December 4th- Virtual Community Lecture: Working with Shame and Addiction Treatment

All are welcome to attend MPS Art Therapy’s next ✨Virtual✨ Community Lecture on Friday, December 4th from 6-7:30 PM! “The Third Rail: Working with Shame and Addiction Treatment” will be presented by Renee Obstfeld, Ph.D., ATR-BC, LCAT, CASC and will emphasize the role played by substance use in ameliorating emotions borne out of humiliation, enhancing compensatory grandiosity, and creating conditions under which necessary but excruciating relationships can be tolerated.

FREE and open to the public. 1.5 CE hours available to LCATS.

Register here.

Posted in 2020, Conference, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects

MPS Art Therapy Special Project Highlight: Cross-Cultural Collaboration

This semester, MPS Art Therapy students have been collaborating across cultures in SVA’s Special Projects program. SVA students have been leading art therapy workshops with medical students in Latvia to promote self-care, connection, and stress relief. The project is facilitated and supervised by Special Projects Coordinator, Val Sereno, and MPS Art Therapy alum, Julia Volonts, in partnership with Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU). Julia is a licensed Art Therapist who moved to Riga, Latvia in 2019 while on a Fulbright Scholarship.

RSU recently featured the project in their university newspaper. Here, Julia and RSU staff describe the project in more detail, “Prior to the pandemic, SVA special projects mainly focused on communities within the New York area, but now Zoom has made it easier to connect internationally. This project with RSU acts as a cross-cultural exchange between the art therapy counseling team at SVA and medical students from Latvia and other parts of the world that would have not been able to receive this type of mental health support otherwise.”

Read more about the collaboration via the full article, here:

Posted in 2020, Art, International, Special Programs and Projects, Students, Workshops

November 20th- Virtual Community Lecture: Ethical Issues in Treatment

Our next Virtual Community Lecture is on Friday, November 20th! “Ethical Issues in Treatment: Choices, Rules, and Self-Reflection” will be presented by Lindsay Lederman, ATR-BC, LCAT and will explore current ethical issues around confidentiality, telehealth, and boundaries.

FREE and open to the public. 1.5 CE hours available to LCATS.

Register here.

Posted in 2020, Conference, Faculty, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students, Workshops

MPS Art Therapy Faculty/Staff Member, Liz DelliCarpini, Publishes Article in AATA Journal

Congratulations to MPS Art Therapy faculty/staff member, Liz DelliCarpini, MAAT, ATR-BC, LCAT, ATCS, on the recent publication of her article, “Breaking Bars: Community-Based Art Therapy Mural Project” in the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association!

The article details a community-based art therapy mural project with young people involved in New York City’s justice system. To address the racial and economic oppression they confront, the project aimed to increase social bonds and create social power shifts within a collective community.

Read more here:

Posted in 2020, Art, Faculty, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students

MPS Art Therapy Student, Sarah Fine, Awarded American Art Therapy Association Scholarship

A big congratulations to SVA MPS Art Therapy student, Sarah Fine, on being selected as the recipient of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA)’s Irene Rosner David Medical Art Therapy scholarship! This scholarship is awarded to a student who exemplifies an understanding of the role of the medical Art Therapist.

MPS Art Therapy chatted with Sarah about her award and her interest in medical Art Therapy:

“I first became interested in Medical Art Therapy through my grandmother’s transformative experience with art therapy. She experienced a brain injury that limited her verbal communication abilities, and my grandfather enlisted the help of an art therapist to help her communicate. I got to see my grandmother’s development into an artist beginning at her hospital bedside and spanning years of creating beautiful and expressive images. Pursuing medical art therapy has been one way to meaningfully impact lives at critical moments, and it’s also been a very special connection to my grandmother for me. I’m currently interning at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell primarily working with children and families in the Phyllis and David Komansky Children’s Hospital Hematology and Oncology treatment spaces.”

As an undergraduate student at Vanderbilt University, Sarah studied Medicine, Health, and Society and created ceramic art on the pottery wheel. In her first year as an SVA graduate student, she worked with middle school children referred to art therapy for experiences such as bullying, sexual abuse recovery, and ASD support. In this community-based setting, Sarah gained tremendous experience in interpreting developmental markers, working collaboratively with children and their parents, and attuning to individual communication solutions.

