Art Making, CEU Offerings, Mindfulness, NMATA Membership, Self-Love / Self-Care

Recap, Reflection from ‘Core Art Therapy Directives’ Workshop (4/7/18)

The Essential Art Therapy Directives workshop was a success! It consisted of 14 participants who were all at different stages of their career and who were all art therapists. Valerie and I co-facilitated this workshop and I felt we complimented each other nicely. Participants were asked to explore who they were on a deep level and call upon parts of themselves to work with and reflect upon. I want to express great gratitude for everyone who attended for showing up authentically and allowing themselves to be vulnerable.

Many things came up for in the process of planning for this workshop, co facilitating and reflecting on it afterwards…

When I first started out on the path of becoming an art therapist, the concepts of art as therapy and art and therapy were always discussed and questioned as far as which one is better and what direction I should walk towards in this work. It was often presented as a split as if I had to choose one or the other. I tend to be more depth oriented and found that in depth work, directives were often not offered and went against the very nature of spontaneity, trusting the process and allowing unconscious material to surface. Perhaps it felt like directives also had an attached agenda and did not feel client centered… Directives felt more aligned with ‘art and therapy’ whereas no directives felt more aligned with ‘art as therapy.’

In my work as a practicing art therapist, I have had to challenge this perspective and come to recognize that this was not a perspective that I hold. I use directives all the time in my work and still consider myself depth oriented with some strong transpersonal flavor. As Val and I prepared for this workshop, we found that it was hard to limit the essential directives to ten (as we had originally planned) and then it was hard to limit them to 20. We ended up settling at 21. Judging by the turn out and the intentions of participants it is evident that this workshop was needed and that there needs to be more sharing amongst therapists of approaches, techniques and directives.

As I reflect on the workshop, I recognize the strengths of supporting this kind of professional development and what could have been done differently. One piece that I would have spent more time on is spontaneity and variations of the essentials. I often have to think on my feet in session and come up with directives on the spot. It takes practice to do this and thoughtful intention. This is essential in being flexible, not being attached to an agenda or outcome and aligning with the client and meeting them where they are. Another piece I would have liked to spend some time with is client resistance. I believe this workshop could benefit from being longer and perhaps the list could be narrowed to allow for more space and time to really examine all of them.

My inner critic must be awakened right now as we spent time working with our inner critics in the workshop. As I awaken my inner advocate, I see that art therapy is deep and meaningful work and I was happy to provide space for my colleagues to learn and grow together. I am pleased by the interesting discussions that were ignited during the process and I am content with the outcome and the workshop as a whole.

I send deep gratitude to Valerie Valentine for being my co-facilitator and mentor through my career and I also want to send gratitude to all the participants that joined us at the workshop.

With Great Thanks,

Alanna Burke-Sindlinger
Workshop Co-Facilitator, NMATA President Elect


American Art Therapy Association, CEU Offerings

What a Year 2017! NMATA is busy and productive and excited!

          SPRING IS HERE!

As the Earth begins to come alive again in this Spring Season, I invite us all to breath in renewed Life; stop and admire the flowers and the beauty; take time to fill ourselves with joy and a deep sense of being connected to nature cycles.  Go outside and play!

Your NMATA Board continues to grow in our strengths and connections.  The recent Legislative effort did not result in the passing of our bills, but it created the foundation for future successful passage.  We learned a lot, achieved a lot, and feel really good about the whole process.  And we are not giving up.  At the membership meeting there will be a full review of the effort, our continued plans, an honoring of several key leaders in this effort, and information that is important for all of us to know.  The support we received from all of you was AMAZING!  It was a very gratifying effort and send out a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who participated!!!

We are preparing now for this first Membership Meeting of the year.   And we urge you all to please make plans to attend!  This meeting will be in Santa Fe with the next NMATA Membership Meeting to be held in ABQ September 9.

NMATA Membership Meeting
Date and Time:   April 8, 2017, 10:30
Place:  Board Member Nora Cassar’s Home @
7017 Vuelta Vistoso, Santa Fe

We will be providing a salad bar for lunch for all attendees.
We will start with relevant information about the legislative effort and present thank you gifts to those who lead the effort.  From there we will move into the plans for AATA conference in Nov.  There will be lots of other information including NMATA art therapy CEU offerings throughout the year.  We will end with a circle of peer support and sharing that will include some art-making.  Our intention for the meeting is to provide attendees with a full and rich experience and we look forward to connecting with you all.  This is your professional organization and our intention as your board is to serve you and the profession in as many ways as we can imagine.  (and we have really good imaginations!)

