The NorCATA Board of Directors is a governing board, responsible for creating the vision, mission, values and policies for the chapter and ensuring that the principles and finances are properly managed. Board members are expected to attend 10 monthly meetings per year, the annual business meeting, and to help plan the bi-annual conference. Until 2019, board meetings had been held at various members’ homes generally from 10:00am - 12:00pm on Sundays. Beginning in 2019 with the completion of an updated Bylaws, the Board started meeting via video call as often as necessary to ensure virtual attendance. In 2020 starting in March, due to the COVID pandemic, all Board meetings have been via Zoom, from 10:00am - 11:30am.
Fiona received her Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU). She grew up in Venezuela and Puerto Rico and speaks Spanish fluently. Fiona's father is Uruguayan and her mother is English. Fiona moved to the U.S. at 13 and continues to visit Puerto Rico annually to see her father. Fiona’s first career was as an interior designer, where she was able to use her creativity as part of her career. Moving from design to build, she transitioned to construction project management, where documentation, adhering to a budget and deadline and establishing strong relationships were essential. Fiona discovered during a particularly difficult time in her life that art became her refuge; it became a means to effectively express her emotions as well as a visible expression of her healing journey. This realization of the power of art led to her decision to become an art therapist. Fiona is a Program Supervisor of Lasting Independence Forensics Team (LIFT), a Full Service Program at Bay Area Community Services (BACS). LIFT provides community based individual counseling and case management to adults who have a history in the criminal justice system, have serious mental illness, are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, have co-occuring substance use and/or physical health disorders, those who frequently use hospitals or who are at risk of institutionalization. Fiona enjoys working in the community and establishing strong relationships with her clients, and using art as part of the therapeutic process.
Katrina received her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA in 2016. A volunteer with NorCATA since 2017, Katrina has served as Secretary, President-Elect, President, and is currently serving as Treasurer. Katrina has a passion for community service, and has enjoyed sharing a love of art therapy with colleagues through NorCATA. Katrina contributed to a chapter in a book anthology about using art therapy to support communities during disasters. Her writing is based on NorCATA’s 2019 support of the Paradise, CA “Camp Fire.” victims. The book is scheduled to be released in 2021.
Originally from Alabama, Katrina has lived and worked in the Bay Area since 2011. She discovered a connection to art therapy as she was coping with obstacles in her personal life. In 2013, Katrina began providing art therapy, case management, and other mental health services to homeless adults, families and children with Life Moves in the San Jose/Peninsula area.
Katrina currently works in an emergency crisis unit in Oakland for Bay Area Community Services where she serves Alameda residents, many of whom are homeless and suffering from severe mental illnesses. In addition, she leads weekly groups at a Bay Area residential adolescent treatment facility and is part of a clinic that provides therapy to children, adolescents, and their families. Katrina enjoys going for hikes and outdoor adventures with her family. She has been doing her best to utilize the outdoors to help reduce some of the stress of homeschooling/virtual school while working full time during Covid 19.
Cheryl is a board certified registered art therapist, licensed marriage and family therapist and current doctoral student at Notre Dame de Namur University. She has always focused her learning on art, as she went to a specialized high school for studio art and then went on to receive a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree with a major in photography. Cheryl previously served on the NorCATA Board of Directors from 2002 to 2009 as Treasurer, Director of Public Relations, President-Elect, and President.
Cheryl’s clinical work includes adolescents with substance use disorders in both residential and outpatient settings; children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral issues, along with their families; and work with a health insurance company as part of their behavioral health department, most recently as part of their Autism team. She is currently an adjunct professor at Notre Dame de Namur University. Cheryl began her PhD in Art Therapy in 2017 and is focusing her dissertation on the use of clay as part of stress reduction, and connection to others and the earth. She loves throwing on the wheel and also enjoys creating zentangles, photography, collage, and knitting. Cheryl is enjoying a reconnection to the art therapy community and hopes to bring her enthusiasm as NorCATA's Secretary.
DEBORAH SHARPE, PhD Cand., ATR-BC, MA
Deborah Sharpe, ATR-BC, is a graduate of New York University’s Masters of Art Therapy program and has been a practicing art therapist since 1990. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley in studio art.
