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Annemarie is a mom of four and lives in amiskwaciwaskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). She has a background in health care, is a writer and artist, facilitates therapeutic yoga and expressive arts for individuals, dyads and groups, and teaches home-school arts enrichment classes.

Before becoming an IEATA Creative Wellness Service Initiative (CWSI) guide, she attended trainings in expressive arts at the Prairie Institute of Expressive Arts Therapy and Expressive Arts Florida Institute, among others. Annemarie has been a professional member of IEATA since 2018 and is working towards her REACE.

“Both yoga and intermodal expressive arts practices prompt us to slow down, listen to and (re)connect with ourselves, each other and nature. These ancient medicines are rooted in our body’s neurobiology and contribute to healing, quietly building new neural connections and patterns; resulting in the expansion of our “circle of capacity” (Malchiodi, C, 2021).

One of my greatest joys is co-creating safe, non-judgmental play-spaces where we feel empowered to explore, with openness, curiosity and love, the magic of mindful movement, stillness, breath, and free, creative self-expression. We can be seen and witness each other’s growing awareness, regulation, resourcefulness, resilience, and reciprocity. I believe everyone has a right to access such spaces and participate in these powerful practices to enhance well-being.”

NGOs that I am working with

Hope Midwives (


Dr. Cherry May Rotas Palacio

Registered Guidance Counsellor & Psychometrician ∙ Social Entrepreneur ∙ Founder of Self-care Project2030



Internationally sought-after presenter, organizer, coordinator, counsellor. Recognised and acclaimed social entrepreneur and community development professional. WHO ambassador and coordinator of action on SDG3 (Health & Wellbeing). Highly respected life-design counsellor with extensive professional networks. Passion for enabling individuals and communities towards self-care and sustainable living.
Her passion for enabling others has given rise to adopting Expressive Arts as one of the many modalities and techniques to facilitate conversation, to make it interactive, personalized, authentic, and fun.   
Recently gifted from IEATA, through its program on CWSI, for training as CWSI ambassador and guides. This will enable her to extend her passion for using expressive arts and community building.

She is available for engagement by NGOs, not only in the Philippines, but also in the ASEAN Region. 


Dana Tsyconyea StarByrd MA, LMHC, ATR-P, LMT, CCHT, TSomT


Dana holds a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy and Clinical Counseling from Southwestern College. She has been in the healing field since 1997 when she first discovered she was an Intuitive Empath and became a licensed somatic bodyworker in 2004.
With over 25 years of experience in the Healing, Wellness, & Entheogenic Plant Medicine fields. She has Specializations Certifications in Interpersonal Neurobiology, Human Sexuality, Ecotherapy & Trauma, Grief, & Renewal through Southwestern College. Dana is currently working on her PHD & Doctorate of Natural Medicine based on Quantum Physics and energy medicine through Quantum University.
As a trauma informed therapist, she takes a holistic approach to healing. She views healing holistically from an Indigenous perspective influenced by her Cherokee and Celtic lineages. She specializes in Complex Trauma & works with the Native, Veteran, & Sex trafficked communities.
Dana Tsyconyea worked as a Sub-Investigator on a Federally approved research project helping to train therapist in MDMA assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD for the Multiple Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). She worked with the Heffter Research Institute while in undergrad and has been a Zendo Volunteer since 2013 doing Psychedelic harm reduction through peer-to-peer counseling. She is currently working in private practice where she combines her unique method of Somatic Art Therapy to help clients get in touch with their own inner healer. 
Dana is in the process of opening an Integrative Psychedelic Wellness Center.
She offers a variety of sessions from a wide range of modalities including as a NES Health practitioner offering Bioenergetic scans that read your Biofield.

NGOs that I am working with

A Native NGO that works with Native VETS


Elahe Rahimian MFT, REAT
Artist and Manager of Abana art therapy center in Iran

Her academic education background in arts and psychology made her a professional in expressive art therapy. She has a Master of psychology in family therapy and B.A in art she has a certificate of painting and design from Italy.  Her art experience, such as more than 20 exhibitions in other countries, showed her art material ability and expressed herself.

