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


NMATA Membership

Connecting with each other for the last NMATA Membership Meeting of 2016!

As we move into the Mystery of Winter,
Let’s gather to Create Warmth and Connection!

December is upon us and as the year comes to an end, NMATA is preparing for our last Membership Meeting of 2016.

Please plan and attend:
This Saturday, December 10, from 10:30am-12:30pm
At Debbie Good’s home in ABQ:  2489 Elfego Rd NW

We will review the year, make plans for next, open voting for our new Board of Directors, share food, and gift each other.

Bring anything you want to share to eat and a small gift to give to another art therapist; but if you have neither please come anyway.  We will have an art station for creating cards for each other and there is always enough food to share.

Come share your Light and your Presence.
We look forward to being with you all.
We will also be accepting donations for our fund raiser, Dec 22 and 23 at the Santa Fe Holiday Craft Fair at the Rail yard.

Thank you in advance for any art you feel you could bring.

Truly Hoping to Connect! ​

Advocacy, NMATA Board, NMATA Membership

Critical Time for Gratitude and Activism

Sending Us All Deep Love and AppreciationAnd Reasons to be Thankful!!!

I am so thankful to be a part of such a powerful profession that is all about honoring the individual, supporting diversity, creating health, and seeing beauty everywhere.  I offer that each one of us can take peace in knowing that we are aligned and active in our values and our passions.  This is such a priceless part of my reality and I hope yours.  I invite us all to breath this and live this with confidence.  Thank you all for being Art Therapists!  You are Beautiful and the Light of the World.  I am grateful to call you my colleagues and friends.

I am writing to remind you of the opportunity to be active and to serve this world in a positive way, by nominating yourself or someone else for position on NMATA’s Board of Directors.  Nominations will close at midnight on next Monday, Nov 28.

Go to:

Use the access code:  Artfully1234

You will need the name, email, and phone number of the person you are nominating.  You can nominate yourself and you are encouraged to do so.

Another reminder:  Please attend our last Membership Meeting of 2016!!
December 10, 10:30-12:30, @ Deborah Good’s home
2489 Elfego Road NW in ABQ.  Her home phone is 505-314-2815.
We will be exchanging gifts, and if you are not able to make something before hand, we will has an art station set up for art making.  This will be a pot luck; so if you can bring something to share, but if not please come anyway.  We will review the year, project into next, and spend time appreciating and gifting each other.

Also, we will be accepting donations for our fund raising efforts at that meeting.  We will be having a holiday booth at the Railyard in Santa Fe, Dec 22 and 23.  Any art you would care to donate will be greatly appreciated.  What does not sell there will be sold at the AATA conference next year.  Your donations are tax deductible.

I encourage you to take this time to confirm and rededicate your values and what you are grateful for.  Remember, the vibration of gratitude is a powerful creative force.  Affirm the very best of yourselves, your loved ones and your lives and celebrate a Happy Thanksgiving!
With Great Gratitude,

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

Field of Art Therapy, NMATA Membership, Uncategorized

NMATA Membership Meeting in ABQ: June 11th at 10:30 AM, 2489 Elfego Rd NW.

Everyone is Invited!!
We will be awarding Dr. Deborah Good the Life Time Achievement Award,
she so richly deserves!

Even if you have let your membership lapse, please attend.  Of course, we want you back, but more important we want to support and grow the art therapist community in New Mexico.  We, also, wish to fully honor Deborah.  Your attendance is encouraged, welcomed and appreciated.

We will start the meeting at 10:30 with some updates about what NMATA has been up to and what we are planning for the next year.  Because of the AATA Conference next year, we are trying hard to gather the experience and knowledge from all the art therapists in our state as high-light for the 900-1100 art therapists projected to descend on our state from all over the world.  We are trusting many of you in ABQ will want to be involved and this is a great way to begin the process.

We have been approached by Little Miss New Mexico, who wants to be an art therapist, and we have invited her to the meeting Saturday.  She will be presenting the award to Dr. Debbie, which promises to be delightful.

