Judith Greer Essex, Ph.D., REAT, Expressive Arts Therapist

The Dancer and Actress that Became a TherapistGreer and Shadow Moon

55 years ago, I pursued the life of an artist because it seemed to me, as an idealistic teen,  that the arts and art-makers had something I wanted: a clear-eyed view of life and humanity. A view that retained beauty, truth and engaged in questions both soulful and open-ended.  Although my worldview has deepened and become immensely more complex, I still believe the arts offer unique gifts to understanding our common humanity.

40 years ago, I completed my first masters, in dance therapy, helping to deepen my understanding, and share the powerful gift of the arts with others in need of help navigating the complexities of modern life. I went on to take a second master’s in Marriage Family Therapy, and eventually a Ph.D. in Expressive Arts Therapy, all working towards the same lasting goal. To help through the arts, to relieve suffering, to encourage growth and creativity, to help others find solace in the arts, and the strength to create and manage change in their own lives.IMG_1354

Through the arts, I can help you understand your situation, help support you to make changes, help you hold your feelings, and help you shape a life that fits you.


As an artist, I work in a studio, rather than an office, so you can move, breathe, make noise, paint, draw, make a mess, and use the ten thousand languages of the creative body to craft your own life worth living.



I am a champion for women, their relationships, their families, and work with parents and children from adolescence on up. Clients describe me as compassionate, humorous, philosophical, experienced and smart. Let me put all that to work for you.













With over 40 years experience, I have had an opportunity to work with people with many differing challenges, and in many different populations, and can help with the arts in ways that are appropriate to the skill level, abilities and developmental stages. That said, I have areas of specialization which I find called to again and again. Among them are:

  • Major life transitions: college, divorce, re-marriage, career change, geographic relocation.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Eating disorders: including anorexia, binge eating and body image problems in adolescents and adults.
  • LGBTQ youth questioning and adjustment issues.
  • PTSD/ Trauma.
  • Grief, loss and bereavement.
  • Immigration isolation and adjustment.
  • Adoption and stepfamily issues.
  • Drug and alcohol recovery.
  • Chronic pain and chronic illness.

I hold a Ph.D. from the European Graduate School. I have a license in Marriage and Family Therapy, and an a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist. In addition to teaching both in San Diego and Internationally, I provide supervision for Expressive Arts Therapists in Training.

Greer portrait

Want to work with me? Write Judith@arts4change.com, or call 619-239-1713 to arrange a free phone consultation.