In ABANA Art therapy center she is planning and implementing many workshops, and training for students who want to be expressive art therapists and art therapists. She has published 2 books and several articles about the effect of art therapy in treatment. Her communication with other expressive art therapist from all over the word and IEATA can help to expand this field in Iran and Middle East. She is one of the first Iranian people who got the REAT in Iran. She can be a pioneer in this area. Her experience with many charities showed that humanity is important to her. She worked with people with autism, children with cancer, Afghan refugee students and handicapped people as a volunteer. She held many arts exhibition for their activities.

NGOs that I am working with



Elfrieda Lepp-Kaethler, Ph.D., ExA.Dip. 
Associate Professor of TESOL 
IEATA Canadian Regional Coordinator


As a second-generation immigrant, I was born and raised on the Canadian prairies, and as a teen spent several years in Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. My family’s experiences of displacement, language and cultural learning propelled me into a career in multi-lingual education which began among indigenous peoples of South America. For most of my life I have worked as a teacher-educator in Spanish and English language teaching. 

Most of my graduate TESOL* students are international, representing many parts of the globe. Their stories of language learning and teaching in difficult circumstances propelled me to examine the emotional experiences of language learning (language anxiety, language learning amid trauma). The global geopolitical context of the past decades has resulted in massive movements of displaced people. As a result, millions of people are flung into English language learning, not by choice but by necessity and survival. In search of creative pedagogies that would address a more wholistic human experience—and frequently, experiences of trauma --  I stumbled upon expressive arts as a possible ally for language teaching and learning. After completing a post-graduate diploma in Expressive Arts, I set out to integrate expressive arts into teacher education. 

I joined IEATA in 2017 and serve as the Canadian Regional Coordinator. With the development of the Creative Wellness Service Initiative by IEATA’s Social Concerns Committee, I joined Manju Jain and Aslam Khader for ambassador training in January 2022. A year earlier, I became involved with an NGO who sends educators into places of conflict (refugee camps, etc.). This organization is interested and committed to providing basic expressive arts education to all their staff. From September – December 2022, I will be training the first cohort of this NGO staff with the CWSI. 

*Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

NGOs that I am working with

Beyond Borders, a ministry of TeachBeyond 


Deianara Couwet

Student and MS Candidate in Clinical Psychology


Dear IEATA friends


My name is Deianara and I am 25 years old. At this moment I am in my final year of my masters of Clinical Psychology at the KU Leuven. I am very excited to soon start my professional life and as part of that, I started my IEATA journey to gain more experience in the Expressive Arts Therapy world. My hope is to start giving back and being able to help others in times of need (or just in need of some little extra support).


I will be collaborating with NGO Psychologische Kring Leuven in Belgium. Psychologische Kring is a NGO that focuses on psychology students in the city of Leuven and aims to represent them academically, professionally and socially. They organise all kinds of activities for their students. I will be conducting my 15h of workshops starting from October 2022.


My future plans after I am fully certified are to reach as many people as possible with these workshops. I have also already heard great enthusiasm from neighbours so I am sure that I will find many interested souls to participate in these workshops! I am looking forward to continuing this wonderful journey.


Lots of sunshine

NGOs that I am working with

Psychologische Kring Leuven vzw


Peng Hui, Angela

Candidate of Masters in Counseling

Singapore & China

Angela has completed the graduate diploma in Expressive Art Therapy from Singapore University of Social Sciences and is currently admitted into Master of Counselling from Monash University. Angela has a great passion to integrate expressive art therapy into counselling as an alternative way to approach clients. 


I have been discussing with the partners in China to conduct this NGO activity as there are some policy restrictions to clarify. We are planning to conduct a trial workshop next Friday (2 September) and the contents will use the same content structure as per attached (but translated into Chinese). If the trial workshop goes well, it will be conducted into 2 rounds and every round contains 5 sessions. 

NGOs that I am working with

Singapore Yanhuang Culture Research Association


Carmen AU Ka Man
New Life Building Sheltered Workshop
New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association
Expressive Arts Therapist (Intermodal IDEC®)


Ms. Au is an Expressive Arts Therapist (Intermodal IDEC®) and designer. She graduated with an MA degree in Expressive Arts Therapy with minor in Psychology and has strong experience in applying recovery, wellbeing and art in the rehabilitation services. Ms. Au actively involves in different art development projects, exhibitions and performances in the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association more than ten years. She also provides Expressive Arts Therapy workshops for people in recovery, autistic person, elderly, caregivers and helping professions.
Ms. Au and Ms. Lau will run 2 groups of 5 sessions (1.5 hours each) for Families and caregivers, with number around 6-8 in each group in Oct 2022, at my NGO, New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, which serves people in recovery.  