Take time to occasionally check-out our Website and Facebook page for updates and offerings of all kinds.

Mark you calendar for the next NMATA CEU Workshop presented by Lazaro Iglesias called Mixed Media and Assemblage.  This promises to be a very rich and wonderful experience and give you tools to work with your own clients.
April 22, 1-4pm @ Valerie Valentine Studios, 1925 Aspen Dr #701-A.

We have so much to offer each other and hope that you will participate with NMATA in supporting the well-being of the planet . . . beginning with the well-being of ourselves through community.  We hope that you will make NMATA part of your community.

See you at the Meeting!
Your NMATA Board of Directors

American Art Therapy Association, CEU Offerings, NMATA Membership, Values

November Newsletter

​Let Your Light Shine!!!

Greetings everyone!!
As we head into the home stretch of this historical Presidential election, I encourage us all to stand in your own highest values.  May we each be impeccable with our words and always offer our very best to each other.  We are the heart and soul of this nation, each and every one of us.  May we use our individual power to raise each other up, encourage creativity and health, and be our unique amazing authentic selves.  As art therapists, this is our job.  How great is that!  I am so grateful for each and every one of you.  You are an incredible clan to belong to.  I am honored to hold this position and to offer my very best to each of you.

We will be heading into our own elections soon, so please be thinking of who you will nominate to serve on our Board of Directors and please consider serving yourself.  It is very fulfilling to serve for a cause you are passionate about and our profession is certainly something to be passionate about.  We are unique in the healing/medical field because of the value we offer.  It is a privilege to sit and support our clients in knowing their unique value.    It is also a privilege to guide NMATA and to represent the art therapists in our amazing State, especially with the opportunities next year to host AATA in ABQ.

Wendy Wasserman, your NMATA Board member who Chairs the Local Arts Committee, and myself met with AATA last Thursday while they were doing a site visit in ABQ.  They were excited about next year’s conference and all we have to offer.  There are going to be some great opportunities to participate and I encourage you all to make it a point to get involved.  Call Wendy directly at 516-527-2323.

I, also, encourage you all to consider presenting your work at the AATA conference.  NMATA is offering a 3 CEU workshop next Saturday, Nov 5, from 1-4, at Mesa Vista Wellness, to help us all prepare our presentations and to successfully navigate the application process through the AATA site.  The CEU is called Professional Presentation and will also guide participants through how to present CEU workshops.  Please RSVP at 505-577-2469 or at the NMATAemail:, as soon as possible.  Fee is $30 for NMATA members and $45 for non-members.  The CEU is relevant for any one wishing to create and present professional workshops.

NMATA is doing a Holiday Fund Raiser!   We will be getting a booth at the Farmer’s Market during their special Holiday Market, scheduled for the Thursday, 22nd and Friday the 23rd, right before Christmas this year.  Many of you have already volunteered to donate art work for the sale.  I am asking that anyone with some art to donate, please call me 577-2469, and let’s see if we can work out a drop off time for next weekend.  We need it soon because we need to present some of the work for jury to secure the booth.  I will keep the work safe and transport the day of the sale.  I am really inspired and excited to see all the great art and crafts being offered and humbly ask you all to consider donating at least one piece.

Last note:  Be sure and mark your calendars for the last 2016 NMATAMembership Meeting to be held in ABQ at Deborah Good’s beautiful home;  December 10, 10:30-12:30.  We are asking everyone to bring something yummy to share to eat and to bring a special gift made with intention and creativity for our gift swap.  The gift should somehow honor the art therapist and the work of therapy; some kind of self care or inspiration or beauty that reflects the care and depth of our profession.  We will be announcing the winners of our elections during this meeting.

We will be sending out an email to members only in the coming week with the details of the nomination and election process.  And that brings us full circle.

Until we connect again, validate yourselves, honor your work, strengthen your intentions, and revel in your own exquisite self-expression.  You are precious.

