Your professional education in expressive arts  therapy begins here.

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Method Specific Trainers

Expressive Arts Institute

Judith Greer Essex, Ph.D. MFT, REAT, ADTR Founding Director.

judith greer essex

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

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.

Expressive Arts Institute

Francine Hoffman, MA, REAT

Expressive Arts Institute

Elizabeth Jacobowitz, MA, CACMT

Expressive Arts Therapist, Coach, & Educator

Embodiment Arts

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.

Expressive Arts Institute

Tish McAllise Sjoberg, MA, CAGS, REAT

Expressive Arts Institute

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.

Expressive Arts Therapist, Visual Artist, Poet, Creative

San Diego, CA & Online

An international Facilitator of Expressive Arts Therapy, Supporting Trauma Recovery and Self-Reclamation. Tara is an empathetic and skilled facilitator who utilizes the transformative power of the arts to weave and expand connections between mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. With a focus on supporting adult survivors of sexual violence and abuse, she employs an embodied multimodal approach, engaging various art disciplines and the senses, to facilitate healing and growth.  Whether working with individuals or groups, Tara helps those whose lives have been interrupted by trauma, recognizing that we have all experienced some form of trauma. Tara supports adult survivors in various contexts, including domestic violence/abuse, child abuse/neglect/molestation/incest, sexual assault/rape, military/service-related trauma, trafficking, and C/PTSD. By utilizing all genres of the Expressive Arts, Tara guides individuals through the process of weaving their fragmented experiences and expanding their sense of self, fostering personal healing, growth and integration; often working in a triadic model with other wellness providers. Moreover, Tara extends her support to artists, educators, and health care providers, creatively empowering them to engage in their own personal growth and self-discovery; thereby expanding their capacity to serve others. By bringing expression into their personal practices, Tara encourages these individuals to harness their own creative abilities as catalysts for personal transformation and care. As an Expressive Arts Therapist, Tara holds the belief that meaning-making originates from the artist/maker. Through Tara’s own healing journey, driven by an exploration of intimacy (or its absence) in today’s world, she discovered the profound impact of Expressive Arts Therapy on self and world.

Expressive Arts Institute

Tara Graviss White, MA

Expressive Arts Institute

Rachelle Archer, MA

Expressive Arts Therapist, Coach, & Educator

Founder/CEO, Artful Leadership Coaching & Consulting

San Diego, CA & Online

Rachelle Archer, MA, CEO of Artful Leadership, is an expressive arts practitioner and healing-centered organizational consultant, coach & trainer. She helps leaders with big missions impact their communities sustainably by putting well-being first, so that they can lead with a full tank and create a culture of care that supports all stakeholders through changing times. Rachelle has over 25 years’ experience at the intersection of the arts, education, and healing. As a founding member of The Monarch School San Diego, she supported unhoused youth and the adults serving them for over two decades. She helped develop & codify a nationally recognized model for educating unhoused youth, specializing in arts-based approaches to community building, mental health, SEL, and leadership development for students and staff. Since founding Artful Leadership in 2020, she collaborates with schools and community-based organizations to foster the individual, interpersonal and organizational well-being that will empower them to live their mission, vision and values sustainably. She’s a core consultant at the Clare Rose Center for CYD and the host of the “The Artful Leader” podcast, featuring leaders working bravely in the arts, education, healing, and social justice. Her belief in the transformative power of the arts imbues everything she does with creative expression, embodiment and play. Rachelle’s work is deeply rooted in her values: everyone can be a leader, humans thrive in community, and the wellbeing of that community starts with us doing our inner work first. Book a free consultation today!