Heidi La Porte
Associate Professor of Social Work, Barry University


Dr. Heidi Heft LaPorte is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Barry University School of Social Work in Miami, Florida, USA. She has more than 25 years of teaching experience. Outside teaching, she makes expressive arts accessible to students with diverse interests, body abilities, and identities. She offers in-person and virtual professional development sessions and workshops using expressive arts to engage in conversations around self-care, cultural identity, and ancestral heritage. Dr. LaPorte is a graduate of the Expressive Arts Florida Institute (EAFI), a Board Member, and Membership Co-Chair of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA).

NGOs I am working with


Begnning in September, Dr. LaPorte will run two groups of 5 sessions (1.5 hours each) for LGBTQIA+ youth at SunServe.


SunServe's mission is to provide critical life assistance and professional mental health services with an emphasis on economically disadvantaged, marginalized youth, adults, and seniors in the greater South Florida metropolitan area.


Following the training, Dr. LaPorte will provide a Creative Wellness Service Initiative train-the-trainer series for five volunteer youth group leaders at SunServe.

Roxana Orellana W.

El Salvador


Roxana graduated with a B.A. from Barry University of the USA, Florida, Bachelor of Counseling, Florida, USA, Educational Facilitator in Expressive Arts - Salve Regina University, Rhode Island, USA, Masters in Educational Family Orientation, Universidad de Villanueva, Spain, Postgraduate in Interventions in Expressive Arts from the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and is a Life Coach. 

She followed a spiritual path to help women heal and thrive which led her to become passionate to serve those who are most vulnerable. Roxana founded Asociación Déjame Ayudarte / SENDAS, a non-profit organization to help low income abused women and their children be restored from trauma and violence.
Through SENDAS, she has coordinated projects in conjunction with USAID in the Justice sector of El Salvador. She has coordinated other projects with the government of Australia, and has been a consultant for institutions, NGO´s and companies. She is a speaker on well-being for emotional health, resilience, prevention of gender violence, sexual abuse, domestic violence, among others.

She represents PCETI-El Salvador (Person Centered Expressive Arts Institute), through which the Creative Connection Program is developed, taught by Dr. Graciela Bottini. She is a member of IEATA@ and coordinator of IEATA in Central America.

Roxana embarked on a new adventure and developed an online Healing and Wellness Center, “Los Olivos” through which she offers personal growth and development services through restorative therapies such as mindfulness, yoga, qigong, and the expressive arts. Los Olivos was born from her experiences of more than 24 years working with women who seek to heal, reconnect with themselves, free themselves from stress and seek to restore themselves to find their life purpose. During these years, Roxana has developed several programs, including cuidArte, through which she offers self-care and emotional healing workshops through the Expressive Arts, with the aim of preventing both burnout syndrome and vicarious traumatization in those who work with the vulnerable population. For 10 years she has taught ciudArte for different organizations and institutions for professionals who work with survivors of abuse, human trafficking, women who suffer violence in the community, and in the business field. She has developed a wellbeing coaching program, "Life", which has taught in companies and in group workshops.

NGOs I am working with

Asociación Déjame Ayudarte (Asociación Déjame Ayudarte/SENDAS para la Mujer, NGO whose mission is to heal and empower women who have been abused)

FUNIPRI (Fundación la Niñez Primero, NGO whose mission is to help children heal and develop through play)

Joni & Friends (NGO whose vision is to serve disabled children and their families) 

Starting date to facilitate: 24 of Oct. 2022





Lisa Lau
Expressive Arts Therapist, IDEC®️


Lisa migrated and lived in Sydney, Australia for 10 years.  After achieving a Bachelor Degree in Psychotherapy & Human Change in 2006, Lisa moved back to Hong Kong for her family reunion; and has continued for her studies and practices in Mindfulness, Yoga as well as Chinese Philosophy.  Lisa graduated for her Masters Degree with European Graduate School, Switzerland in Expressive Arts Therapy minor in Psychology in 2018 and now working for NGOs and Private Practice.

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