Parents and teachers have a lasting impact on the development of creativity. Results of this narrative and art-based inquiry support the theory that positive and adverse interactions with parents and teachers create rippling effects that extend well into adulthood.
I am currently in Kyiv, Ukraine giving art therapy training to psychologists and counselors who work with refugees, combat veterans and older adults. Art therapy is in an embryonic state here in Ukraine, but there is interest and need, so I hope to return to give this training again. I will be presenting my work on arts and aging at the National Center for Creative Aging Conference in a few weeks, and in the Fall I presented my work on creative aging at the Arts and Health Australia Conference.
In September, I will be presenting some new scholarship that I am currently working on at the ECaRTE Conference in Palermo. I am especially interested in this new work, as I am exploring how historical and cultural differences influence the training, research and practice of arts therapists working inter-generationally, with a comparative look at USA, Estonia, Australia and Ukraine. I have found the post-soviet intergenerational experience especially intriguing in this context.
Ph.D., ATR-BC, LCAT
Dr. Raquel Stephenson is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Lesley University’s Art Therapy Program, Core Faculty in the Ph.D. Expressive Therapies program, and Faculty Fellow in Lesley’s Institute for the Arts in Health. She was a 2010/2011 Fulbright Scholar to Estonia, where she taught in the Department of Applied Creativity at Tallinn University and continues to teach periodically as a visiting guest lecturer. She is adjunct faculty at New York University. Dr. Stephenson is a board certified, registered art therapist (ATR-BC) and a licensed creative arts therapist (LCAT).
Committed to improving the lives of older adults through the arts, Dr. Stephenson’s clinical work and research has focused on a wide spectrum of older populations. She was the founder, clinical supervisor and program director of New York University’s Creative Aging Therapeutic Services - a community-based program that provided art therapy to well older adults and those with dementia. She also worked on the geriatric psychiatry unit at St. Luke’s hospital in New York City, and with programs for individuals with HIV/AIDS. She presents her work on the intersection of arts and aging and consults with emerging clinical art therapy programs nationally and internationally. She designed and implemented the first creative arts therapy program for older adults with dementia in Estonia.
Dr. Stephenson serves on the National Advisory Council and Program Advisory Committee of Arts for the Aging in Rockville, MD, and the Advisory Council of the Art Therapy Outreach Center in New York City. She also serves on the Editorial Board of the international journal, Creativity and Human Development. Dr. Stephenson is involved with the American Art Therapy Association, having served on the Educational Program Review Board and Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education.