Dr. Good has agreed to create a display of some of her accomplishments for us to enjoy.  Her career is truly inspiring as is her lovely presence.  Please consider coming to help in the honoring of this pioneer.

We will end with lunch for everyone (salads and cake)  and time to socialize and connect within a beautiful, warm, and lush home garden.  We anticipate closing by 1:00.   It promises to be a wonderful event and Everyone is Invited!!!

PS:  If you have any small and light pieces of art you would not mind donating to NMATA please bring them to the meeting.  We will be taking them to the AATA conference in Baltimore this year as we invite everyone to come to ABQ next year.  Thank you for considering and donating.

Directions to the Meeting:

1.    From I-40 going West towards Gallup.
2.     Stay on I-40 West and exit on Rio Grande Blvd.
3.     Turn right and go north on Rio Grande Blvd.
4.     Stay on Rio Grande Blvd. past the stop light at Candelaria.
5.     Elfego is 2 blocks before the second stop light at Griegos
6.     Look for a white sign on the right side of Rio Grande Blvd. that reads “Lohman Harley Davidson.”  Elfego Road is across the street from this sign.
7.    Turn left on Elfego from Rio Grande Blvd
8.    Go 1 block and then turn left at the “T” intersection
9.    Follow Elfego around the corner as it turns to the west.  The house is 2nd on the right hand side, 2489, before the ditch; it has a circular driveway and 3 tall windows facing the street.

  1.  From I 25 going South from Santa Fe exit Comanche/Griegos.
  2. Turn right (West) at the end of the ramp.   Take Griegos to Rio Grande – past all the # streets
  3. Turn left (South) at the Rio Grande light.
  4. Get in the far right lane.Elfego is the 2nd right.  It comes up quickly and is directly across the street from the Loman Motors sign.
  5. Turn right (west) and then left at the T after 1 block.  After the curve, count to the 2nd house on the right – 1.2 circle driveway and a copper mailbox, 2489 Elfego.

Any problems finding it, call me at 505-577-2469; or call anytime with any questions!

Community Outreach, NMATA Membership, Uncategorized

NMATA Collaborates with Meow Wolf – May 2016

NMATA is opening doors and inviting you in!!A great big thank you to all of you who have signed up to lead summer camps and workshops at Meow Wolf this summer.  The response was so strong and encouraging we are buzzing here!  Big kudos to Stephanie Kitts, our student Board member for leading and coordinating all this with Meow Wolf.  If you are not familiar with this opportunity, please ask for more details as there is a great potential for our members to create satisfying community offerings and make some money for themselves.  For a listing of the offerings, please visit our website under the Events and Workshop Tab.  The summer camps are listed there, with the summer workshops to follow soon.

I encourage you all to come out on one of the next three Monday evenings from 6pm-7:30pm to support intern, Christina Villarreal’s offering. $10.  It is a nice way to connect with each other and see what is happening.  Also consider Qigong; Wednesday evenings 6pm-7pm for the month of May; $10; offered by Autumn Kern.  Drop ins are warmly welcomed at each of these offerings.
And there are many more offerings to consider and opportunities to lead if you are inspired to do so!!!       Check it all out on NMATA website.

Saturday, May 14, we will be completing the Flower to Seed to Flower Project started last year at the AHA Festival.  From 6pm-7:30pm we will have a short workshop to create garden stakes and then we will move outside to have our planting ceremony for all the wishes.  This amazing community project gathered origami flowers with wishes written, made these into seed-paper last month and we are planting these wishes at Meow Wolf on a warm spring evening!  Beth Lykins has been filming this incredible evolution and is making a short film for the AATA film fest next year.  Come out a be a part of this celebration.  There is no cost for this last part of the project and your participation supports the success of the project and the film. Let’s have a big presence at Meow Wolf that invites even more community awareness of NMATA!!!