Deborah’s family comes from the British Isles, specifically, England, Scotland and Wales. She is from a family of sailors, stone masons and educators on her father’s side and fishermen, storytellers, and a Methodist minister on her mother’s. She is grateful to have learned from the strong and resourceful women on both sides.
Deborah is currently a PhD candidate in the Art Therapy Doctoral Program at Notre Dame de Namur University. Her dissertation topic focuses on how clinicians use art in their therapeutic practice, especially comparing the uses of art before and during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Deborah is dedicated to being an ally to underserved communities and to promoting social justice and equality for all people. She loves teaching and mentoring the next generation of art therapists and counselors. Deborah fits in art making whenever and wherever she can, enjoying collage, photography, drawing and printmaking, as well as needlepoint.
Jen feels honored to continue her responsibilities as Co-Director of Programs. Prior to becoming an art therapist, Jen was an electro-mechanical draftsman for several companies in the medical and technological industries in New England. Art and, in particular, drawing has been a central focus of Jen’s professional and personal life. The ability to express emotions through the arts propelled Jen to complete her education and become an art therapist.
Jen received her PhD in art therapy in February 2019 from Notre Dame de Namur University. Jen received a Masters Degree in Art Therapy from Mt. Mary University in 2007, and received Art Therapy Registration and Board Certification in 2011. She also completed a Bachelors Degree in Art from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 2004. Jen’s clinical activities include working with older adults in various developmental stages of the aging process as well as in memory care. Jen also has clinical experience working with transitional youth and adults with chronic and severe mental illness. Jen has interned and worked in a variety of settings in CA and WI facilitating individual and group art therapy as well as marriage and family therapy. Jen has received drum circle facilitation training, is certified in Music Medicine, and is active in drawing, painting, textile arts, and drum making.
Leticia is an artist, educator, and art therapist with a Master’s Degree from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. Leticia is passionate about using art to create community and sharing ways to enhance well-being and the joy of self-learning through the use of the artistic imagination and storytelling. She works in the mediums of printmaking, collage, watercolor and bookmaking. A practicum experience in children's bereavement with Peggy Gulshen, of Sutter Health in Sacramento, has led to an interest in normalizing and expanding the reach grief work with children. Leading an open art studio on a college campus and the experience of “taking art to the people” instilled a passion for bringing art to everyday spaces for the benefit of community formation, relaxation and increased self-awareness. Participating in an active campus gay straight alliance for over a decade has shaped her professional goal of normalizing the experience of the LGBTQiA community, advocating for pro-LGBTQiA mental health services and education regarding non-binary and gender expansive identity formation.
Joyce is a Taiwanese native who is pursuing her Ph.D in Art Therapy at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. She previously served at Ackerley Child Inpatient Unit and Seven Counties Services, Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky, combining her passion and experiences of yoga, dance, and drama in supporting children and adolescents who have experienced intra and interpersonal difficulties due to complex traumas. With the intention of expanding her experience in human services, she continues to explore possibilities in California. Joyce currently works with seniors at Mission Hospice in San Mateo and will collaborate with On Lok Lifeways in San Francisco for her research project in spiritual care and art therapy. Joyce started her first book translation in 2016 and is looking forward to more opportunities to travel and promote art therapy in Asian communities.
Kayla is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Provisional Art Therapist from the foothills of Colorado. She is the fourth generation in her family to grow up in the Centennial State, raised with the fiery spirit of her ancestor's Irish heritage. She received her Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University in 2020 and is currently working in pain management. She contributes to NorCATA through participating on the public relations team by updating Facebook and Twitter, as well as co-directing the NorCATA website. Prior to studying psychology, Kayla studied the healing of the body. She graduated in 2007 from Colorado Institute of Massage Therapy where she studied Neuromuscular Therapy, Joint Movement and Sports Massage. In 2011 she completed a 200-hour Yoga Teaching Certification which deepened her understanding of the effect of mindfulness and breath work on restoring balance to the central nervous system. This background provided Kayla with unique insights into how interwoven the mind and the body are when it comes to the healing process. In clinical practice, Kayla brings these experiences to her psychotherapeutic clients by incorporating art making, breathing practices, and mindfulness. Her professional experience includes treating anxiety and stress, grief, self-esteem issues, substance use, adjustment difficulties, neurological disorders, and trauma.
