This exhibition is an “Open Invitation” to participate with MPS students and the people they work with at their internship sites. As artwork from the therapeutic relationship is put on display, the general public is asked to contribute to the exhibition formation not only through their presence, but also by sharing artwork on the invitation card and adding it to the show. In an effort to enhance interpersonal value, the focus on process broadens the sense of community and inclusion.

Posted in Exhibition, Faculty, In Class, Professional Development, Students

Art Pals Project Exhibition


The MPS Art Therapy Department at The School of Visual Arts, in partnership with the Cooke Center for Learning and Development, proudly presents the Art Pals Project. This project brings Cooke Center students together in a very special way – through non-verbal, artistic expression.

The Art Pals Project features the abstract artwork of 22 special needs students, from Cooke Center Grammar School and Cooke Center Academy. The students were placed in pairs and encouraged to share their thoughts and communicate their messages using pencil sketches, markers and watercolor paints. This 3-month long postal exchange culminated in the creation of four art pieces per student pair, and became known as the Art Pals Project.

The exhibition is curated by Samantha Tomao (MPS Art Therapy Class of 2012) and will be open February 4-12, 2015 in the MPS Art Therapy Department 5th Floor Project Space Gallery at 132 West 21st Street, 5th Floor. A reception will be held Thursday, February 5, 6-8pm.

The exhibition will be on view Monday-Friday, 2-4pm; or by appointment. Please contact the MPS Art Therapy Department at 212.592.2610 or to schedule a viewing.

Posted in Alumni, Exhibition, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects

MPS Art Therapy Alumni Residency Exhibition: PROCESS


During November 2014, MPS Art Therapy alumni Alexandra Caminiti, ATR, LCAT, (Class of 2012) participated in the Department’s inaugural Alumni Residency Program. Her work is now on view in the MPS Art Therapy Department 5th Floor Studio Space at 132 West 21st Street in NYC.

Exhibition Dates and Hours: January 12-30, 2015; Monday-Friday: 2-4pm, or by appointment

Exhibition Reception: Thursday, January 15, 6-8pm

Exhibition Statement: Creating art is a necessity in order for me to be a genuine and present art therapist in my work. This work is primarily focused on process, and the consequence of that has been the sacrifice of intentional and realistic representational form. The onus on the act of creating has alleviated the intolerance I have of errors in the representational image. When the people I work with have a concrete scope of their art/life, it feels imperative for me to create something of endless possibility for interpretation. Abstraction allows large concepts to be conveyed in artwork rather than a specific event, which is often necessary for me to work through ideas rather than dwell on incidences and get stuck in the concrete.

Artist’s Statement: The art I create is almost always a reflection of the climate of my life, as well as my current state of being. At this point color, line, and flow play important roles, appearing more significant and worked through than representational form. I’ve interpreted this as a response to the large amount of time I spend with psychotic individuals in my work as a creative arts therapist. Those with psychotic symptoms are often rigidly cemented to the concrete of their worlds, leaving little space for metaphoric understanding of their experience. As an inadvertent response, my own work seems to contain increasingly more abstract qualities, moving away from the concrete, perhaps an unconscious effort to allow space for interpretation and to make the interpretations innumerable for the viewer. Abstraction is the “quality of dealing with ideas rather than events,” and allows large concepts to be conveyed in artwork rather than a specific thing that happened.

Caminiti will also be conducting a workshop, Self-Care through Process Oriented Art-Making, on Thursday, January 29, 6-8pm. It is free and open to SVA students, faculty, and alumni.

Posted in Alumni, Exhibition, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Workshops

SAVE THE DATES: Spring 2015 Community Lecture Series


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

Workshop for Russian Art Therapists

A group Russian art therapists and art therapy students, led by art therapist and photographer Alexander Kopytin, were in town recently for the annual Expressive Therapies Summit, and two MPS Art Therapy alumni had the opportunity to host a presentation and workshop for them.

The workshop, conducted in Russian by Val Koutmina (Class of 2011) and Irina Derkacheva (Class of 2012),  was designed to integrate two practices: that of mindfulness, and that of weaving, in application to art therapy. Irina presented on mindfulness-based therapies and DBT, and Val focused on the connection to weaving and the value of craft-based interventions in art therapy. The participants were eager to learn about the practical applications of techniques discussed. As a result, they were very engaged in both the mindfulness exercise and the weaving directive that followed.


