Arts for the Blues Stakeholder and Training Event | 16 June and 17 June, 2022

Maternal Health Research Conference

Tuesday 24 May 2022, 9:30am-3:30pm

This international event being held at Edge Hill University will highlight some of the impactful, multidisciplinary research that exists in the field of maternal health.

We have international speakers contributing virtually from Australia and Brazil, with delegates from these countries also joining us. There will be time for networking, reflection and research planning as part of this event.

The conference is suitable for students, academics, practitioners (especially dietitians, nutritionists, midwives and therapists), and anyone with a particular interest in maternal health, from Edge Hill University and beyond.

The Role of the Arts, Arts Therapies, and Psychotherapies in Supporting Mental Health in Black and Allied Communities

Friday 15th October 2021

To mark Black History Month, the Research Centre hosted four free events that offered discussions. debates, and performances from international, national, and local experts. Themes included the importance of Black aesthetics, barriers to inclusion, the role of the arts in healing trauma related to racialization, issues related to ‘post-Windrush’, issues related to engaging in therapy, the connection between health and justice, and forms of modern slavery.

National & local perspectives: Exploring the barriers faced by psychotherapy in the UK and the impact on mental health from honour-based abuse. Focusing on key issues with the UK context relating to barriers to inclusion and diversity faced by psychotherapists, and an exploration of the effects of honour-based abuse on mental health.

International Perspectives: The role of the arts, arts therapies and psychotherapies on issues of diversity and mental health awareness. A panel discussion exploring some of the key issues relating to arts, art therapies and psychotherapies in relation to supporting mental health in black communities.

Current research at Edge Hill University: Healing racial trauma, problems faced ‘post-Windrush’ & stories from modern slavery. In-depth focus on research connected with the key themes of Black History Month. Speakers explore the impact of racial trauma, how the arts & arts therapies can help to heal division, the stories of trafficked people in the UK and the effects of ‘post-Windrush’ on engaging in therapy.

Creative Performances using soundscape, spoken word, silhouettes and movement to explore Black History Month Themes. Performances exploring beauty and unconscious bias, slavery in the context of Brexit Britain, issues relating to the term and perception of ‘Black’ and what it means to be a black woman in society, and narratives around oppression.

Dr Shaun Liverpool – Lecturer in Child & Adolescent Mental Health & Wellbeing
Claire Beerjeraz – MSc Psychotherapy & Counselling: Contemporary & Creative Approaches student
Afrah Qassim – Founder & CEO Savera UK

Panel Speakers:
Dr Nisha Sajnani – Director of Dramatherapy program at New York University & principal editor of Drama Therapy Review.
Samantha Adams – Black British Dramatherapist & Storyteller.
Dr Refiloe Lepere – Master storyteller, playwright, dramatherapist & facilitator.
Jasmine Edwards – Creative arts therapy coordinator & music therapist.
Natasha Sackey – Dance Movement Psychotherapist, Somatic Body Mapping Practitioner & Creative Producer.
Dione Dalley – Art psychotherapist & Co-lead for The Psychosis Therapy Project.
Earl Pennycooke – Psychotherapist in private practice.

Dr Michael Richards – Senior Lecturer in Applied Health & Social Care.
Andrea-May Oliver – Dramatherapist & PhD Researcher.
Gergana Ganeva – Lecturer in Counselling & Psychotherapy.
Dr Suzy Hansford – Lecturer in Counselling & Psychotherapy.
Claire Beerjeraz – MSc Psychotherapy & Counselling: Contemporary & Creative Approaches student.

Andrea-May Oliver – Dramatherapist & PhD researcher.
Claire Beerjeraz – MSc Psychotherapy & Counselling: Contemporary & Creative Approaches student.
Iroro Azanuwha – Poet & Spoken Word Artist.
Blu Boy – Interdisciplinary Artist.
Supritha Aithal – Bharatanatyam artist and Lecturer in Applied Health & Social Care.

Edge Hill University takes part in an international arts and health initiative, Healing Arts New York

19-21 September 2021

In recognition of the arts’ vital role in advancing physical, mental, and social health, Edge Hill will take part in the launch of an international arts and health initiative, Healing Arts New York, a series of events featuring leading artists, researchers, and policy makers at the intersection of arts, health, and care that begins on 19th September. 

