic self? How do we help connect patients to their own experience of self? We will explore these various questions and also explore the experience of transgender people in recovery settings. Through the use of case examples from his private practice, this workshop will explore the myriad of trajectories that trans patients have traveled in their recovery from addiction.

S.J. Langer is a writer and psychotherapist in New York City, where he maintains a private practice. He is on faculty at School of Visual Arts in both the MPS Art Therapy and Humanities & Sciences departments. He is a member of the Executive Committee for the Psychotherapy Center for Gender and Sexuality at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. His most recent academic article Trans Bodies and the Failure of Mirrors was the co-winner of the Symonds Prize from Studies in Gender and Sexuality. His first book Theorizing Transgender Identity for Clinical Practice: A New Model for Understanding Gender will release in January 2019 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

To buy tickets go to:

*Please note: A $5 surcharge will apply for those paying at the door, but we suggest buying your ticket in advance as the event may reach capacity before the date of the presentation.

For a refund to a PPSC Annex event, we must receive cancellation notice 7 days prior to the event. Please contact [email protected] if you want to cancel within this time frame.

Posted in Conference, Faculty, Professional Development