Art Therapy
More in this section More in this section

Art Therapy Symposium

ARS MEDICA: Integrative Care that Treats the Whole Person

Annual Spring Art Therapy Symposium
Friday, April 15, 2016

Featuring keynote presentation by
Veljko Djordjevic, Marijana Bras, & Lovorka Brajkovic

About the Program

Ars Medica explores the art in medicine. In this model, which has grown out of the work of the Centre for Palliative Medicine, Medical Ethics and Communication Skills at the School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia, art, science, medicine, and public health converge to move away from disease-based treatment models toward a holistic person-oriented approach.

8:00-8:45am Registration ►8:45am-9:00am Welcome/Opening Remarks ►

Welcome from Mount Mary University faculty

9:00-10:20am Keynote Panel ►

ARS MEDICA: Integrative Care that Treats the Whole Person
This approach emphasizes the importance of focusing on the person as a whole when treating depression, dementia, and pain and/or providing palliative care as opposed to the person’s symptoms and diagnoses. This panel will discuss how Croatian health care systems have employed science, clinical practice, and art to address public health issues, mental health treatment, the challenges of individual and community trauma from the Croatian War of Independence, and the need for institutional rebuilding after the fall of communism.

10:30am–12:00pm  Concurrent Workshop Session #1: A, B, C ►

Session A. Food Insecurity and Mental Health: Exploring Connections through Theory, Research, and Art – K. Belkofer (limit 25)
This workshop will explore the relationships between food insecurity and mental health with emphasis on the impact of food-related stress on individuals, families, and communities. Special attention will be given to adverse mental health outcomes linked to food insecurity in Black and Latino communities.

Session B. Ethical and Practical Considerations in the Provision of Supervision from Undergraduate to Postgraduate– N. L’Esperance, K. Henckel, & R. Pearson (limit 25)
This panel session will present ethical, practical, and professional techniques and applications for those practicing clinical and academic supervision in art therapy. Topics will include the provision of undergraduate and graduate fieldwork and academic supervision, onsite supervision, and postgraduate supervision. Additionally, it will cover consultation and the importance of professional support for the provider.

Session C. Working through Grief in People with Dementia – L. Glinzak (limit 25)
This presentation will focus on working toward healing for someone with dementia who is experiencing grief, using three art therapy directives. Case studies will be shared to demonstrate the outcomes of processing grief while experiencing memory loss, using art therapy to achieve understanding and peace.
* Attendance at this session does not qualify for NBCC credit

10:30–11:20am  Concurrent Presentation Session #2: A, B ►

Session A. The Importance of Continued Art-Based Reflection for New Professionals t– B. Bunton & M. Sherkow
This presentation will focus on the importance of maintaining a consistent art practice for two new professionals in overcoming challenges and anxiety in their therapeutic work at differing places of employment. Presenters will discuss their personal approach of using art to cope and gain deeper insight into the underlying issues. Attendance at this session does not qualify for NBCC credit

Session B. Utilizing Art Therapy for Bottom-Up Processing Intervention with Cumulative Trauma Repair– J. Albright
This presentation will explore how art therapy can work as a bottom-up processing tool as a component of the therapeutic web of the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics.

11:30am–12:20pm  Concurrent Presentation Session #3: A, B ►

Session A. Martín Ramírez: Between Worlds – R. Vick
The life of “outsider” artist Martín Ramírez will be presented through a chronology tracing developments in art therapy and psychiatry that parallel his lifespan. The presenter will explore the artistic, cultural, ethical, historical, and clinical dimensions of the story of this fascinating artist, making connections to contemporary social and professional themes.  

Session B. Art Therapy through the Trajectory of Cancer Care– J. McNutt
Cancer care includes diagnosis, treatment, transition from treatment, and dealing with life or death beyond cancer. Variables of art therapy treatment depend upon demographics, type and stage, and treatment options. When included as part of integrated treatment, art therapy provides hope, strength, resilience, and opportunity for recreated perspectives on life.

12:00–1:30pm Lunch ►

Mount Mary University Cafeteria or On Your Own, Book Browsing and Art Exhibition Viewing

1:30–3:00pm  Concurrent Panel/Workshop Session #4: A, B ►

Session A. SELFIE: How Taking Care of “You” can Enhance the Work You Do with Clients – T. H. Scheidegger & C. Finerty (limit 25)
Pull out your cell phones, bring your colleagues, and have some fun as you learn about the neurobiology behind the importance of self-care. You spend so much time in your daily work thinking about best practices for your clients; what if taking care of yourself really helped you be a better behavioral care worker? Join this workshop and find out how!

Session B. Papermaking: Placemaking – J. Havlena, & R. Possehl (limit 14) 
This hands-on workshop will provide an overview of handmade papermaking approaches and techniques the presenters apply in community art therapy initiatives. Participants will identify, design, and create icons from their own “ home place” using hand papermaking media and methods including cotton rag, plant fiber pulp, and professional-quality molds and deckles. Attendance at this session does not qualify for NCBB credit.