As part of the programme, from 20-21st September, the Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing will be taking part in Arts & Health @ NYU, a number of events co-produced by New York University, CultuRunners in partnership with the World Health Organization and the Museum of Modern Art.  These events bring together leading figures in research, practice and policy to present research on the arts’ role as a new frontier in health and wellbeing.

Professor Vicky Karkou, member of the International Research Alliance and Director of the Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing at Edge Hill University, said: “We are excited to be involved in international research that matters for policy, services and ultimately for people’s lives, recognising that the arts have value as a wellbeing resource in our communities.”

She added: “We are increasingly seeing how the arts can be used to treat a wide range of mental health problems including the prevention and treatment of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. This global event will shine a light on how we can integrate the arts in a range of health settings to support people’s wellbeing.”

The online launch for Arts & Health @NYU takes place on Monday 20 September and features a free public webinar from 2pm – 4pm (UK time) which includes an introduction to the WHO Arts and Health program by Christopher Bailey as well as presentations from professionals involved in the study and practice of how the arts contribute to our physical, cognitive, emotional, social, organizational, environmental, and public health.

In addition to the launch, the Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing will also be part of a closed meeting which will see charter collaborating centres of the WHO Arts & Health programs to be held at MoMA and a series of conversations about advancing research in the arts and health in partnership with the WHO and major publishers.

The first in the conversations series will be on September 21 from 2pm – 4pm (UK time). It features a free roundtable discussion on Advancing Research in Arts and Health co-chaired by Professor Vicky Karkou, Edge Hill University and hosted by NYU Arts & Health, the WHO Healing Arts Lab, and the publisher Frontiers. The event will centre around research published in a special issue of Frontiers in Psychology on the physiological and psychological benefits of the arts, a call led by Professor Vicky Karkou.

Arts & Health @ NYU is supported by the International Research Alliance in which Edge Hill University is a core member, expanding the university’s already robust research presence in this field and the university’s ongoing work with the World Health Organization (WHO). In September 2020, the WHO commissioned the International Research Alliance to review research and generate a series of reports assessing the impact of the arts and creative arts therapies on a global scale—including visual art, drama, music, dance, poetry, and film.

The International Research Alliance—which includes Edge Hill University working collaboratively with New York University, the University of Melbourne, Drexel University, Lesley University, University of Heidelberg, and University of Haifa—has thus far produced a systematic review on how creative arts interventions can reduce symptoms of depression in older adults and a scoping review on therapeutic factors in the creative arts therapies.

This commission expands on the WHO’s 2019 review on the health benefits of the arts by examining the impact of creative arts therapies and arts with a stated therapeutic intent on a global scale, and acknowledges the importance of engaging with research institutions that have expertise in the health benefits of the arts and creative arts therapies to inform global health and cultural policy.

For about the whole programme, please visit the CULTURUNNERS website.

Dr Zoe Moula: How can arts therapies support children’s quality of life, wellbeing, emotional expression and sleep?       

Findings and reflections from a pilot study in primary schools.

Online Research hour Thursday 8 July 12pm – 1pm        (UK time, online) 

Embedding arts therapies (i.e. music, drama, dance movement and art therapy) within the educational system may contribute to address children’s emerging needs and result in a positive impact on their wellbeing; bridging the gap between health and education.

This PhD study aimed to explore the outcomes of arts therapies from children’s perspectives. Sixty-two children with mild emotional and behavioural difficulties were recruited from five primary schools in the Northwest of England. The outcomes were assessed at baseline, pre- and post-intervention, as well as at three-, six-, and twelve- months follow-up. Mixed methods were used, specifically questionnaires, interviews, arts work, participant observation and biomarkers (acti-watches). The findings suggested improvements in children’s wellbeing, emotional expression, sleep, as well as positive appraisal of health and perceived quality of life, positive relationships, and reduced stress. The findings were analysed through the lenses of positive psychology as well as self-determination and self-actualisation theories. Zoe will be presenting her work which will be followed by a discussion around the benefits of arts therapies for children, and also the challenges of conducting experimental studies in educational settings.  

