Make Your Mark Symposium Panelists

On Saturday October 27, 2012. The Art Therapy Associations of this Region; The Virginia, Maryland, and Potomac Art Therapy Associations, will host a Research and Social Justice Symposium at Marymount University in Arlington. This symposium, MAKE YOUR MARK- Art Based Research and Social Justice Initiatives, will include some big names in Art Therapy and Art-Based research. Check out their bios below for details and visit for more information as well as Registration. Early bird rates are only $40 students, $130 members, $150 for non members and end Friday Oct 12!! Register today!!

Keynote Speaker: Lynn Kapitan, PhD, ATR-BC, is a professor and director of the Professional Doctorate in Art Therapy at Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, WI. She is the Executive Editor of Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association and a Past President of AATA. The author of Introduction to Art Therapy Research, she has been teaching art therapy research since 1991. She has practiced cross-cultural art therapy and conducted art-based participatory action research in community-based and nongovernmental organizations in the U.S. and Latin America including AT&T Global Pacific, Alto Cayma Community (Arequipa, Peru) and CANTERA (Managua, Nicaragua), Bridges to Community (U.S./Nicaragua), and ALBOAN (Bilbao, Spain).

Expert Panelists:

Barry M. Cohen, MA, ATR-BC, is a board certified art therapist. In 1982, he developed the Diagnostic Drawing Series (DDS), a valid and reliable standardized art assessment tool, still in use worldwide. Cohen is the author/co-author of numerous professional journal articles and chapters, and co-authored/co-edited three books, including Telling Without Talking: Art as a Window into the World of Multiple Personality, and the workbook, Managing Traumatic Stress through Art, both published in 1995. Barry came to the metropolitan DC area in 1980 to work at The Mount Vernon Hospital, where he built an expressive therapies department. In 1990, he co-founded and was program director of a trauma and dissociation treatment unit at HCA Dominion Hospital, and later relocated that program to the Psychiatric Institute of Washington. Also a conference management professional, Cohen founded and chaired the Eastern Regional Conference on Trauma and Dissociation (1989-1996) and was conference manager of the American Art Therapy Association’s 2006 and 2007 annual meetings. Currently Executive Director of Expressive Media Inc., Judith Rubin’s not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the use of the arts in therapy and education by producing films, he created and continues to produce the Expressive Therapies Summit (, held annually in New York City. The Summit brings together hundreds of creative arts therapists from around the world for hands-on training in various arts therapies disciplines. DDS Training will be offered at the Summit this year on November 8 & 9.

Dr. Donna Kaiser, PhD, ATR-BC, LPC, LMFT, is the Director of Graduate Art Therapy Programs in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies at Drexel University. She is also Chair of the Research Committee of the American Art Therapy Association, and serves on review boards for Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association and the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health. Dr. Kaiser received a PhD in Counselor Education from The College of William and Mary and an MS in Art Therapy from Eastern Virginia Medical School. She has practiced art therapy in numerous psychiatric and community settings as well as in private practice. Dr. Kaiser has published and presented nationally on art therapy research, art therapy with clients with substance abuse diagnoses, and is known for developing an art therapy assessment for evaluating attachment security. She has taught research courses for several different universities and advised over thirty master’s thesis projects, taking great pleasure often in mentoring students to present and publish their work.

Dr. Darren Mays’s, PhD, MPH, primary research interests include behavioral cancer prevention among adolescents and young adults, including behaviors such tobacco and alcohol use. His research focuses on the development and evaluation of interventions designed to motivate young people to make healthy decisions about tobacco use as well as other behaviors that influence cancer risk. Of particular interest are interventions that can be implemented at the population-level. Dr. Mays’s research also includes studies of risk factors for tobacco use and other cancer risk behaviors (e.g., exposure to tobacco advertising, peer smoking), and examining patterns of risk behaviors over time from adolescence into young adulthood. Finally, his research collaborations also include preventive interventions among youths with special healthcare needs, such pediatric cancer survivors.

Caroline Peterson, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, is the founder of Springboard Studio, and teaches mindfulness-meditation and specializes in working with persons adapting to illness, life change and loss. A board-certified art therapist, Caroline supports clients accessing their own creative resources and their natural capacity to be more content in their journey with life and life’s challenges. Besides her private practice, Caroline is a clinician with the Supportive Care Team at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Nora Stinley, MA, ATR, is the lead art therapy consultant on the Museums in Medicine project for the Creative and Therapeutic Arts Services department at Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC), Washington, DC. Ms. Stinley began her career in arts and healing as an undergraduate at The George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C. While receiving her Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Nora joined the Creative and Therapeutic Arts Services team at CNMC. She went on to receive her Master’s degree in art therapy from GWU in 2006. Nora is currently pursuing a PhD. in neuropsychology and the healing arts, at American University. In her doctoral work, Nora is researching both the psychological and physical benefits of the healing arts in a healthcare setting. Because of her passion for arts and healing, Nora has presented at national conferences and symposia regarding the effects of art as a tool for healing and in therapy.

Melissa Walker, MA, ATR, is a nationally registered Art Therapist with experience in the use of the creative arts with military service members and their dependents. While earning her Master’s in Art Therapy at New York University, Ms. Walker completed an internship rotation at New York City’sBellevue Hospital, and studied art therapy across cultures during a field experience abroad in Tanzania, Africa. Ms. Walker’s Master’s thesis focused on the research of trauma and its effects on an individual’s psychological health. Since joining the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), Ms. Walker has developed and implemented the Healing Arts Program in order to focus on the integration and research of the creative arts therapies for Service Members with traumatic brain injury and psychological health issues. Since its inception, NICoE’s Healing Arts Program has captured the attention of local, national, and international media outlets alike.

Moderator: Donna Betts, PhD, ATR-BC, is a research professor in the Graduate Art Therapy Program at George Washington University. Dr. Betts has published and presented on a variety of topics, including adoption and foster care, art therapy education, art therapy in museums, assessment, autism, eating disorders, and research. She received a GW Columbian College of Arts & Sciences grant in 2010 to develop the International Art Therapy Research Database, Among other current research activities, Dr. Betts is co-investigator for an autism study funded by a GW Medical Faculty Associates (MFA) Collaborative Research Program grant, and she is the Principal Investigator on Phase II of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funded study that will explore the use of a computer-based tool to help service members express combat-related experiences through personal narratives in a graphic novel/sequential art format.


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