Dedicatedly Yours,
Val Valentine

CEU Offerings, NMATA Board, NMATA Membership

October Newsletter

I have some updates, so please take note…

  • The CEU presentation, Professional Presentation Workshop, has been postponed until Saturday, November 5, 1:00 – 4:00 pm.  We only had five people sign up and we need ten people and AATA has not posted their call for submissions yet.  Please call 505-577-2469, or email to sign-up for this workshop.  Again the cost is $30 for members and $45 for non-members.  We will keep the location at Mesa Vista Wellness, 2019 Galisteo St, Ste D-2, Santa Fe.


  • As an incentive for our membership, we are offering a special reward if you get one person to join membership, you and your friend receive one free CEU presentation.  If you get a friend to join this month, you could go to the Professional Presentation CEU (3CEUs) for free!  Ask your friends and tell them to let us know they are joining under this special incentive plan!!


  • Just a reminder that our next Board Meeting is next weekend, Saturday, Oct 8, from 9:00-12:00 at Mesa Vista Wellness.  You are invited to attend to learn more about the business of running NMATA and to offer your support and help.


  • We are happy to announce that Linnea Knoespel has agreed to assume leadership of the Nominating Committee this year!  THANK YOU, LINNEA!!   We will be sending out a Call for Nominees in November, so start thinking about who you would like to nominate, someone open and receptive to this kind of service and professional development.


  • Wendy and I have a meeting with AATA personnel flying in this month to ABQ to begin the official planning for Conference next year.  Please contact Wendy directly at to volunteer for this important committee work.


  • We had several of you volunteer art work for the Holiday Fund Raiser and send out a great big THANK YOU to you ALL!!!  We will need and take all donations, so if you have not volunteered to donate yet, please consider doing so.  We will be sending out the details for this event and the collection date for the art soon, so stay on the look out for that.

And lastly, be sure and mark you calendars now for the final NMATA Membership Meeting of 2016, to be held at Deborah Good’s home on Saturday, December 10 from 10:30-12:30.  We will meet together, review 2016, make plans for 2017, share food (Pot luck so bring your favorite dish to share) and have an Art Therapist Gift Exchange.  Please make some kind of small art honoring the work of the therapist, wrap it up, and bring so that we can gift each other in a beautiful way.

That’s it for now!  I am sorry if the change for the CEU is a problem for any of you.  I am really hoping the November date will work better more people.  We are trying to be adaptable, efficient,  and flexible for the greatest good of all.  Hope to see you all there.  Please RSVP as soon as you know you can attend this date.

Have a great month!  And as always, please feel free to contact me directly with ideas, thoughts, and suggestions.    Val

American Art Therapy Association, CEU Offerings, Field of Art Therapy

Our Beautiful Garden Grows at Meow Wolf!

It seems like such a long time since I sat to write to you all.  It has been a full and challenging summer.  I find myself affected by a complex, ever-changing, and often heart-breaking world condition, as we all do; I am sure.  In this time of incredible transformation and challenge, it is imperative that we all hold to the things that feed our souls. I trust that our creative work that supports the well-being and health of our clients and our communities does make a difference, and that feeds my soul.  I appreciate each and everyone of you on the deepest levels.  We at NMATA endeavor to continue to provide an anchor and a place for all of us in this profession to be supported.

The AATA conference in Baltimore was incredibly empowering in this way.  To hear Bruce Moon speak of Love in our profession was truly inspiring.  To see presentations about the founders and leaders of Art Therapy validated the intention, power, and incredible value of the work we do.  To listen to art therapists from all over the world talking about the healing they facilitate, expanded vision and soothed the heart.  I am so excited that we, in New Mexico, get to host this amazing conference next year.
What an honor and a gift!!

I want to encourage you all to consider presenting your work at the AATA Conference 2017 and fully participating in any way you can.  As the hosting State there will be plenty to do, and the pay off is amazing.  You will connect and learn and be fed soul food to walk away nourished and stronger and clear about the power of the work you do.  NMATA will be presenting a CEU workshop, Professional Presentation, October 8 from 1pm-4pm for 3 CEU’s to support us all in how to present our work and the submission process for AATA.  The charge will be only $30 for members.  We hope to get as many of you as we can reach to get inspired and informed about Professional Presentation Process.  Mark you calendars and contact me directly to sign-up.  We will determine location after we see where the majority of interested people are located.  More details at the Membership Meeting…

Take note of the Membership Meeting in September to be in Santa Fe.  We are alternating quarterly between SF and ABQ.  You are all invited to attend, participate, and benefit!  We are doing a variety of work to advocate for all of us, including legislatively.  Come and get informed!!!