Dr Zoe Moula is a research and teaching fellow at the Medical Education Innovation and Research Centre (MEDIC) at Imperial College London. Zoe completed her PhD at Edge Hill University researching arts psychotherapies as a tool for the prevention of health difficulties in childhood. She holds a MRes in Health Research, MSc in Therapeutic Play, and BEd in Primary Education. She is also a Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and postdoctoral research fellow investigating the impact of arts and arts therapies on children’s health and wellbeing. Her previous work has included teaching at schools and universities in Greece, China, and the UK.  

If you would like to join us, please email your name and institution/organisation to Jen [email protected] who will provide the link and information about connecting.  

Linked publications of Zoe’s work Frontiers | An Investigation of the Effectiveness of Arts Therapies Interventions on Measures of Quality of Life and Wellbeing: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Study in Primary Schools | Psychology ( systematic review of child-focused outcomes and assessments of arts therapies delivered in primary mainstream schools – ScienceDirect

Shifting to Tele-Arts Therapies during the COVID-19 Pandemic: International Findings on Helpful and Challenging Factors

Thursday 13 May 2021 12pm – 1pm BST (UK British Summer Time)

Online Research Lunch Hour with Dr Hod Orkibi and Dr Nisha Sajnani

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented shift to online treatment. For the creative arts therapies (CAT) – a healthcare profession that involves the intentional use of the visual art, drama, music, dance, and poetry within a therapeutic relationship – this shift has been highly consequential for practice. This study examined (a) how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted CAT’s clinical practice, and (b) the features characterizing online practice in an international sample of 1206 creative arts therapists.  Overall, the study aimed to identify changes in the use of the arts in therapy, resources that contributed to the delivery of therapy, and the role of therapists’ creative self-efficacy in adapting to these changes. Quantitative and qualitative data will be presented, and their implications will be discussed.

If you would like to join us, please email your name and organisation to [email protected] to receive the link to connect.

Hod Orkibi, PhD, is a certified psychodrama therapist, a tenured Senior Lecturer and researcher at the School of Creative Arts Therapies, University of Haifa, Israel. Dr. Orkibi advises M.A. and Ph.D. students and serves as the Chair of the Doctoral Studies Committee and head of international programs and collaborations.

Hod serves on the editorial board of the international journal The Arts in Psychotherapy​, the Drama Therapy Review – Journal of the North American Drama Therapy Association, the GMS Journal of Arts Therapies, APA Division 10’s journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, and the  Academic Journal of Creative Arts Therapies​.  

Nisha Sajnani

Dr Nisha Sajnani is the Director of the Program in Drama Therapy and the Theatre and Health Lab at New York University. She is the Editor of Drama Therapy Review, the journal of the North American Drama Therapy Association, President of the Foundation of the Arts & Trauma, and founding member of the Critical Pedagogies in the Arts Therapies working group.

Therapeutic Dance for Breast Cancer Recovery

20th November 2020 ONLINE

An online interactive session exploring how therapeutic dance can support the physical and psychological health of women in recovery from breast cancer.

Dancing with Health is a research study that saw the delivery of a standardised dance protocol in five EU countries between 2019-2020. The protocol had a strong sports and exercise framework, was informed by dance movement therapy and introduced participants to a range of dance styles.

This FREE open and active session will give an overview of the study and how the protocol was designed and delivered for this population. Initial findings will also be presented alongside useful insights from the dance movement therapists who ran the sessions. There will be participatory opportunities throughout and a Q&A at the end.

This event is aimed at students, practitioners or patients with an interest in psychotherapy, therapeutic dance/sports interventions, cancer care recovery, dance movement psychotherapy and health/dance/sports research.

For more information about the study see

To register for tickets please visit

Arts and Therapy in the Time of the Pandemic

From Thursday 18 June 2020

In collaboration with the International Arts Therapies Doctoral Alliance led by New York University, a series of presentations, panel discussions and workshops have been recorded and showcased online, exploring the contribution of the arts and arts psychotherapies to health and wellbeing during the 2020 pandemic .