Next, I encourage all NMATA members to send us your profile and picture so that we can post you on the site under the Resources Tab.  We want to have a complete listing for client’s searching, professionals checking NM out (happening more and more with AATA coming next year) and those searching for supervisors.  If you have let your membership lapse we want you back!  We are working hard to have a lot to offer you and also to prepare for integration into AATA conference next year.  Let  us highlight all the talent in the State.  Let us list you on the NMATA site!  Email me directly and we will get your information available for all.  Our Paypal button on the site is working correctly again and ready for renewal or new members.

NMATA will be represented at this year’s NMCA (New Mexico Counseling Association) Conference on June 3 & 4 in ABQ.  I urge you all to consider attending in some way.  Find details at  If anyone is inclined to help us man the booth, please contact me directly.

Our next membership meeting will be held in ABQ, June 11, 10:30 – 1:00pm at Deborah Good’s home, 2489 Elfego Rd NW, ABQ 87107.  We will be honoring the work of this pioneer and art therapy treasure, so please mark this on your calendar and plan to attend.  Our desire is to reengage all of you located in ABQ and to start the collaboration for next year’s conference.  We will have a reception with food, presentation to Deborah, and information for everyone about all NMATA is doing on your behalf.   One of NMATA’s initiatives is to work through the legislature to get parity for art therapists for third party (insurance) reimbursement, more details given at the membership meeting.

Your Board President (me, lol) and your LAC Committee Chair, Wendy Wasserman, will be attending this year’s AATA conference in Baltimore to represent NMATA and invite everyone there, to next year’s conference here.  We will have a table full of brochures and we would also like to have some art for sale.  We are asking for donations of small-sized, light-weight art that we can easily take to the conference.  If any of you would care to donate please consider bringing your art to the June membership meeting.  We would really love to have some art that speaks some of the color and flavor of NM and would greatly appreciate your tax-deductible donations!  We will provide the non-profit donation forms.

I will finish this month’s letter with an appeal to all the art therapists in the state to please consider membership and involvement in your professional association, NMATA.  I know many of you have served and participated in the past and we are enthusiastically appealing to you to rejoin and bring your experience and talent back to service.  Our membership now runs for a complete year from the date of dues payment.  We need all of us to be as strong and empowered as we can be.  You are valued.  And, of course, a great big thank you to all our current members!!!

I extend an invitation to all of you to contact me directly with any questions or concerns!

Sincerely Yours,
Valerie Valentine (Val)
Your Board President

Community Outreach, NMATA Membership

February Newsletter: Exciting Updates!!!!

Before we get to the exciting opportunities with Meow Wolf,

I want to invite you all to the Membership Meeting we are having in March!
All supporters of NMATA are welcome.

Place:  Santa Fe Indian School located at 1501 Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe, 87505
Date:   Meeting and Pot Luck:  Saturday, March 12
Time:  10:30 – 2:00

  • 10:30 – Committee Reports including the LAC (Local Area Committee for next years AATA Conference in ABQ) and a invitation for people to join a committee of interest
  • 12:00 – Lunch – bring anything you want to eat and share
  • 1:00 – Group Self-Care Process and Sharing

We hope to have a great turn-out of people and encourage you all to attend.  We will be discussing having the next meeting in June in ABQ to further facilitate this.  It is our year long goal to increase connection between all of us.  Your participation and support is greatly valued.

Wow, hope to see your there!
Now on to Other Great Things Happening!!

NMATA is partnering with Meow Wolf in a collaboration that will allow our members to present workshops and hold on-going groups within this extraordinary facility.

I would like to offer a great big shout-out to our Student Board Member, Stephanie Kitts, who has made a wonderful connection and created this amazing opportunity for NMATA with Meow Wolf!

