Your professional education in expressive arts  therapy begins here.

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Where are they now? Expressive Arts Institute Pamela Underwood

Where are they now? Expressive Arts Institute Pamela Underwood



Pamela, an active member of our Alumni Association, attending the Annual Meeting.

At the studio we are not approaching art to make a living but making art to live life fully with resilience.

Pamela Underwood, MA is known for her artistic talents, her wonderful work with women in her Bodywriting Workshop and above all, for her determination. Her home and studio, located in the rugged mountains outside of Poway is artistic, beautiful and welcoming…and like the legendary Phoenix, it has risen from the ashes. In the past decades, Pamela suffered two fires, the first an accident, the second a result of a wildfire where no fire crew could respond. In the second, her home was reduced to an ash covered slab, along with a lifetime of artwork. Pamela has not only persevered, but thrived since the fires, proving her creative spirit is the match for most any challenge.

Pamela discovered the field of Expressive Arts after beginning her fine arts career as a painter and lithographer. She remembers it took some time before suddenly recognizing:

… my own art making had always offered a safe/objective way to approach themes and past traumas in my life…I had found a new way ‘IN’. After working this way for years I wanted to share this phenomenon, to offer classes and retreats to guide others in working this way to open up their lives!

At Pamela Underwood Studios, Pamela works using her fine arts background along with the philosophies and techniques learned from the Expressive Arts Institute and European Graduate School to help others become more creative, expressive, and self-aware.

With guidance any body sensation can be translated into art; a visual image, a movement, a sound or the written word. Why is this important? So that the sensation can become present as an art form; something tangible outside of ourselves. This is the sacred place where the artist and resulting image work together as creative companions, be it benevolent or malevolent, with objectivity.


Pamela, pictured here with longtime Institute friend and painter Ellen Dieter at our 15th anniversary celebration.

In 1998, the Expressive Arts Institute was founded in San Diego and Pamela found it a perfect fit for her needs.

The Institute fully prepared our class to travel to Saas Fee, Switzerland for the MA in Expressive Arts program at the European Graduate School. where we studied with pioneers in our field and the founders of the field of intermodal Expressive Arts as taught at the Institute.

Pamela continues her workshops, which have helped heal women’s relationships with their bodies and histories for many years. But she also continues to use the resource of the arts to  manage change in her own life. And she offers some advice:

Invest in the arts now as your personal resource for creative restoration, healing and resiliency

Pamela Underwood, MA graduated from the Expressive Arts Institute in 2002.