Guest speakers and panelists will present current initiatives and research on the physiological and psychological benefits of the arts. In particular discussions will focus on the contributions that the arts therapies can make to tackle isolation, loneliness, offer opportunities for resilience and support for the wellbeing of the general public, health and social care staff and patients. Ways in which the arts therapies can act as psychological interventions for the prevention and treatment of depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder will also be explored, highlighting the value of this field at times of crisis.

Keynote presentation by Christopher Bailey, Arts & Health Lead at the World Health Organisation ‘Composed at Present, Composing the Future:  Arts and Healing in the COVID world’. This is followed by a Panel Discussion exploring the role of arts and arts therapies in the context of the pandemic, with the four prominent arts therapists below (Dr Nisha Sajnani, Prof Felicity Baker, Prof Vicky Karkou and Dr Azizah Abdullah).

Short 1min 30 taster

Full length presentation and panel discussion 1hr4min

Christopher Bailey

Christopher is the Arts and Health Lead at WHO, and a performer. He recently moderated an online discussion for the UN on Art in the Time of Coronavirus which brought together influential art world voices to explore the role and value of art when facing systemic-level, global threats like COVID-19. This event was held on Earth Day to highlight Coronavirus’ connection to our ecological emergency.

This discussion marked the first in a series of UN75 Moderated Dialogues by The Future is Unwritten, a New York-based initiative launched by CULTURUNNERS and World Council of Peoples for the United Nations (WCPUN), to engage the arts and culture sector in United Nations global policy discussions and implementation efforts.

The impact and evidence base for arts in health

A series of presentations from prominent international arts therapists talking about how their discipline and research activities can contribute to health and wellbeing during the times of the pandemic.

Dr Nisha Sajnani, USA
Drama Therapy

Nisha Sajnani

Dr. Nisha Sajnani is the Director of the Program in Drama Therapy and the Founder of the Theatre & Health Lab at New York University Steinhart. Nisha is the Principal Editor of Drama Therapy Review, an international journal on theatre, health, and wellbeing, and a founding member of the World Alliance of Drama Therapy, the Critical Pedagogy in the Arts Therapies think tank, and the NYU Creative Arts Therapies Consortium where she leads the International Arts Therapies Doctoral Alliance. 

Nisha’s primary research areas include the role of improvisation and performance in ethical leadership, health promotion, and in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. She has published widely in the areas of culturally responsive pedagogy in the arts therapies, embodied and performance research, depression, and sustainable mental health care in humanitarian contexts. In addition to this, she has produced several films and online exhibits pertaining to drama therapy and displacement. Read an interview with Dr. Nisha Sajnani about her research here.

Dr. Sajnani is a past president of the North American Drama Therapy Association (2009-2011) and been recognized by the NADTA for distinguished contributions to the field of drama therapy in education, publication, practice, and service and her efforts to promote research and diversity in the field. She was awarded the Corann Okorodudu Global Women’s Advocacy Award from the American Psychological Association (Div. 35), and the first Diversity award from the American Society for Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama. Professor Sajnani has served as part of the official Canadian delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in 2006. 

For more information and links to her publications click here

Prof Felicity Baker, Australia
Music Therapy

Prof Felicity Baker

Professor Felicity Baker is Head of Music Therapy, and Director of the International Research Partnerships for the Creative Arts and Music Therapy Research Unit at Melbourne University. She is former Australia Research Council Future Fellow (2011-2015) in the area of music therapy and during this fellowship built models of song writing as practiced through the lenses of different orientations.

Felicity has attracted more than $14 million in competitive research funding and is currently coordinating a large international randomised controlled trial involving research teams in Australia, UK, Norway, Poland and Germany. Her clinical and research expertise are predominantly in neurorehabilitation and dementia with a special interest in communication rehabilitation and facilitating emotional adjustment to a changed identity via various music therapy methods.

She is currently Associate Editor, Journal of Music Therapy. Felicity was National President of The Australian Music Therapy Association (2010-2014), and former editor of The Australian Journal of Music Therapy. Felicity has received a number of awards and has published widely with over 150 publications and is best known for her authored and edited texts: Music Therapy in Neurorehabilitation: A Clinician’s Manual. Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2006 with Jeanette Tamplin), Song Writing Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators and Student (2005, with Tony Wigram), and Voicework in Music Therapy: Research and Practice (2011, with Sylka Uhlig)

Prof Vicky Karkou, UK
Dance Movement Psychotherapy

Prof Vicky Karkou

Vicky is the Director for the Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing at Edge Hill University in the UK, a qualified dance movement psychotherapist, registered humanistic psychotherapist and qualified creative supervisor. 