Posted in Alumni, International, Professional Development, Workshops

Matisse Cut-Outs @ MoMA

Matisse at MoMA

During the last decade of his life, Henri Matisse (1896-1954) turned exclusively to the innovative technique of the cut-out. Matisse took sheets of paper colored with gouache by his studio assistants and used scissors to cut shapes and forms, which were then arranged on the walls of his bedroom and dining room. Finished compositions were spot glued on a background and larger works were mounted on canvas and often glazed. Some cut-outs were stand alone works of art, while others served as studies for larger decorative projects. The cut-out technique enabled Matisse to adapt his decades-long exploration of line and color into a medium that was less physically taxing than the practice of painting.

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) until February 8, 2015, beautifully presents the vibrant artwork of the artist at the end of his life. Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs drew record-breaking crowds when it premiered at Tate Modern, so reserve your timed admission tickets in advance before visiting MoMA for this once-in-a-lifetime show.

The MPS Art Therapy program’s Multicultural Issues in Art Therapy class recently went to MoMA to view the Cut-Outs show, with ageism as the topic of discussion for the class that week. Course instructor Val Sereno felt viewing this exhibit demonstrated how Matisse, in the last years of his life, was able to utilize the cut-out technique and remain as creative and productive as ever. This dynamic show inspired the class to not only actively discuss ageism, but also the vibrancy and richness of using collage materials at any age.

Text by Tessa Dean, MA and Val Sereno, ATR-BC, LCAT.

Posted in Exhibition, Faculty, In Class, Professional Development, Students

Stop-Motion Animation as Therapeutic Tool

Animal Heaven

First-year students have been expanding their concept of expressive therapeutic techniques in Debi Farber’s Methods and Materials class.  Recently, alumna Irina Derkacheva (class of 2012) visited the class and shared her knowledge of stop-motion animation techniques.

Not only can animations allow for diagnostic analysis of the formal choices in the molded clay figures and collaged backgrounds, but this medium also allows an opportunity for time-based storytelling.  The class broke off into four groups that each produced their own short animation just to get a taste of the techniques. Irina supplemented the activity by sharing a few articles that highlighted case studies in which computer art techniques and filmmaking proved to be invaluable tools in a client’s treatment.     

See the animations below:

Jungle Friends

Pizza Party

Animal Heaven

Aliens and Friends


Posted in Alumni, In Class, Professional Development, Students, Uncategorized, Workshops

MPS Art Therapy Department Information Session: Saturday, October 25, 12:30-2pm

MPS Art Therapy Department Information Session
Saturday, October 25, 2014, 12:30-2pm
132 West 21st Street, 3rd floor

Please join us for an information session for prospective applicants to SVA’s MPS Art Therapy program.

We will be conducting a panel discussion with faculty, alumni, and students who will be discussing art therapy, their work, and the MPS program at SVA.

A Q&A session will follow.

Please RSVP or contact

For those unable to attend, last year’s panel session can be viewed here.

Posted in Faculty, Professional Development, Students

FALL 2014 Community Lecture Series Schedule

1. Friday, October 24, 6:30-8pm
Developing a Therapeutic Arts Community
Vincent Grande, PhD and Eileen McGann, ATR-BC, LCAT

133/141 West 21 Street, Room 101C
Lectures are FREE to the public. CEC’s available for ATR-BC’s.
Have you ever had a vision of creating an arts community with clinical depth of practice? This presentation will focus on the development of an Arts and Creative Therapies program, from proposal through research outcomes in a residential program for youth and their families, who have experienced complex traumas. Case examples of individual art therapy sessions addressing complex traumas, crisis intervention, family art therapy, group works and community building through the arts, collaboration with educational and residential staff as well as innovative method of conducting art therapy research will be presented and discussed. The principles, case examples and research will demonstrate the ideology and practice of creating sanctuary and the implicit knowledge of the art as therapy.

Dr. Vincent Grande received his B.A. in Psychology from Penn State University and his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stony Brook University. Currently Dr. Grande is a Research Coordinator with the nonprofit organization, MercyFirst, where he conducts research on outcome metrics in child welfare. He is also an adjunct professor at St. Joseph’s College in Long Island, where he teaches a course in research methods.

