2018 Annual Conference


Please join us for the first annual Pennsylvania Art Therapy Association Conference,

Traditions and Transitions: The Changing Field of Art Therapy
Saturday, March 10th, 2018; 9:00am-5:00pm
Jefferson University East Falls Campus
(Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University),
4201 Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144

Expanding art therapy across healthcare and social sectors necessitate’s adapting the traditional foci of the profession for contemporary practice. Rediscovering art therapy history, particularly overlooked early art therapists of color, reveals diverse theoretical and practical applications. These models can be adjusted through the behavioral health framework to offer art therapy across the healthcare continuum. Further increasing client access to art therapy and reducing health inequities requires a social justice perspective.

As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to:
· Describe the contributions of at least 3 pioneering art therapists of color
· Synthesize art therapy practices across the behavioral health continuum of care
· Identify art therapists’ role in promoting social justice and civic dialogue

Other presenters include Abbien Crowley Ciucci, MA, ATR-BC, ATCS, LPC, Carol Carrino, MS, ATR-BC, LPC, LM, HLM-DVATA, Deborah Telatovich, MA, Natalie Carlton, Ph.D., ATR-BC, LPCC, Kathy D. Hrenko, MCAT, ATR-BC, CDP, Abigail Schwartz, ATR, LPC, Traci Bitondo, LPC, ATR-BC, NCC, & Irene Kovacs-Donaghy, Ph.D., LPC, ATR-BC. 


8:00am-9:00am: Registration (Coffee and Bagels)

9:00am-9:30am: Introduction & Awards

9:30am-11:00am: Keynote Address

11:15am-12:30pm: Breakout Session 1.

  1. Holograms and Hovercrafts: Invention Drawing as Assessment with Pediatric Medical Patients- Abbien Crowley Ciucci, MA, ATR-BC, ATCS, LPC
    • This paper will discuss the use of a specific art therapy drawing directive within pediatric medical hospitals as a tool for assessment and intervention. Patient artwork from various services including gastroenterology, hematology, and bone marrow transplant will be reviewed to reinforce methodology and benefit.
  2. Art Therapy Training in Philadelphia – from lectures through the NIH  grant-
    Carol Carrino, MS, ATR -BC, LPC, LM, HLM -DVATA

    • Through sketches, ephemera and anecdotal accounts the presenter will introduce the transitions that led to graduate certificate trainings, MS and MCAT training at Hahnemann and the development of DVATA and AATA. 
  3. Trailing Spouse Syndrome: Reflective Art Making through the Jungian Lens of the Shadow- Deborah Telatovich, MA
    • The North American trailing spouse population is an unknown population who encounter enormous challenges to their mental health while overseas and upon repatriation. Unchecked, they often “lose their voice” and experience dissociative symptoms. Jungian sand tray therapy is proposed and “Shadow,” a book of sand tray images, accompanies this presentation.
  4. Understanding Whiteness: The Toxicity of White Privilege in Art Therapy- 
    Christine Byma, MA, ATR-BC

    • The intention of the paper presentation is to open a process for participants to examine their own experiences with whiteness, white toxicity, and white fragility. The facilitators will present suggested techniques for unlearning white fragility, coping with stressful emotions during critical conversations about race, and minimizing antisocial behavior. 

12:30pm-1:30pm: Lunch (Provided)

1:30pm-3:00pm: Breakout Session 2.

  1. Digital Media Inclusion in Art Therapy Coursework-
    Natalie Carlton, Ph.D., ATR-BC, LPCC

    • Best practices and educational strategies for teaching digital literacy within art therapy graduate curriculums have become critical social and professional responsibilities and not a choice. Art therapists must have ongoing education and exposure to a larger digital humility, literacy, and interrelated skill sets.
  2. The Seasons of Life: Art Therapy with Seniors Experiencing Dementia and Memory Loss-
    Kathy D. Hrenko, MCAT, ATR-BC, CDP

    • According to 2017 Alzheimer’s Association data, 1 in 10 people age 65 and older has unique opportunities for seniors experiencing symptoms of dementia to access and express feelings and memories. Client artwork will be presented and participants will engage in an art experiential exercise.
  3. Art Therapy Civic Dialogues in Politically Charged Times-
    Jordan S. Potash, Ph.D., ATR-BC, REAT, LCPAT (MD), LCAT (NY)

    • Civic dialogue in politically charged times is essential for identifying injustice, maintaining communications, and solving problems. Art making is an essential tool for supporting democratic processes. This experiential workshop will facilitate participants to experience and learn how art therapists can contribute to cross-cultural, social, and political dialogues. 

3:15pm-4:45pm: Breakout Session 3.

  1. Geek World: Video Games, Comics, and In-roads for Rapport Building and Treatment with Kids and Teens-
    Abigail Schwartz, ATR, LPC & Christina Marrero, ATR, LPC

    • Presenters will introduce a variety of gaming, comic, and new media genres, and explore themes within which may present opportunities for rapport building with traditionally challenging populations. Participants will engage in personal exploration of relationship to these media and relevant clients. Presenters will guide participants through an art process to reinforce ideas about interventions. 
  2. The Power of Art Therapy with Individuals with Vision Loss-
    Traci Bitondo, LPC, ATR-BC, NCC

    • This presentation will explore the use of art therapy with adults with varying degrees of vision loss. Art therapy has been an effective intervention in helping these individuals explore loss, decrease isolation, develop healthy coping skills, and to assist group members in processing difficult life changes. 
  3. How do you use resilience in your practice?-
    Irene Kovacs-Donaghy, Ph.D., LPC, ATR-BC

    • What do you think of when you hear resilience? A discussion/presentation and hand on demonstration of the concept of resilience in practice. Researched based definitions of resilience will be explored along with how to cultivate resilience within practice with a client. Art tasks will be created to replicate resilience and act as a permanent prompt to develop resilience.