She is currently the joint programme leader for the MSc Psychotherapy and Counselling: Contemporary Creative Approaches. Here is a link to this course

Vicky’s research work covers the areas of the arts, therapy and arts therapies and ranges from artistic inquiry to systematic reviews and meta-analyses. With a team of colleagues from Leeds University, she has completed two Cochrane Reviews on the effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy for Depression and for Dementia; methodologically these publications include systematic reviews and a meta-analysis.  With colleagues from Edinburgh University she has edited her third (edited) book titled: The Oxford Handbook on Dance for Wellbeing; this publication, amongst other things, favours and celebrates arts-based research and videos as publications.  Her more recent book is edited with a colleague from the University of Highlands and Islands titled Arts Therapies in the treatment of Depression. 

She is currently involved in the ERA study, the largest arts therapies randomised controlled trial in the UK funded by the NIHR.  She has also received funding from the clinical commissioning group of Liverpool for the development of an evidence based creative psychological intervention for depression and from the European Union for studies on depression and cancer care. 

She travels extensively for research and teaching purposes offering key notes, experiential workshops and consultancy work around the world.  In 2014 she was awarded the title of Honorary Doctor of Medicine from Riga Stradins University, Latvia for her services in supporting the development of arts psychotherapies in this country.

Vicky is widely published in peer-reviewed journals and is co-editor for the international journal Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy published by Taylor and Francis.   For a full list of Vicky’s publications visit the Edge Hill research repository

To read about Vicky and the experiences that have shaped her outlook, here she features in the New Psychotherapist UKCP publication in Autumn 2019 pages 52-53.

Dr Azizah Abdullah, Malaysia
Expressive Arts Psychotherapy

Dr Azizah Abdullah

Dr Azizah is Senior Lecturer in Expressive Arts, Counselling and Psychology at University Utara Malaysia (UUM). She is also a registered counsellor with Malaysian Board of Counsellors and a member of the National Council Counselling Educator (NCCE), Malaysia. Her PhD, obtained in 2015 from the University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom, focused on contemporary person-centred creative practices. In addition, she has trained in various creative arts and play therapy approaches from leading key scholars in UK, Europe, USA and Hong Kong. She also has a degree in Guidance and Counselling, and a Master Degree in Counselling and Psychology. Whilst her work is informed by a Humanistic person-centred approach, she also utilises other theoretical foundations based on the client’s needs and preferences. She is now primarily interested on working in therapeutic practices and processes in the counselling and psychology sector, informed by over twenty years’ experience.  

Dr Azizah is involved in various research projects in Malaysia, in particular she led a national collaborative project ‘Forwarding Creative Arts Therapy from an Islamic Perspective to Enhance Quality of Life and Well-being’ part of the Knowledge Transfer Program (KTP), funded by the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia (MOHE). She also led the Social Innovation Research’s grant funded by University Utara Malaysia (UUM) ‘Developing a training manual of play therapy for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties’ (PT – SEBD). Currently Dr Azizah leads a national collaboration project between UUM, National Population & Family Development Board, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, Malaysia and State Islamic Religious Council, which focuses on developing models of art therapy as a coping mechanism for survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence. In the context of the Covid 19 crisis, Dr Azizah also coordinated a series of online psychological support projects and web-based creative innovation including the use of expressive arts and play therapy as a medium to share inner feelings and attitudes in respond to the Covid-19 crisis. She has trained mental health practitioners from Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia to apply expressive arts and play therapy methods, supporting professional services, community development, professional growth, and psycho-education outputs. 

