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

Saturday, November 17 Information Session Livestream, 12pm EST

Our Saturday, November 17, 2018 information session for prospective applicants will be Livestreamed. It will begin at 12pm EST with a panel discussion featuring students, alumni, faculty and staff.

Posted in Alumni, Faculty, Professional Development, Students

Welcome to Our World

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

MySelf: Last Week & Extended Viewing Times

The MySelf show closes on Friday, November 16.

Here are the scheduled viewing times for this week:

Monday, November 12: 12-2pm; 5-7pm
Tuesday, November 13: 12-2pm
Wednesday, November 14: 12-2pm; 5-7pm
Thursday, November 15: 10am-12pm
Friday, November 16: 3-8pm

Please contact 212.592.2610 or [email protected] to schedule additional viewing time (Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm).

Posted in Alumni, Art, art galleries, Exhibition, Galleries, Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects

Doll Making in Art Therapy

Last week, first-year MPS Art Therapy students learned about making dolls. Dolls have been used throughout history as healing devices, scared items in religious ceremonies, and as representation of gods. They were not toys for children like they are in some cultures today because they were thought to be magical and powerful.

In art therapy, dolls are used for healing as symbolic vessels and transitional objects. Dolls create a holding space for an individual’s emotions, as well as a tangible item to enact fantasies.  Clients can project their thoughts onto the doll and share them with the art therapist during sessions. Having a doll as a metaphor to talk through makes it easier to share one’s innermost thoughts and feelings.

There are so many methods of creating dolls. In class, the students were able to make wish dolls without sewing a single thing! The name “wish dolls” comes from the ability to make the doll with a certain intention, or wish, for the creator. The students wrote down on a piece of paper something that they hoped for, crumpled it up, and used that paper as the inside of the head, which they then wrapped fabric around. In addition to the paper and fabric, the students used yarn, hot glue, beads, and other embellishments to create the wish dolls.

Written and compiled by SVA MPS Art Therapy student Ceara Genovesi (Class of 2020)

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

Therapy of the Oppressed: Clinical Care in the Age of Injustice

Lectures are FREE to the public. CEC’s available for ATR-BC’s; CE hours available for LCAT’s.


Posted in Professional Development, Special Programs and Projects

Collaborative Art with Artistic Noise: Friday, November 16, 2018, 6-8pm

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

November Exhibitions in Chelsea Galleries

Sadamasa Motonaga “Change/Continuity: New York 1966-67”

November 1st-December 21st

Fergus McCaffrey

514 W 26th St. New York, NY 10001

Gallery Hours: Tuesday- Saturday 10am-6pm

Focused on the time period when Motonaga was an active member of the Japanese avant-garde collective Gutai, this exhibition highlights Montonaga’s transition from existential concerns to pop culture and children’s book references. He used these not in a critical way, but to create a new language of painting through these references.

Stanley Whitey “In the Color”

November 3rd December 21st

Lisson Gallery

504 West 24th Street, NY 10011

Gallery Hours: Tuesday- Saturday 10am-6pm

Whitney’s signature style of stacked blocks of color have been redefined in a new way of airiness and liveliness. This exhibition reveals Whitney’s appreciation and dedication to color and how important color is to him.

Janaina Tschäpe “HumidGray and ShadowLake”

October 26th-December 8th

Sean Kelly Gallery

475 10th Ave. New York, NY 10018

Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm, Saturday 10am-6pm

Tschäpe’s paintings illustrate incredible ability to use delicate mediums on a large scale, creating a style of abstraction that demonstrate transitioning and change of organic forms. She uses color, form, and allusions to landscape and memory to create the evocative pieces seen in this exhibition.

Written and Compiled by MPS Art Therapy Student, Ceara Genovesi (Class of 2020)

Posted in Art, art galleries, Exhibition, Galleries, Professional Development