Jennifer is looking forward to being a part of NorCATA’s Public Relations team focused on bridging information & exciting projects with our art therapy community. Jennifer is a licensed MFT and board certified art therapist. She received her MA from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA where she is currently a PhD candidate finalizing her dissertation research in art therapy. As a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Jennifer’s focus has been in providing art therapy with American Indian/Hawaiian populations addressing issues of suicide, substance abuse, grief, and historical/transgenerational trauma. She works as a Mental Health Therapist at Southern Indian Health Council’s R.O.A.M. unit which provides services on remote American Indian Kumeyaay reservations. Jennifer also serves as board member on RevArte, a collection of community artists in San Diego County creating art in public spaces with goals of engaging community and social change. When she is not painting on traditional canvas, Jennifer encourages expression with “found” or “eco-art” painting on rocks, leaves, bark, sticks, and clay.
Kamaria’s path to Art Therapy encompassed growth and discovery in the fields of education, social services, mental health, community organizing, vocational rehabilitation, political, and legal fields. During these varied experiences she was introduced to art making and discovered the therapeutic nature of art through personal process. Nature inspired mixed-media creations comprised of paintings, sculpted paper and photographs is the foundation of Kamaria’s artistic blossoming, as she enjoys various modes and looks forward to exploring further in 3D-design and other art forms. The universality of art therapy is beautiful; every individual ranging from nonverbal with physical limitations to extremely able cognitively and physically, can benefit from it. With a BA in International Studies from UNC-Charlotte, Kamaria’s multi-cultural knowledge will enhance her ability to work with various communities and accommodate to traditional healing needs. Kamaria looks forward to continuing to work in underserved communities and helping de-stigmatize therapy, as art therapy is the bridge that allows traditional ‘talk therapy' to be more accessible and less intimidating, especially for people with fewer resources.
Christine is honored to be on the board as the PhD liaison for NorCATA. Christine graduated with her MA in marriage and family therapy and art therapy from Notre Dame de Namur in 2015. Art therapy is a second career, as she did visual and window display for department stores for over ten years. Looking for more meaningful work, Christine pursued what felt like the dream-- using art to help facilitate healing.
Christine currently works in a group practice that helps teen girls, women, and LGBTQIA+ identifying clients in a gender inclusive setting. She is transitioning from a hospital setting, where she ran outpatient therapy groups for adults in a partial hospitalization who are coping with major mental health diagnosis. Christine has many years of experience as a therapist and art therapist working with at-risk youth in clinic, school, crisis, and community settings, as well as running art therapy groups for the veteran population at the VA.
Christine identifies as a feminist, activist, photographer, and artist, and is an avid reader and collector of comics and graphic novels. Christine is also actively working on publishing her own graphic novel revolving around activist and gender empowerment. Currently she is a student in NDNU’s PhD program focusing on research in therapeutic photography, activist art, and social justice. She is passionate about the field of art therapy and is hoping to advocate and contribute to the field in a multitude of ways including writing, presenting and teaching. Christine recognizes the need for deeper progress in equity and inclusion in developing a social justice framework in the art therapy and therapy communities, and is committed to working toward that future in the field of mental health.
After receiving a MFA in graphic design and photography, Abby spent many years working on books, publications and promotional materials, including HarperSanFrancisco and the San Francisco Chronicle. As publishing became more web-based and technical, she started to search for a more engaging and meaningful career, talking to people in a variety of professions.
Abby has always been interested in psychology. Over lunch, an acquaintance who has an MSW read her resume, questioned her about her art, photography and design interests and suggested that she explore the field of art therapy which would combine her art experience and her interest in psychology. She was immediately intrigued!
From 2010-2013, she studied in the Master’s program at Notre Dame de Namur University, a dual program for Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy. She has spent intern hours at schools with kids from families struggling with substance abuse. She counseled at an East Bay LGBT Community Center. Abby now meets with clients at New Perspectives Counseling Center and Liberation Institute. Both are located in San Francisco, and offer low-cost therapy. She provides a warm and supportive environment (along with some humor) in which clients are able to safely explore their issues.
DIRECTOR OF LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS
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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.
NorCATA does not and shall not discriminate, or allow discrimination against any person because of race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion or creed, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, physical disability, medical condition, or special needs, in any of its activities or operations. Following the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), NorCATA is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone.
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