Dr Azizah is actively involved with a number of international associations and key scholars in counselling, psychology, psychotherapy, arts/expressive arts therapy, play therapy, hypnotherapy and other related mental health and care professions. She is the President of the Association for Creative Arts and Play Therapy Malaysia (ACAPTM) working closely with other professionals and academics in South-East Asia region including from Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Myanmar. She is a professional member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA), a member of World Association of Person-centred Experiential Counselling and Psychotherapy (WAPCECP), Executive Co-chair, Asean Creative Arts Therapy (ACATA), member of the European Alliance for Innovation (EAI) and founding member for International Institutional Review Board (IRB-Hong Kong). She is a past member of Play Therapy United Kingdom (PTUK), and past member of Society for Psychotherapy Research- European Chapter (SPR-eC). She also a life-member for Malaysian Counselling Association-International (PERKAMA-International). Dr Azizah’s aims are to expand expressive arts and play therapy professional practices in the South-East Asia region.

Currently Dr Azizah is working to publish her first book on Person-Centred Creative Practice based on her PhD work, under UUM Press. She is in the final editing stages of a book chapter on Islamic Creative Arts Therapy, the outcome from KTPs national project. Her article titled ‘A Survey of Person-Centred Creative Practice” is under preparation for the journal of Person-Centred Counselling & Psychotherapy (PCEP). Other upcoming articles for Scopus Journal are based on outcomes from Covid-19 projects, including ‘Online expressive arts at the time of crisis : Creative Coping Strategies’, ‘Web-based Child-Centred Play Therapy: A gateway into childrens inner world’ and ‘Professional Practices, Ethics and Protocols for Creative Tele-Psychological Support’.

Workshops and reflections of internationally recognised practitioners in dance movement psychotherapy, art psychotherapy, music therapy and drama therapy.

Monique Hill, South Africa/Thailand
Drama Therapy

Monique Hill

Monique was one of the first cohort of drama therapists trained at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa in 2014/2015. She has also qualified as a Certified Cyber Therapist, trained by the Online Therapy Institute in the UK. She is currently based in Phuket, Thailand, and runs a private practice: Drama Therapy Online. She is a pioneer of text-based online drama therapy, offering sessions via email and instant messaging. She also runs webinars to train drama therapists in online techniques and ethical issues, which have reached therapists in 11 countries and 5 continents. She can be contacted at [email protected]

Leah Gipson, USA
Art Therapy

Leah Gipson

Leah Gipson is an Assistant Professor in the Art Therapy and Counselling Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She is a licensed clinical professional counsellor, a registered and board-certified art therapist, with a Master of Arts in Art Therapy and a Master of Theological Studies. Her current research interests include womanism/black feminism, and the use of cultural curation to explore the politics of individual and social change. Gipson is a board member for A Long Walk Home, Inc., an organization that uses the arts to empower young people and end violence against women and girls, and an organizer of the Critical Pedagogy in the Arts Therapies Think Tank. Her projects have included: DIVISIVE, a radio show that explores the intersections and interactivity between politics and cultural work, The Rectory, a participatory arts incubator space in the Austin neighbourhood of Chicago; and Care Sessions, an arts and well-being program that partners with Chicago community organizers through the Office of Engagement at SAIC Homan Square.

Stefanie Belnavis, USA/Caribbean
Dance Movement Therapy

Stefanie Belnavis

Stefanie wears many hats as a Jamaican-born Dance Movement Therapist/Consultant, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Clinician, Disability Advocate and Independent Photographer. Stefanie is also the Founder of A Bucket For the Well LLC, a creative arts psychotherapeutic private practice that centers attachment and early relationships through embodied movement-based practices, trauma-focused generational healing and creative wellness for BIPOC young children, their families and adults with a deep commitment to social justice and racial equality. Stefanie specializes in multicultural mental health advocacy for children, families, community educators, and community partners within the US and Caribbean Diaspora, with a focus on the culturally affirming parent-infant mental health and intergenerational trauma within communities of color, particularly immigrant families. An immigrant herself, Stefanie’s work is charged by seeking to create intersectional and decolonizing dialogue around diverse, inclusive and equitable mental health and creative forms of healing, namely dance movement psychotherapy, within underserved/marginalized communities that marry culturally empathetic social emotional practices, creative arts therapy interventions, and intergenerational studies within these communities. 

