Faculty Highlight: Raquel Stephenson, Ph.D.

Estonian landscape

This snowy Estonian landscape echoes the flag of Estonia. Photo by Raquel Stephenson

Raquel Stephenson, PhD, ATR-BC, LCAT, gave a department-sponsored community lecture (2/10/12) about her recent work as a Fulbright Scholar in Estonia.  Dr. Stephenson taught at Tallin University in the Department of Applied Creativity, where BA and MA students study creative arts therapies, including visual art, music, drama and dance/movement therapies.  In addition to teaching Creativity and Aging, among other classes, Dr. Stephenson presented at local conferences and supervised student theses.

Dr. Stephenson related how her experience working in another country gave her a new understanding of the way art therapy theories and practices develop in relation to the surrounding culture. She found the theories she applied when working with Americans of a particular generation did not apply to Estonians of the same generation, due to vastly different historical factors.  The experience inspired her to look at the unique history of individuals and groups of people in a much different way.  As Dr. Stephenson collaborates with our department on special programs and seminars, we look forward to the international experiences she’ll share with students.

Dr. Stephenson has worked as an art therapist with older adults for more than 12 years.  She is the founder and former clinical supervisor and program coordinator of New York University’s Creative Aging Therapeutic Services (NYU CATS), a community-based art therapy program for older adults with wide-ranging age-related needs.

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