Expressive Arts Therapist, Dancer, Actress, & Teaching Artist


North Park & Point Loma, San Diego, CA

Erika Malone Violet is an expressive arts therapist and teaching artist of dance/theatre, and currently serves as the Director of Creative Youth Development at Monarch School, serving K-12 unhoused youth and families.  Her teaching artist work has taken root in San Diego since 2001, including residency programs and artistic projects with Eveoke Dance Theatre, A Reason to Survive, Malashock Dance, San Diego Junior Theatre, transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project, and Arts for Learning San Diego.  She is part of the SD Creative Youth Development network, and deeply committed to elevating the voice of diverse youth in her community.  She received her B.A. in Dance/Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.A. in Expressive Arts Therapy from the European Graduate School in 2015. Erika is the co-founder of Yellowbird Expressive Arts, an organization focused on the intermodal arts as a resource for community building and the cultivation of personal & collective resilience.

Expressive Arts Institute

Erika Malone, MA, REAT

Expressive Arts Institute

Ingrid B Guerrieri, MA

Bilingual LMFT and Expressive Arts Therapist

Co-Founder, Art Flow Collective

CreArte Counseling

San Diego, CA

Ingrid is a Colombian immigrant who has called San Diego home for 20+ years. She finds joy in living in this borderland, as it invites her to live and play in the richness of bilingual and multicultural spaces. She studied psychology in Colombia and continued to follow her passion for supporting and growing in community through a certification in Substance Use Counseling, a master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy. Ingrid strives to promote and co-create spaces where marginalized stories and people’s voices are invited and uplifted; her work is inspired and guided by curiosity, imagination, playfulness, collaboration, and a relational ethic of mutual care. Ingrid has worked in community mental health settings for the past 16 years, providing linguistically and culturally sensitive services to a diversity of communities including refugees, immigrants, the LGBTQI+ community, social services workers, people in unhealthy relationships with substance use, couples and families, people in the criminal justice system, and communities impacted by HIV. She is actively engaged in the promotion of professional growth and support for social services professionals and therapists; she is a co-founder and facilitator of the Art Flow Collective, a group of practitioners of color who facilitate art-driven explorations and healing through expressive arts therapy workshops and retreats. Ingrid provides services in English and Spanish, and has recently started an independent psychotherapy practice called CreArte Counseling.

Expressive Arts Therapist, Coordinator & Caretaker

San Diego Youth Services / Villa Musica / Art Flow Collective

San Diego, CA

Hello, my name is Lorilee. I have been in youth development and education for over 15 years. From the Bay to New York, I fuse my love of dance and all things artistic into my work. I am a graduate from the University of Santa Cruz with a BA in Woman’s Studies. My experience, education and degree has led me to working in under served communities. Much of my career has been spent working with long term academic, enrichment and education programs teaching leadership, college and career access, gender equity, social justice, and the importance of cultivating community. I have a masters in Expressive Arts Therapy from the European Graduate school in Switzerland. I have worked with diverse populations: youth effected by homelessness, immigrant youth, veterans, men in the prison system, and woman on formal probation. Currently, I am an Expressive Arts Coordinator for San Diego Youth Services and a caretaker for an extended foster care apartment complex. I am an Expressive Arts facilitator for Villa Musica “Musical Biographies” working with people affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as a proud member of Art Flow Collective. I take pride in my Mexican and Chinese mixed race heritage and look forward to providing culturally relevant, arts based healing with a social justice and feminist lense to any and all communities in need.

Expressive Arts Institute

Lorilee Chien, MA

expressive arts therapy training

Tara Graviss White

"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."

Tara Graviss White, Graduate


Zamira Pla

"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."

Zamira Pla,

expressive arts acting

Amy Shamansky

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.”

Amy Shamansky,

expressive arts therapy programs

Anita Carter

“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.”

Anita Carter,

expressive arts institute t-shirt

Victoria Garcia

“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.”

Victoria Garcia,

expressive arts dressup

Marissa McInerney

“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 ♥”

Marissa McInerney, Student

expressive arts dance

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.”

Jose Roberto Nascimento,

expressive arts therapy courses

Sharon Goodlove

"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."

Sharon Goodlove, Goodlove Counseling

expressive arts therapy workshop

Michelle Josey

"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."

Michelle Josey, Expressive Arts Intern & ESL Instructor