Over the past 5 years, Stefanie has worked as a Creative Arts Therapist and Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Clinician and Consultant in Boston Massachusetts wherein she provides clinical and experiential movement-based services to young children, their parents/caregivers and their extended community supports. Stefanie has served as a mental health consultant to local preschools, childcare centers and public schools in the Boston area, providing teacher and staff consultation, parent and teacher trainings, school-based play and dance movement therapy, classroom and student observations, feedback sessions, and crisis intervention services when needed. Stefanie is currently an Adjunct Instructor in the Dance Movement Therapy Department at Lesley University in Cambridge MA.

Stefanie’s is also fueled by her passion as a creative in which she is an avid avocation for sustainable creative health for all. Stefanie is the Founder of The Diahann Project (TDP) and The Diahann Project Births (TDPB). Both photography collaboratives are centered around elevating the intersectional stories of BIPOC communities of color. TDP focuses on BIPOC visual storytelling through portrait photography while TDPB is similarly aligned with a larger focus on representing disparities within the prenatal journeys of BIPOC families inclusive of successful and adverse child birthing stories.STEFANIE D. BELNAVIS, LMHC, R- DMT (Board Eligible)A BUCKET FOR THE WELL | FounderDance Movement Therapist, RegisteredLicensed Mental Health ClinicianParent-Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health ClinicianDisability Advocate
Email: [email protected]Facebook: @abucketforthewellTHE DIAHANN PROJECT | FounderEmail: [email protected]Facebook: @thediahannproject AND @thediahannprojectbirths

Claudia Zanini, Brazil
Music Therapy

Claudia Zanini

Claudia is a music therapist with a Ph.D. in Health Sciences, Master in Music, Specialization in Music Therapy in Mental Health and in Special Education. She works as Professor and Researcher of Music Therapy at UFG – Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil. Bachelor in Piano. Visitor Researcher at the Music Therapy Program at Temple University, Philadelphia (Fall/2018). General Coordinator of NEPEV-UFG – Nucleus for Teaching, Research, and Extension in Aging. Former President of the Department of Gerontology of SBGG-GO – Goiás Section of the Brazilian Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology (2014-18). Former Chair of the  Research and Ethics Commission / World Federation of Music Therapy (2014-17). Member of the WFMT Research and Ethics Commission (2017-20). Member of the Ethics Council of UBAM – Brazilian Union of Music Therapy Associations. Reviewer of Music and Music Therapy Journals.

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Any queries, please email us at [email protected]

Bridging the Gap: Somatic Movement and Dance Practices in Healthcare

Friday 6th – Sunday 8th March 2020

A three day special event aimed at health-care professionals, somatic-informed practitioners and dance artists. Aiming to provide a space for discussion and exchange between the two fields, to explore the scope of the interchange and discuss the needs for further research and future steps. Free one day symposium and weekend workshop led by Miranda Tufnell and Filipa Pereira-Stubbs.

To book the Symposium on Friday 6th March and/or the Weekend Workshop Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th March please click the links.

Pregnancy Research Sympsosium

Monday 30th March 2020 – CURRENTLY POSTPONED

This free event is to highlight impactful, multidisciplinary pregnancy research. Plenary by Dr Paige van der Plight from Deakin University, Australia “Exploring the role of nutrition during pregnancy: the impact on maternal and offspring health and chronic disease risk”. Other presentations include academics from Midwifery, Nutrition, Dance Movement Psychotherapy and Performing Arts. There will be time for networking, reflection and research planning. Suitable for students, academics and healthcare practitioners.

Click the link for more information or to book the Symposium.

Dancing with Health Training Weekend

26th & 27th October 2019

Part of the Festival of Ideas, a series of talks, exhibitions and performances to engage academics, students and members of the public.

2nd International Arts in Healthcare Event

3rd – 6th October 2019

Arts, Creativity and the Global Crisis: Re-imagining Identity, Otherness and the Possible, New York.

Arts in Psychotherapy Weekend Event

1st – 2nd June 2019

Personal and professional flourishing for one’s self, clients, and communities – a weekend of workshops, reflections and growth.

Dance for Wellbeing Weekend Workshop

23rd – 24th March 2019

An opportunity to join all-day dance workshops led by Lisa Simpson, choreographer and director of Lisa Simpson Inclusive Dance.

Arts and Psychotherapy: Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health

28th February 2019

What contribution can the arts make to one’s emotional wellbeing and mental health?

March 2018