I invite you all to contact me directly any time, with questions, ideas, or needs.  Please know it is my joy to be available to you.  Hope to see you all in September!

CEU Offerings, NMATA Board

October: Co-Creating and Re-Visioning

Voting for 2016 board member positions happens in November 2015, want to nominate someone?
Send your nominees here (anonymous third party).
Who will lead the flock in 2016?
Nominate Board Members in November 2015. Email submissions to 
Are you a licensed Art Therapist in New Mexico? Do you want to take a leadership role or know someone who would be perfect to take a more active role in the Art Therapy community? This is an exciting opportunity to get more involved and guide the advocacy movement in our state. As a local chapter of AATA we have a mission of spreading the power of art as a healing modality. As artists, we know the potential of creating; do your part to share this message! Take a stand. Take the lead. Gathering your troops and respond to the call of action!

In November join us for a special treat where we explore the sacred and poetic art of qi gong movement followed by an art making experiential. Facilitated by NMATA’s President Elect, Autumn Kern, LPAT, LPCC
(3) CEC’s available for $30 or free for students and members. Donations are always appreciated.

American Art Therapy Association, CEU Offerings, Community Outreach, Field of Art Therapy, NMATA Membership

March 2015: Creative Renewal

Wow – opportunities are springing up all over the place for NMATA! We are building a creative community faster then ever and are so grateful to have the support from a diverse group of organizations that believe in the healing power of art. Last month we met with the curator of the CCA (Center for Contemporary Arts) as well as the event organizer for MIX Santa Fe. We will also be collaborating with (OGD) Only Green Design on some fun installations at Warehouse 21 this month. We hope to have some interactive booths at both AHA Festival and at the Farmers Market this year. Lots of ideas are being generated within the arts communities as well as the mental health arenas. We plan to once again be a part of the Million Day March against Child Abuse on the Plaza this April.

As usual we have several upcoming workshops being offered through Southwestern College – so many of their alumni make up our community for which we are very grateful. Please join us for our Divination & Fashion Art Therapy workshop as well as our next member meeting and introduction to the Enneagram as a therapeutic tool at Sandi Wright’s house.

As spring approaches, I look forward to a time of renewal, refreshment and re-imaging our future. What imaginal buds are taking shape in your life? What winter dreams are yearning to manifest in your life this spring? May we all take part in the cultivation of energy within our community. We would love to hear what visions you have for our local chapter and what you hope to see for the future of art therapy. We are looking for living angels to back us financially so that we can send our board members to the AATA Conference this year as well as educate and advocate for our field more effectively. It is our dream to bring art therapy into the public schools, hospitals and across the globe as we believe it starts at home, with a few like-minded individuals like you and me and of course some creative energy!

American Art Therapy Association, CEU Offerings, NMATA Membership

February ~ Art: A Language of Love

9032784_origFebruary’s theme is Art: a Language of Love. Let’s celebrate all the ways in which we express love through artistic projects and our creative contributions to relationships, places of work and our community as a whole! January was an awesome kick off to the new year for NMATA. We grew by 20 members and updated our website so it is now your go-to place for art therapy resources. There you can find therapists, supervisors, internship sites, upcoming events, updates on progress and get involved.

If you haven’t officially joined the NM Art Therapy Association yet consider doing so this month as our annual fee will be increasing March 1st. Right now its only $30 for the year. Join here! We have several new committees starting up this year and we could use your help. Let us know which ones you’d like to serve on here by choosing from Legislative Action, Outreach, Fundraising, Interactive Art Shows and Social Media support.

We held an extremely successful workshop this past Sunday: “Intro to SoulCollage“. If you missed it, don’t worry because Stephanie Murphy and Alicia Justice are planning a series of SoulCollage workshops this summer through NMATA. Stay tuned!

February 8th, KaSandra Verrett, SWC Art Therapy student, is hosting a Book & Journal Making workshop, see flyer here.