For this academic year, Sarah has joined the Creative Arts Therapy Department at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell supporting children undergoing cancer treatment and hospitalization. She considers creating art in the pediatric medical setting a powerful tool for cohesion, strength, and growth during one of the most critical moments in a family’s life. Following her graduation, Sarah is excited to contribute to the field by becoming an art therapy professional and collaborating on innovative research.

Posted in 2020, Professional Development, Students

Vote With Mental Health in Mind: A Guide via the American Art Therapy Association

As election day approaches, our community may be interested to review the below nonpartisan resource from the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). Your vote matters!

Posted in 2020, Art, Faculty, Professional Development, Students

Record Album Design in Methods & Materials Class

Recently, first-year MPS Art Therapy students created album covers in their Methods & Materials class. Decisions around genre, theme, and messages they wished to convey were considered. Witnessing the development of original music tracks and cover artwork depicting a personal story was truly inspiring. Participants discovered that this intervention addresses communication, self-awareness, memories, decision making, impulse control, and emotional expression. Tracklists can foster the exploration of themes such as racial injustice, bullying, future goals, addiction, recovery, and other meaningful life experiences. Consideration of populations and sites that might benefit from this experience followed the artmaking experience.

Featured artwork by Tierra Lindsey, Nicole Titus, Athena Toledo.

Posted in 2020, Art, In Class, Students

Envisioning the Ideal Environment for Personal Peace

First-year MPS Art Therapy student, Gracy Vidal, reflects on how envisioning an ideal environment, or “happy place” can have the power to positively impact one’s state of mind:

“This illustration was done at my first special project at the beginning of the semester. The theme was a “happy place”. On the inside, since this is the first time I would be taking a big step to help others, I was feeling nervous. My approach was to create a galaxy sky that would represent space, a happy place for me to be in. As I progressed, I added spontaneous elements such as an ocean, an island, palm trees, animals, a house, and a flying balloon. This entire piece became a hybrid of two happy places. Happy places where I could relax and let go of stress, where everything is calm and silent.”

Thank you, Gracy, for sharing your work and reflections!

Posted in 2020, Art, Special Programs and Projects, Students

MPS Art Therapy Virtual Information Session

Prospective applicants are invited to join us on Wednesday, October 28th from 5- 6 pm for a Virtual Information Session! This session will provide insight into our interdisciplinary graduate program, the application process, and will feature a panel of current students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

✨Attendees will receive a Fall 2021 application fee waiver!✨

Register here.

Posted in 2020, Art, Students

2020 Valery Daniels Memorial Lecture

MPS Art Therapy welcomes you to join our first lecture of the Fall 2020 season! FREE and open to the public. 2.0 CE hours available for LCATs. Register here.

In this virtual lecture and interactive presentation, Dr. Kaimal will present theory and empirical research that links creative self-expression with physiological health and psychological well-being. Connecting evolutionary biology, art therapy practice, and interdisciplinary research, the presentation will make the case for creative expression as being key to our survival and thriving as human beings.

Learning objectives:

1. Participants will learn about physiological and psychological outcomes of art-making

2. Participants will learn about the differences between artmaking by ourselves and artmaking with an art therapist

3. Participants will learn about the role of creative self-expression in human development.

Dr. Kaimal is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University and President-Elect of the American Art Therapy Association. Her research broadly examines the physiological and psychological health outcomes of visual and narrative self-expression. Her Health, Arts, Learning, and Evaluation (HALE) Lab is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Endowment for the Arts as well as University research groups. Current studies include: Examining the role of art therapy in adult and pediatric hematology/oncology settings; the impact of art therapy for military service members with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress; the role of narratives and portraiture to enhance awareness on Gulf War Illness; indigenous and traditional art practices; and; the applications of new media like virtual reality in promoting creative approaches to health and well-being. Girija has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers and was recently included in the list of the top 100 women in science. Girija is also an active visual artist and more details on her work are available at

Posted in 2020, Art, Conference, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects, Students, Workshops