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Toni Morley

Don’s Story:

Don had been a pilot for Pan American Airline and Flying Tigers Airline. He consistently painted tigers over the three-year period that I worked with him. I felt that it was a selsymbol. As his disease progressed, the tigers became more elemental and sparse in detail, (see illustrations). Don also became less aware, and mirrored the tigers as they slowly disappeared.

Toni Morley, MFT, ATR-BC

I heard about the field of art therapy in 1985 when a friend suggested that it sounded like a good fit for me. I am an artist and my BA from Stanford was heavy on psychology. I went up to one of Doris Arrington’s educational evenings at Notre Dame de Namur University and was very interested. I started the next semester.

After graduation in 1987, my first job as an art therapist was in the psychiatric unit at El Camino Hospital. I was part of that team for 7 years and was able to train and supervise interns from various schools. I moved on to a private practice in Los Altos for some years, treating children and individuals using art therapy and other modes of treatment.

I was then offered a job at the Alzheimer’s Association as Support Group Coordinator for the South Bay. I loved being able to help caregivers and regularly visited the groups up and down the peninsula. I also ran groups for early stage individuals and really enjoyed working with the patients as well as the caregivers.

In 2001 I heard about Memories in the Making, which was an art group specifically for Alzheimer’s patients. My organization sent me to be trained and we began the program with 3 sites. In the next 7 years we expanded to 26 sites. Each year we had an artist’s reception for the participating members and a gala fundraising event where we sold the work. Included is a biography of one of the artists and 3 pictures of a tiger that faded as the individual progressed with the disease. I won the KRON Jefferson award for starting and maintaining this program.

I am currently involved with 2 other art therapists who are of different generations in a weekly accountability art project. I am also currently working at IPM doctors clinic as a psychotherapist treating chronic pain patients. I have been there 10 years this month and really enjoy the population.

Having regularly attended AATA and NorCATA conferences over the years, I am impressed by the quality of the newer generations of art therapists and their ways of exploring and enhancing the practices within art therapy.

This has been an amazing journey of discovery and growth. I feel fortunate for the good friends I have made in the art therapy community.

Fun in Covid times is quite different than what I normally would be doing. I do try to walk in a lovely preserve near where I live and try to stay connected with friends and family.



851 Fremont Ave., Suite 214

Los Altos, CA, 94024



  • Registered Art Therapist, Board Certified #063323
  • Marriage, Family Therapist, MFT #30061
  • Certified Hypnotherapist, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Certified EMDR Practitioner
  • Certified Mindfulness, Stress Reduction Facilitator, El Camino Hospital
  • Master’s Degree Art Therapy and Counseling Psychology CND, 1987
  • B.A. Degree, Stanford University 1960


  • El Camino Hospital, Mt. View, CA 1988-1995
  • Art therapist for the Older Adult Transitions Program
  • Art Therapist for Department of Psychiatry
  • Facilitator for Alzheimer’s Support Group, Seizure Group, Stress Management Group
  • Clinical member of Human Support Department
  • Stanford Older Adult Program, Stanford, CA 1990-1993
  • Sequoia Hospital, San Carlos, CA 1990-1993
  • Art therapist in the Mental Health Department
  • Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Nevada 1998-2006
  • Coordinator of the Support Groups for the California bay area
  • Facilitator of Early Stage Alzheimer’s Groups
  • Founder of the Grief and Bereavement Groups
  • Director of the California Memories in the Making Groups. These groups now number over thirty. They help access memories and help with depression and ability to focus
  • Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center. Los Gatos, CA 2011-2013
  • Psychology pain counselor


  • 1994 to present


  • Research paper “Emotion in Dementia Patients: Effects of a Fine Arts Group on Well-being."
  • Chapter in “Trauma and Art Therapy” Doris Arrington, Memories in the Making, How Memories are Accessed Through Art.


  • Member of adjunct faculty at JFK University, Campbell Campus
  • Summer faculty at CND, Belmont Campus


  • Specializing in work with dementia clients, children, and adults 1994 to present


  • California Association of Marriage, Family, Child Therapists
  • Northern California Art Therapy Association
  • American Art Therapy Association


  • The Jefferson Award for implementing the Memories in the Making Program in Northern California. This award was first started in 1961 by Jackie Kennedy for individuals who had given special help to their communities.
  • Honorary Life Member, Northern California Art Therapy Association


  • William Fisher CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern NevadaPhone 650-962-8111
  • Dr. Elizaberh Edgerly PhD., Program Director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada. Phone 650-962-8111
  • Kathleen Taylor RN, MFT, OATS Program, El Camino. Phone 650-949-1449
  • Doris Arrington, Director of the Art Therapy and Counseling Psychology Program at NDNU, Belmont CA. Phone 650-343-4994

NorCATA's feature: ​"Art Therapists Making Things Happen", was  envisioned by Robin Valicenti, and is currently curated by Abby Zimberg

 Please contact Abby if you know of a Northern Californian Art Therapist whose art and projects deserve mention in this space.

PO Box 460687
San Francisco, CA  94146-0661 USA


+1 (650) 489-2258

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NorCATA is approved by the Internal Revenue Services as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that promotes the therapeutic use of art throughout Northern California, public awareness of art therapy, professional development through educational events, workshops, conferences, and more.  All donations are tax deductible to the full extent provided by law.

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