Spring 2015 Conference



This conference will bring together colleagues from social work, creative arts therapy, and other mental health and arts-related fields to explore innovative social work and multidisciplinary responses to today’s practice.  By sharing perspectives across disciplines we will create a new climate for interprofessional understanding and collaboration.

Learning Objectives

Through attendance at this event, participants will:
1. Be introduced to the theory and practice of creative arts therapy through a number of modalities;
2. Be introduced to CAT’s evidence based practice implications;
3. Learn how a better understanding of creative arts can be a valuable clinical resource for social work practitioners;
4. Learn how to assess clients for creative arts intervention;
5. Recognize the value of and learn how to facilitate collaboration with creative arts professionals;
6. Differentiate therapeutic exposure to creative arts as different from creative arts therapy; and
7.  Expand knowledge of creative arts resources and how to use them.



9:15 - 9:30 am



Eileen Wolkstein, PhD, Director, Office of Global and Lifelong Learning, NYU Silver School of Social Work
Lynn Videka, PhD, AM, BSN, Professor of Social Work; Dean; McSilver Faculty Fellow, NYU Silver School of Social Work
A brief history behind this conference and its cross-discipline collaboration.
Michelle R. Munson, PhD, MSW, BA, Associate Professor of Social Work; Faculty and Researcher, Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health; Faculty Fellow, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, NYU Silver School of Social Work
A brief overview of social work theory at the meso, macro, and individual levels and a discussion of creative arts therapy as a way to expand resources and engagement on many levels including families, agencies, and community.


9:30 - 9:45 am

Introduction: Social Work and the Arts

(Introduction by Michelle Munson)
Theresa Aiello, PhD, MSW, MS, Retired Associate Professor of Social Work (formerly of NYU Silver School of Social Work)
An introduction to creative therapies in social work practice including: the theory; pertinent science and evidence-based practice; ethical responsible work; and differentiating therapeutic exposure from therapy.


9:45 - 10:45 am

Keynote: Dad, There’s a Monster Under My Bed: Applying Creative Arts Therapies within Social Work Practice to Enhance Wellness

(Introduction by Michelle Munson)
Robert Landy, PhD, LCAT, RDT, BCT, Professor of Educational Theatre and Applied Psychology, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Georgie Landy, BFA, Artist, Art Educator, Graduate Art Therapist Candidate  
A pioneering drama therapist presents a model of wellness in collaboration with his daughter, an MA candidate in art therapy. Through drawing, embodiment and story-making, the co-presenters demonstrate how effective communication in the early years of development can promote positive mental health throughout the life span. Given their work through creative arts therapies within the fictional realm, they will show how the distance of play provides a new way for caregivers and mental health professionals to help others express and work through frightening and confusing experiences.
(Q&A Facilitated by Theresa Aiello)


10:45 - 10:55 am



10:55 - 11:55 am  

Roundtable Discussion: The Arts and Social Movements

(Introduction by Alison Aldrich, LCSW-R, ACSW, MSW, BA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work, NYU Silver School of Social Work)
Deborah Willis, PhD, MFA, MA, BFA, Chair, Professor of Photography and Imaging, NYU Tisch School of the Arts

This discussion will focus on community engagement, social justice, and collaboration including a demonstration of community arts projects that engaged around human rights, sustainable change, collaboration and activism through art.  How do you see your art impacting community/society and the individual?
(Q&A Facilitated by Alison Aldrich)


11:55 am - 12:35 pm

Interactive Dance/Movement Experience


Miriam Roskin Berger, BC-DMT, LCAT, Dancer, Dance Therapist, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Diane Duggan, PhD, BC-DMT, Dancer, Dance Therapist, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; 92nd Street Y Dance Therapy and DEL Programs


12:35 - 1:30 pm

Lunch and Presentation: Exploring Common Ground: Multi-Disciplinary Use of the Arts and Creative Expression in Working with Individuals and Groups


Mary C. Bitel, PhD, LCSW, Chair, Open Arts Program, NYU Tisch School of the Arts
This presentation will serve as a bridge for the broad range of disciplines represented in the conference. From social worker, to arts worker, to arts therapist, to artist, we all strive to locate and develop our creative use of self in service of illuminating the human condition and raising the voices of others. Through the identification of worker skills utilized across disciplines represented, this presentation will explore the meaning of “creative” practice and locate a common thread of practice concepts and skills that support the creative worker in each of us.


1:30 - 2:15 pm

Panel: Creative Arts and Social Work

Marygrace Berberian, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, LCSW, Program Coordinator, Art Therapy in the Downtown Schools; NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Miriam Roskin Berger, BC-DMT, LCAT, Dancer, Dance Therapist, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Mary Bitel, PhD, MSW, BFA, Chairperson, Teacher, Open Arts
Maria Hodermarska, MA, RDT, LCAT, CASAC, ICADAC, BFA, Professor, Drama
Therapy, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Johanna Martinez, MSW, CAPF, PTP, Founder, Healing Expressions
Toby Williams, LCAT, MA, MT-BC, Director, Music Therapy Program, The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music; Music Therapy Faculty, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
A discussion of creative arts therapy and social work in regards to engagement, how it is used in practice, how it serves as an educational tool, and how art can change the way people practice.
(Panel and Q&A Facilitated by Drena Fagen, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, LCSW, Director, Adult Programs; Art Therapist; Clinical Social Worker)


2:15 - 3:15 pm

Breakout Groups: Exposure to Creative Arts Modes (w/Q&A in groups)

(Introduction by Alison Aldrich and Peggy Morton, DSW, MSW, Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work; Assistant Dean, Field Learning & Community Partnerships; Coordinator, Undergraduate Field and Service Learning, NYU Silver School of Social Work)
Arts Therapy
Lead by Marygrace Berberian & Drena Fagen
Dance Therapy
Lead by Miriam Roskin Berger
Drama Therapy
Lead by Maria Hodermarska
Music Therapy
Lead by Toby Williams
Poetry/Journal  Therapy
Lead by Johanna Martinez

Demonstration of variety of arts therapies and application to practice including the use of art forms in case discussion. Demonstration of how the arts can inspire and inform practice in work with individuals and groups in agency settings and private practice. Each participant can attend two groups with options including: music, art, drama, poetry, design, and photography. Structure will include the elements of engagement, creative experience and use of final product. The participants will be given resources to take back to their agencies and practices.


3:15 - 3:30 pm



3:30 - 4:30 pm

Agency Presentation: Still Life: Why Art?  


Robin Glazer, MS, BA, Director, The Creative Center, University Settlement
The Creative Center offers programs in visual, performing and literary arts for people living with cancer, other chronic illnesses and across the aging spectrum. As participants struggle through the challenges and turmoil of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship, having a space to engage in creative expression - where positive distraction with a caring individual can reduce stress, alleviate anxiety and fear, decrease boredom and reduce pain- has proven to be highly therapeutic in its own right. Robin Glazer, Director of The Creative Center at University Settlement (TCC) will discuss the program's unique approach. Participants from one of the programs will describe their experiences.


4:30 - 4:55 pm

Closing Remarks


4:55 - 5:00 pm

Evaluation Collection and Continuing Education Credit Dissemination