There are three opportunities for us here:

1)  We have been offered the opportunity to have a table and presence during the Grand Opening. March 17-20.  This will include an opportunity to inform the public about anything that we are able to schedule for the community space, called the Maker’s Space.  We can do all or part of the four day celebration, which will depend on how many people we can get to sign up to man our booth.  This is BIG exposure for NMATA in the community as this is likely to be the happening of the year!!
Let’s get creative!!!
2)  MW has offered us the use of their Maker’s Space for workshops and groups for 10% of proceeds.  The Maker’s Space can accommodates up to 30.   MW has asked that NMATA create the administrative structure for this to be managed.  This will be managed through our Community Arts Outreach Committee and NMATA would also receive 10% of the proceeds for the management fee.  A panel will screen presenters through the proposal form on the website and add an interview process to further insure appropriateness.  Anyone of us who wants to lead any kind of offering can apply immediately.  These can include one time or on-going workshops or groups for teaching, healing, arts, crafts, art therapy etc. You can create your own income with a 20% fee.  Please consider applying as soon as possible as we want to have a robust schedule by March 15.
*Presenters may be subject to having an on-site supervisor depending on the subject matter and experience level of the presenter.

3)  The last exciting part of this collaboration will be to complete the project started last year at the AHA festival and further expanding through the CCA collaboration and Workshop Autumn and Ericka are presenting in April.  The Flower to Seed project will come to rest within a garden at Meow Wolf.  The origami wishes created by the community at AHA are to be made into seed paper at CCA and finally planted and nurtured at Meow Wolf.
With lots of dedication and work by Beth Lykins, we hope to capture this community process on camera and make a short film that tracks the project from beginning to end…very exciting and I am holding a vision that we will be able to share the film at the AATA conference in 2017.

Again, Thank you, Stephanie for all your vision and work!!
And to Everyone who has worked hard to make all of this happen!!!

Next great thing happening is the collaboration with CCA that includes the Flower to Seed Project facilitated on April 2 from 1-4pm.  More information on this in the March Newsletter.

As you can see there is lots of room for your participation. 
We are ambitious and optimistic about everything we can create this year and next.
And we need all of YOU to accomplish these things with grace and vitality!!

Please join us at the next meeting
and be a vital part of your New Mexico Art Therapy Association!!!

Community Outreach, Legislation, NMATA Membership, Uncategorized

August 2015: Flying Colors!

Membership is growing as we continue to provide opportunities for creativity, education and networking through our monthly workshop series. We formed two new committees in 2015, focusing on interactive arts and social media, both in an effort to promote NMATA and Art Therapy awareness in New Mexico. Our social media presence has grown with over 3500 Facebook followers and we’re enjoying steadily increasing numbers on our Instagram and Pinterest pages.

Our Interactive arts committee has been busy as we gear up for Fiesta season in Santa Fe! NMATA will have a booth at the After Hours Alliance (AHA) festival this fall where we will be inviting the community to join us in the creation of an art installation. Our guerilla style marketing initiatives (leaving small pieces of artwork in prominent areas) has increased our visibility in an effort to support our legislative committee’s hard work to have the state recognize Art Therapy as an independently licensable profession, eligible for third party payments. We’re getting close!

In other exciting news, we are developing a relationship with Meow Wolf, an arts and entertainment production company who has partnered with Santa Fe’s George RR Martin (creator of Game of Thrones) in the opening of a multi-use art complex on the site of an old bowling alley. The complex will be a large shared workspace for artists and makers, designed to encourage skill exchange and dynamic collaboration. We are working with the organization to include Art Therapy services to their plans. It’s an exciting time to be part of the New Mexico Art Therapy Association!

NMATA Membership, Values

June 2015: Creating Community

Together we create a network of brilliant minds. It is together that we can accomplish great things. It takes all of us to build a community and that is exactly what we as a collective are interested in doing. Through art and creative expression we join together to build lasting bonds, help one another succeed and witness the beauty in diversity.

Together we illuminate spirit’s ever-evolving expression through our work, our art and our presence. We are a living masterpiece designed to inspire, heal and transform consciousness. As artists it is our destiny to make the world a more harmonious place, to refine the aesthetics of humanity, and to re-envision our future.
Thank you for all you do to color our community!