Judith Greer Essex, Ph.D. MFT, REAT, ADTR Founding Director.
Trained as a dancer, Judith is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist, a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist and Academy of Dance Therapists Registered practitioner. 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 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 is also a Professor 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.
Interested in Therapy or professional supervision with Judith?
Expressive Arts Therapist and Creative Coach
San Diego Playback Theatre (email@example.com)
San Diego, CA
Francine has a history of helping clients create positive lifestyle changes through fitness, dance, and yoga. In 2006 she graduated from the Expressive Arts Institute with an M.A. in Expressive Arts Therapy and subsequently earned her advanced registration (REAT) in 2021. She appreciates how the Expressive Arts provide a deep satisfaction that comes from authentic creative expression and a restoration of the ability to be playful, both of which are vital for a meaningful life. As Artistic Director of Minstrels of Story Playback Theatre, drama and movement related expressive arts are often incorporated into her practice which also supports her natural affinity for working with children. She currently provides expressive arts creativity coaching at the Golden Door, a destination fitness resort, and expressive arts therapy for private clients in her home studio. Her clinical experience includes Veterans Village, Zamorano Elementary School, Casa Palmera Residential Treatment, the Crosby Center for substance abuse recovery, and Harmony Grove and Center for Discovery eating disorder programs.
Francine Hoffman, MA, REAT
Elizabeth Jacobowitz, MA, CACMT
Expressive Arts Therapist, Coach, & Educator
Hillcrest, San Diego, CA
Elizabeth loves how making art is not only enriching, but provides essential guideposts and direction in navigating the mountains and valleys of the terrain of life. She works with individuals and groups, children and adults in private practice at Embodiment Arts. Elizabeth also teaches classes using expressive arts based learning at the International Professional School of Bodywork and the International College of Holistic Studies. Elizabeth holds her Masters in Expressive Arts Therapy with a concentration in Coaching & Education. She has worked with organizations including Shakti Rising, Survivors of Torture, International, Veterans Village of San Diego, and San Diego Youth Services. Connecting to the wisdom in our own bodies is the basis for all of her practices.
Expressive Arts Therapist, Coach & Consultant
Expressive Arts @ 32nd & Thorn
North Park, San Diego, CA
At her Expressive Arts Studio in the North Park area of San Diego, Tish works with individuals, couples and families in private practice. She also facilitates workshops and groups to help people take a vacation from their daily life or deal with daily and major life issues like stress, anxiety, divorce, death, burnout, illness, trauma, relationships and parenting challenges. In addition, Tish does contract work as an Expressive Arts Therapist serving: at-risk youth and adults; grieving, dying, and hospice staff; adults with developmental and physical disabilities; elementary, middle and high school classrooms using the arts to build community, reduce anxiety and support social emotional curriculum; staff tram building; and using the arts for adjunct therapy with homeless, addictions and eating disorders. She is an art maker and usually has a 365 day art project going where she makes art daily. Tish love helping people find their creative confidence.
Tish McAllise Sjoberg, MA, CAGS, REAT
Ofra Raz, MA
Expressive Arts Therapist
Vetrans Village of San Diego
San Diego, CA
Ofra’s passion is play with the arts as highway to wellness and recovery. The European Graduate School, where she received an Expressive Arts Therapist MA and the Expressive Arts Institute in San Diego endowed her with unique, effective and methodical ways to put this passion into practice. She worked for 25 years as an artist and art educator with children and teens, thus she experienced first hand the beneficial results of using the arts as agency of change and well-being. As an Expressive Arts Therapist, Ofra has practiced mainly in rehabilitation facilities with homeless and addiction patients. In addition, she works in private practice applying the arts as guides on the way to wellness with teens and adults. Ofra is a visual artist, however she uses all the arts as agency of recovery in her practice.
"As a lifelong learner and dedicated volunteer involved in arts and education I approached the E.A.I. introductory class with curiosity and some trepidation. A few prior E.A.I. graduates were in my circle and I highly admired them all, but didn’t really imagine taking on such a large commitment or inspiring to make such a shift in my career path or life direction. I was awestruck by the end of the weekend. Having never so clearly before been exactly where I should be. My overwhelming feeling was “this is who I am, this is what I do.” I haven’t looked back and am on the most fantastic journey of my life."
"When I attended the Intro Course, I said to myself, “this is what I have been looking for… for so long.” Before the weekend was over, I was already planning the next two years and what I would do to be in this beautiful place. So, yes! Of course the introductory course changed my life, without a doubt! It was the beginning of another era, another way of feeling and seeing the world around and inside me."
Judith is the most gifted facilitator I have ever encountered. Her complete embodiment and use of the arts in healing brings amazing results. A whole new world opened up to me after being guided by her expertise and heart-warming sensitivity to the human condition. Whether she is hired as a private therapist, speaker, or teacher, I believe she is worth more than money could ever buy.”
“Dr. Judith Greer Essex, director of the Expressive Arts Institute, provides an exemplary education for those seeking a healing profession through the arts. Her knowledge of the philosophy and practice of expressive arts is articulated with intelligence, compassion, and delightful humor. As a student, I was encouraged and supported throughout the program with great insight and honesty. Dr. Essex is truly a wise woman who knows how the arts can help us find our way. I fully recommend Dr. Essex and the Expressive Arts Institute for education and training in expressive arts.”
“I have known Judith, who I call Greer, for over 35 years. We met when we worked together at the first domestic violence shelter in San Diego. Without at doubt, she is one of the smartest women I know, and she is my go-to person whenever I need insightful, wise advice. Greer has built her school and career from the ground up with dedication to cutting edge creativity and academic grounding. You will benefit greatly from working with her, I guarantee it.”
“You have prepared us so well, thank you. All the vocabulary for us makes total sense- some folks have not a clue what the professors are saying. We do 🙂 Thank you, thank you. This experience has been exciting, motivating and extraordinary so far. And it’s really only just begun. I wanted to send my thanks to our Momma EXA bear ♥”
Jose Roberto Nascimento
“Greer is a raw driving force beneath and within. The depth of her blue eyes, and the magnetic smile, is a pure invitation to try…, experiment…, or just to stay still. I always enjoyed when the existence connects us. It is an experience to take with me anywhere I might go.”
"Oh, how marvelous to be led in creative expression — especially when technology and its offspring run amuck around us, especially when Judith is role modeling, teaching, leading, gamboling with Light and Love."
"Dr. Essex is a professor and mentor I’m fortunate to have. Her expertise in facilitating a learning environment that allows experience, open-ended growth of trust and competency on both the individual and group levels is uniform. She has taught me to stretch the boundary of current ideas and relations in the modern world, encouraged individual creativity and thought."