Eileen McGann, ATR-BC, LCAT has a broad range of clinical experience working for over thirty years with children, adolescents and their families. Her clinical work is concentrated in therapeutic milieu and studio approach with young people who have experienced complex trauma, and she is currently Director of the Arts and Creative Therapies at MercyFirst. She has presented nationally and internationally, and her artwork has been featured as book and journal covers and her writing about art therapy has been published in the United States, Europe as well as translated in the Czech Republic.

Please RSVP.


2. Friday, November 14, 6:30-8pm
Hope that Inspires and Hope that Misleads
Sandra Buechler, PhD

133/141 West 21 Street, Room 101C
Lectures are FREE to the public. CEC’s available for ATR-BC’s.
What inspires both participants in treatment to continue to have hope, despite the obstacles and limitations we encounter? How can we tell productive hope from false hopes, that will mislead us both? In this talk Sandra Buechler will explore interpersonal aspects of hope, how at times it is a gift from one person to another, and how it can sometimes function as an obstacle to a richer life.

Sandra Buechler, PhD, is a training and supervising analyst at the William Alanson White Institute in New York City.  She also supervises at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy.  A member of the editorial board of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, she is the author of Clinical Values: Emotions that Guide Psychoanalytic Treatment (Analytic Press, 2004), and has written papers on the analyst’s experiences of loneliness, loss, joy, and other aspects of the clinician’s feelings.  She also authored Making a Difference in Patients’ Lives (Routledge, 2008), and an upcoming book, Still Practicing: The Heartaches and Joys of a Clinical Career (Routledge, April 2012).

Please RSVP.


3. Friday, December 5, 6:30-8pm
Speaking out: Art Therapy as a voice for clients with eating disorders
Lauren Fabrizio, MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT

133/141 West 21 Street, Room 101C
Lectures are FREE to the public. CEC’s available for ATR-BC’s.
This presentation will discuss how art therapy provides a voice for clients with eating disorders. She will demonstrate how eating disorder symptoms become a symbolic language to express underlying issues such as trauma, anxiety and depression. By providing a safe therapeutic space for expression through art therapy, these issues can be brought to awareness, processed and worked through, therefore giving clients a sense of control and empowerment in their recovery.

Lauren Fabrizio, MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT is an IOP/Outpatient Program Coordinator and Creative Arts Therapist at BALANCE eating disorder treatment center™. Her specialties include treating eating disorders, trauma, anxiety and depression. She received her Masters degree in Art Therapy from the School of Visual Arts, where she completed a graduate internship at The Renfrew Center of New York. Prior to joining BALANCE eating disorder treatment center™, she worked as the lead art therapist at Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. She is also a certified MARI practitioner, Reiki practitioner and 200-hour certified yoga instructor. She believes in a holistic, client centered approach to healing, and works intuitively and pulls from various influences, blending traditional talk therapy with art therapy techniques and empowerment practices.

Please RSVP.

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

Register for Our Upcoming Conference!

There is still time to get your ticket for the MPS Art Therapy Fall Conference:

Psychotherapy as the Art of Uncertainty
Friday, September 12, 2014, 9AM-4PM
SVA Theatre
333 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10011

Keynote Speaker: Philip M. Bromberg, PhD

Panel Discussion: Philip M. Bromberg, PhD; Heather Genovese, ATR-BC, LCAT, LP; Nicolas Touron, MFA, sculptor & ceramicist; moderated by Eileen McGann, ATR-BC, LCAT

We work in the dark – we do what we can – we give what we have.
Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task.
The rest is the madness of art.
-Henry James (1893)

Understanding the nature of the analytic relationship and how to facilitate enduring personal growth, particularly in patients considered “difficult,” has been central to Philip Bromberg’s interest for many years. In his clinical explorations of what makes psychoanalysis therapeutic and what hinders it, he has developed the clinical implications of working with dissociative processes as a major factor in accounting for why patients improve and why they don’t.

His writing has become a major factor in the growth of what some argue is a paradigm shift in accounting for the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis —toward a view of it being shaped by what takes place in the relationship between the two people called patient and therapist. As you will hear today, Dr. Bromberg presents a view that therapeutic growth is process-based—that it is organized more by perception than by cognition—and that when the relationship is creative, it leads to the co-creation of a space in which self and other can exist without sacrificing individuality and to a spirit where new and spontaneously fresh ways of thinking and being can best emerge.

General Admission: $75
Non-SVA Students (with ID): $20
SVA Students, Alumni, Faculty, and On-site Supervisors: FREE

Register HERE.


Posted in Alumni, Conference, Faculty, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students, Uncategorized