March 15th Southwestern College will once again host our next workshop “Fashion Art Therapy” facilitated by SWC Art Therapists-in Training Mariana Marachlian and Andrea Caruso. You don’t want to miss this innovative experiential where participants will tap into their iconic essences and create clothes to match! Bring your own recycled textiles. Some materials plus snacks will be provided. By donation! Mark your calendar for Sunday, March 15th 12-3pm at SW College.  RSVP here.

Your next member meeting and workshop will be Sunday, March 22nd from 12 – 4pm at Sandi Wright’s home studio in Santa Fe, 2504 Calle de los Ninos. Sandi is a long time New Mexico Art Therapist – see her bio here. This is your opportunity to hear about what NMATA is up to, volunteer your services and let us know what additional needs you have as members. Please rsvp here. The workshop will be a deep dive into Exploring Enneagrams with Georganna Tapley, SWC Art Therapy student. $30 for (3) CEC’s or $5 for students and friends, extra donations are always appreciated! Food will be provided ~ yum.

Workshops coming this Spring/Summer include topics such as Natural Materials/Flower Essence Art Therapy, Design your Own Sand Tray, Stop Motion Art Therapy and more from Imagine Art Art Barn. We will also be hosting an Open Studio where your finished pieces can be donated to raise money for NMATA and be sold through local galleries and or this summer’s AATA Conference. Want to propose your own workshop? Email us your ideas and we will send you a Proposal Form for submission. Show off your unique perspective to the whole community.

Also, Meow Wolf and NMATA are joining forces this year so be sure to stay involved and look forward to local arts collaborative and new internship possibilities. Our website will keep you updated on these exciting prospects so please bookmark for convenient reference.

And don’t forget to early register for the AATA Conference this summer – save money if you do it before Feb. 3rd. For more info click here. NMATA and Southwestern College will be strongly represented this year and I am especially looking forward to attending Abbe Miller’s El Duende: Painting Process workshop that we facilitate every year at SWC for our Art Therapy Interns.

Thank you for being a part of our artistic and loving community. Happy Creating! ❤

Artistically yours,

Heather Wulfers, ATR-BC, LPAT, LPCC
President of NMATA, Archetypal Art Therapist and Art Therapy Advocate


Art Making, CEU Offerings, Reflections

3926830by Magdalena Karlick

Let’s go for a walk, and pick up with permission
pieces from the earth, resting branches, fallen leaves, rocks rolled with time,
or shells that once were homes.

What history do they hold?
There is room for more, from me.

Let’s whisper into the rocks.
They can keep our secrets, our emotions, our wishes.

Shells can be held as they once held life.
Stones can lay cool in one’s palm or with a deep warm from the sun.
Rocks can be thrown in anger, wind and quake have done worse.
Branches may be broken, as they have been before.
Dried petals fragile with time, reminiscent of what once was, c


an be gingerly moved.

Touch, feel, place, throw
The natural world calls to us, holds us, and wants to be felt.

Recently we had the first in a series of Art Workshops at Southwestern College, “Rocktray: Nature as a Medium,” led by SWC grad Karen Wennberg, and current Art Therapy student, Nicole Morgan. They led us through theory related to Sandplay, Art Therapy, and Ecopsychology. They wove experiences of connection between pieces of nature and memory. We discussed how to make personal altars, and imbue natural objects with moments, or have them represent archetypal guides, witnesses, or guardians. We discussed how to externalize difficult feelings into these objects, so as to release or minimize discomfort. We experienced how this is personally helpful as well as an accessible offering to our clients.

Collection of Natural Objects














My Rocktray creation: Free Association Writings:
Tidy space, messy container
Picked off advertisement
Was messed with paint and earth
Natural Space
Calm center with spiraled petals 
On a bed of l
ong thin shoots of leaves
No longer bristling, laying comfortably under.


I  was inspired by the dried avocado in Nicole’s altar. I came home from the workshop, ate some avocado and saved the skin to dry. And this is what I made:


This is to help.
To help us move, cradled in taught skin
Floating lightly on protective wispy eyes,
Keeping striking snakes at bay.

We hold our seed within.

We protect our selves with hope, 

and calm movement through the unknown.


This was made with an avocado skin, an apricot pit, chicken feather, and peacock feathers on a dish rag.




See more photos from this workshop, here.
To find out about future workshops, or information about leading a workshop, click here.