1:30–2:20pm  Concurrent Presentation Session #5: A, B ►

Session A. Art Making, Don Jones, & Me: A Love Story– B. Moon
This presentation will explore roles of ongoing art making in the development of professional identity in art therapists. Secondarily it will share the story of the presenter’s long relationship with art therapy pioneer and AATA founder Don Jones. 

Session B.Handmade Legacies: Using Art Therapy to Create Final Memories with Hospice FamiliesK. Gilbert
With the end stages of life comes the developmental task of generativity and a yearning to leave something of value behind for the next generation(s). While these legacies may take various forms, the use of art therapy to assist families with this task brings added benefits to both the patient facing death and the family members anticipating their loss. Legacy projects facilitated by an art therapist lead to objects of permanence, which first help the terminal patient achieve a sense of peace and then serve as transitional objects for the mourning loved ones after death. Attendance at this session does not qualify for NBCC credit. 

2:30–3:20pm  Concurrent Presentation Session #6: A, B  ►

Session A. Arts-Based Social Justice Research on Oppression in the Body – O. Karcher
This presentation will review a creative process that evolved from a research project. By choreographing a public performance over the course of five months, as well as folding in personal artistic inquiry, the presenter developed a collaborative relationship around themes of transgender identity and the somatic effects of oppression. Attendance at this session does not qualify for NBCC credit.

Session B.Performance Anxiety and an Art Therapy Intervention– E. Gardner & T. McCall
The presenters will discuss the study of an art therapy intervention with vocal entertainers who struggle with performance anxiety. 

3:30–4:20pm  Concurrent Presentation Session #7: A, B ►

Session A. Utilizing a Strengths-Based, Whole Person Approach in Addictions Treatment– T. L. Jashinsky
This presentation will emphasize the value of an individualized and holistic approach to providing therapy to people who are using substances. Discussion will include ways in which to use client strengths in order to support and foster a sense of empowerment in those who are caught up in the throes of addiction.

Session B. Creative Escape: Group Art Therapy with Women Inmates in a County Jail – A. Lawton
This presentation will explore the use of group art therapy in a county jail setting with women inmates. Core topics include: using art therapy techniques paired with a Cognitive Behavioral model, the restriction of art materials in the jail environment, and how the need for artistic expression is inherent. Attendance at this session does not qualify for NBCC credit. 

4:30–5:20pm  Concurrent Presentation Session #8: A, B ►

Session A. Art-Making as a Response to Ethno-Cultural Aspects of PTSD: An Overview of Art-Based Clinical Considerations and Treatment– A. Warren
This presentation will look at race, culture, and trauma in an inner-city setting. Informing both art therapist and client, the interactive nature of culture, race, and trauma creates culturally informed responses to trauma and PTSD by clients that may influence treatment response by art therapists. Race, culture, and trauma history may color an art therapist’s response to trauma presentations in therapy. How can art therapists respond when they may not understand the cues?

Session B. FaceTime: The Story and Structure of a Virtual and Studio Supervision Group– N. L’Esperance
This presentation will describe the creation and evolution of an art therapy supervision group that blends in-studio participants and those joining in through the use of digital programs such as FaceTime.  

4:30–6:00pm  Panel/ Workshop #9: A, B, C ►

Session A. Art Therapy Licensure in WI – L. Lang, R. Monaco-Wilcox, E. Nolan, & H. Vanderbusch 
In this panel session the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Wisconsin Art Therapy Association (WATA) will discuss the current status of changing the WI legislation in favor of an art therapy license that supports reimbursement by health insurance.

Session B. “Spirit Branches”: Art Therapy & Spiritual Care for the Self  – V. Maty (limit 25)
Participants will be invited to explore their own understanding of spirituality by engaging in creative art-making to create “spirit” branches that reflect their own unique spirit. Somatic-based experiences will be incorporated to invite participants to orient to and discover felt sense in the body. Group dialogue and sharing will conclude the workshop.

Session C. Is Today the Sad Story? A Stop Motion Animation Process Using Developmental NarrativesS. Rismeyer & R. Sandell (limit 25)
This workshop will give a detailed overview of intensive in-home treatment two families received for severe emotional disturbance. Two animation apps will be used to demonstrate how children and their parents were able to process traumatic events. Participants will create their own animation following the clinical presentation.


Special thanks to Barnes & Noble Books for their participation and support of the symposium. Please visit their display and peruse the large selection of art therapy and related books and resources.


Register online. Lunch is included in all registrations.

WATA Members Early Registration (through March 18, 2016)

Professional Members – $120
Students – $30

Early Registration (through March 18, 2016)

Professionals – $125
Students – $30

Registration (after March 25, 2016)

Professionals – $140
Students – $40

Onsite Registration (at the door, April 15, 2016)

Professionals – $175.00
Students – $50.00

Continuing Education Credits

Mount Mary University has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, No. 4529.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Mount Mary University is solely responsible for all aspects of the program. Participant may receive up to 8 clock hours  for completion of the training.

Cancellation Fee

25% forfeited, 75% returned.

Workshops with participant limits will be filled as registrations are received. Registration confirmations will be sent via email only.


Via Route 45: Exit at Burleigh Street (Exit 43) and drive east to 92nd Street.
Parking is available on the east side of campus (92nd Street).