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Friday, January 27, 6:30-8pm
Art, Migration and Youth of Courage
Eileen McGann, ATR-BC, LCAT
133/141 West 21 Street, Room 101C
Free to the public. CEC's available for ATR-BCs.

Understanding and responding to the experiences of migrants and refugees in a humanitarian manner is crucial for a socially just world.  Reasons for moving, seeking asylum and starting anew vary: for some this comes by choice for others by force. The promise of a better life, the need to flee persecution, shifts in the environment or political systems can be the reason for change.  For young people in a residential facility, the impact of leaving home and all that is associated with this is deeply understood. Common experiences of loss, hope and survival are found in being displaced, removed from the home, migration and being a refugee. Trauma informed interventions supported youth at MercyFirst to explore the meaning of migration, displacement and the plight of being a refugee, from a global and personal perspective.  This presentation will describe individual and group art therapy works that profoundly reveal the experience of trauma, the meaning of home, community, safety and hope.  

Eileen P. McGann, ATR-BC, LCAT, has a broad range of clinical experience concentrated in therapeutic milieu and studio approach with young people who have experienced complex and chronic trauma, refugee children as well as adult survivors of trauma and women veterans. Ms. McGann developed and is the Director of the Arts and Creative Therapies program at MercyFirst in Syosset, New York. Her writings about art therapy have been published in the United States and abroad as well as translated into other languages, and her lectures and consultations have been received both domestically and internationally. As a member of Partnership for Global Justice, Ms. McGann presented at a UN Orientation, writes for their newsletter and attends programs at the United Nations. Her artwork has been featured as book and journal covers, and she is a faculty member at Molloy College as well as the Graduate Art Therapy Programs at New York University and School of Visual Arts. 

Please RSVP.

Friday, February 17, 6:30-8pm
Louise Nevelson: An Artist’s Life Informs Art Therapists
Laurie Wilson, PhD, LP, ATR-BC, HLM
133/141 West 21 Street, Room 101C
Free to the public. CEC's available for ATR-BCs.

A biographical study of Louise Nevelson reveals her search for identity through art-making and belief in the importance of creativity in everyone’s life. Like many art therapy clients, Nevelson began to draw and discovered in the process her unique self, capacity for original thinking, and expression of significant emotions.

Laurie Wilson, PhD, LP, ATR-BC, HLM, is Professor Emerita and former Director of NYU’s Graduate Art Therapy Program. She is currently the Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at The Institute for Psychoanalytic Education affiliated with NYU School of  Medicine.  She practices in New York City and has published widely in three fields: art therapy, art history, and psychoanalysis. Her books include Alberto Giacometti: Myth, Magic and the Man, and her most recent, Louise Nevelson. More info can be found here: lauriewilsonauthor.com

Please RSVP.

Saturday, February 18 - Saturday, March 18
Your Turn: MPS Art Therapy Spring Exhibition
SVA Flatiron Gallery, 133 West 21 Street
Reception: Thursday, February 23, 6-8pm
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-7pm; Saturday, 10am-6pm

Friday, March 17, 6:30-8pm
Growing Creativity: The interdisciplinary collaboration of art and horticultural therapies
Lena De Leo, LCAT, ATR-BC
133/141 West 21 Street, Room 101C
Free to the public. CEC's available for ATR-BCs.

This is a 6-month collaboration between a horticultural therapist and an art therapist. The culmination led to an art show held in the garden. It was an extremely effective project held with residential children and teens with behavioral, social and emotional challenges.  

Lena De Leo, ATR-BC, LCAT, is an SVA MPS Art Therapy alumni, and a supervising art therapist at Green Chimney’s Residential Treatment Center in Brewster, NY, where she works with children and adolescents with a range of emotional challenges in group and individual settings.

Please RSVP.

Friday, April 14, 6:30-8pm
Art of Autism – Beyond Etiology: Engaging Expression Through Creativity and Listening
Lukas Prokes, PsyD
133/141 West 21 Street, Room 101C
Free to the public. CEC's available for ATR-BCs.

This lecture will discuss the latest research on the etiology of autism and later explores treatment plans using Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and Art Therapy. This talk will feature how Art Therapy can promote communication, emotional growth, social interaction and channel autistic behavior into expressive and creative outlet. Parental perspectives and how to support families affected with autism will conclude this lecture.

Lukas Prokes, PsyD, graduated from SVA with an MPS in Art Therapy and continued with his education in Los Angeles receiving his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD). Mr. Prokes divides his time between private clinical practice and as a founder of a non-profit organization The Half Full Institute Inc. As the director of Clinical Services, Mr. Prokes works closely and collaboratively with parents, teachers, students and administrators to tailor programs to the specific needs of each child, family, and school. His work in the public school system of NYC focuses developing tailored therapy for students and families struggling with the challenges of autism. In addition to his clinical work at the organization, Mr. Prokes helps The Half Full Institute find opportunities to work other non-profit organizations to create stronger and healthier individuals and communities through music, theater and art.

Please RSVP.

