Judith Greer Essex, Ph.D. MFT, REAT, BC-D/MT
Founder and Co- Director.
Trained as a dancer, Judith is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist, a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist and A Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist. She is a pioneer in the art-based therapy movement, respected as an expert in the role of the body and expression in psychological integration. She created dance therapy and expressive arts therapy programs for many clinics, hospitals, and health care venues in the San Diego area. She has taught movement, dance and psychology at SDSU, UIS, UCSD and Alliant University, and movement for actors at the San Diego Repertory Theater Conservatory. She also served as a Master Trainer at the European Graduate School for Expressive Arts Therapy in Saas Fe, Switzerland. Judith earned her BFA in Dance and Theater from BYU, MA in dance movement from UCLA, and her MAC (with honors) through National University. In 2009 she completed her Ph.D.(magna cum laude) in Expressive Arts Therapy at the European Graduate School. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors of IEATA and has presented her work at numerous professional conferences.
Wes Chester, MA, CAGS, Expressive Arts Therapist.
Wes Chester is a musician, poet, artist and author, who has worked in the mental health field since 1996. He earned his Master’s Degree at the European Graduate School, and completed his CAGS in 2007 where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. Wes specializes in healing the aesthetic relationship to nature, and is a supportive and caring facilitator. Wes teaches at the Expressive Arts Institute and the European Graduate School, does private practice therapy and coaching, and teaches ecopsychology at Alliant International University’s Center for Integrative Psychology. Wes also teaches courses in Expressive Arts at local universities, including SDUIS.
Associates and Visiting Fellows
Mary Reich, MFA, CAGS
A returning graduate of the Institute , Mary Reich is a gifted instructor in movement and the larger principles of embodiment which are a focus at the institute. As a dance/movement choreographer, and co founder of the Lower Left Dance Ensemble, Mary has an outstanding reputation in the San Diego Arts community. She is a brilliant improviser and shaper of movement, and a gifted performer in her own right.
Poet Laureate of EGS, and co-founder of the expressive arts movement. Elizabeth is senior lecturer in the graduate faculty of Lesley University’s Arts in Learning program. She has performed in Canada, Germany, Italy, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. She has many times been artist-in-residence at EGS and has published four books of poetry as well as a teacher’s manual for teaching poetry to children. She is a recognized expert in the oral tradition.
Terri Chester, MA,CAGS, LPC.
Terri is a Licensed Profession Counselor, with a MA from Appalachian State University, and a CAGS from the European Graduate School. She co-founded the short-lived North Carolina Training Program in 1996 with Marcus Alexander, who now Directs World Arts Organization in Edmonton Alberta. Terri has many years of university teaching experience, both at Appalachian State and the European Graduate School She is a gifted vocalist, who specializes in helping people find their authentic voice.