FALL 2016

September 1-16
TENA(CITY): Alumni Residency Exhibition
Reception: Thursday, September 1, 6-8pm

132 West 21 Street, 5th Floor Project Space

Friday, September 23, 10am-4pm
Critical Engagement: MPS Art Therapy Conference
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23 Street

October 3-21
INSIDE AND OUT: Rikers Island Exhibition
Reception: Wednesday, October 5, 6-8pm
132 West 21 Street, 5th Floor Project Space

Friday, October 14, 6:30-8pm
Dreams as Art Productions of the Psyche: A Jungian Perspective
Anne Flynn, LP
133/141 West 21 Street, Room 101C
Lectures are FREE to the public. CEC’s available for ATR-BC’s.

Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist who was at the forefront of the psychoanalytic movement, is often thought of as the father of art therapy. He used art making as a way to access the innermost recesses of the psyche and famously said “Often the hands know how to solve a riddle with which the intellect has wrestled in vain.” He also used dreams to access the same unconscious material. What do art making and dreaming have in common? What do they share and how might they differ? Both are composed of images - primary productions of the psyche that, if attended to, promote the movement of unconscious material into conscious awareness, where it can then be examined, processed and integrated, resulting in a fuller, more balanced personality. In this lecture, we will learn how a Jungian analytical psychologist works with dreams to assist patients in gaining insight into the workings of the unconscious. We will draw a line between looking at dreams and looking at artwork produced in therapy. We will then use Jung’s method to work with our own images produced through an art experiential.

Anne Flynn, LP is a certified Jungian analyst and licensed psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City, with a particular interest in creativity and imagination, and the role they play within the relational context. She also holds masters degrees in art therapy and fine arts/painting. In an earlier life she was an attorney, but now believes that may have been a dream, and understands it accordingly


Saturday, October 15, 12-2pm
Information Session for Prospective Applicants
132 West 21 Street, 3rd floor
This event will provide you with a unique opportunity to meet with the Chair, faculty, department staff, current students and alumni.


Friday, November 18, 6:30-8pm
New Theories for Understanding Gender
SJ Langer, LCSW-R
133/141 West 21 Street, Room 101C
Lectures are FREE to the public. CEC’s available for ATR-BC’s.

SJ Langer will begin by applying and expanding Gallagher’s theories concerning body image and body schema to the concept of gender broadly and to transgender experience specifically. The locations within the self and consciousness where the domains of gender identity and gender expression reside will be established drawing from psychology, gender studies, philosophy and neuroscience. In deepening the understanding of how transgender self-awareness functions, this paper will explore the concepts of Polanyi’s tacit knowledge, embodied metaphors and phantom limbs. This will reveal how one comes to know the various elements of gender as a fundamental aspect of the self. Ultimately my formulation will reveal gender as an algorithm. There is a gender sum the individual is working towards through transition and the lifespan. The elements of the equation are malleable as long as the sum is achieved through the interplay between gender identity and expression. This formulation, which implements interdisciplinary theories, develops a more profound understanding of trans* experience and how that can direct clinical practice.  

SJ Langer, LCSW-R is a writer and psychotherapist in private practice in New York City with a BFA from School of Visual Arts and an MSW from New York University. He is on the Executive Committee for the Psychotherapy Center for Gender and Sexuality at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and the planning committees for the PCGS & the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference. His academic articles explore transgender, bodies, language, trauma and clinical work.


Friday, December 9, 6:30-8pm
Art Therapy and Reparation Post Trauma
Obstfeld, PhD, ATR-BC, CASAC
133/141 West 21 Street, Room 101C
Lectures are FREE to the public. CEC’s available for ATR-BC’s.

As the physiological effects of trauma become better understood, current trauma treatment has come to prioritize the development of resources for self regulating, and of capacities for social engagement, pleasure,creativity, and curiosity. In such a context, extreme challenges in adult life can serve as opportunities to revisit, stabilize, and introduce adaptive flexibility into preexisting ​relational and structural models. Art therapy, which lends itself to self regulation as well as self discovery, to solitude ​and sharing, is a fitting component of trauma treatment. This talk will feature ​case material of individuals who have experienced combinations of developmental, adult, and catastrophic trauma, and who found unique opportunities for recovery via art making ​in a therapeutic context. Time will be devoted to discussing trauma theory, specifically to overlapping issues among different classifications of trauma and adaptations to it.

Renée Obstfeld, PhD, ATR-BC, CASAC is an art therapist and psychoanalyst in private practice. She has worked extensively with people struggling with tendencies to self-harm, addictions and co-occurring issues. Her work as an art therapy consultant with the Art Therapy Outreach Center has included facilitating groups with Female Veterans, and at Bellevue Hospital’s World Trade Center Environmental Health Clinic and Program for Survivors of Torture. Renée has presented internationally on the application of psychoanalytic principles to art therapy, and the role of art therapy in treating addiction and trauma.


Additional events will be added as dates are finalized. For more information about any of these events, please contact [email protected] or 212.592.2610.

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School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587