I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Creative Arts Psychotherapist in New York, New Jersey, and California with 20+ years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families. I specialize in using creativity to help people heal from traumatic events.
Arts and healing are my lifelong passions. I studied and exhibited art in California, Greece, and New York. Teaching art in Athens, Greece, whetted my appetite to connect and work with people from different cultures and walks of life. When I returned to the United States, I decided to study art and psychotherapy.
After receiving a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) with a specialization in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute and a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) from New York University, I taught for 15 years in the NY City schools. I worked with children and teens (K-12) in special education, weaving art therapy into the curriculum. It went so well at the school where I taught that the IRB (Internal Revenue Board) supported a mini research project. The results demonstrated art therapy’s efficacy.
Besides working in schools, I have also worked in mental health agencies and psychoanalytic training institutes. I am currently on the faculty of the Institute for Expressive Analysis (IEA) and present on creativity and therapy at the National Institute for Psychotherapies (NIP) and the Expressive Therapies Summit.
In addition, I am licensed and/or credentialed by the New York State Education Department, the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) the American Association of Art Therapy (AATA), the Institute for Expressive Analysis (IEA), the National Institute for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP), and the National Institute for Psychotherapies’ Integrated Trauma Program.
I am a certified EMDR therapy practitioner and EMDR Approved Consultant, by the EMDRIA (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing International Association), Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) certified by SETI (Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute) and a Hypnotherapist certified by ASCH (American Society of Clinical Hypnosis).
Executive Committee, Integrative Trauma Program National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP), NYC, 2017- 2019
Integrative Trauma Program, National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP), NYC, 2013-2016
Director of Admissions, Institute of Expressive Analysis (IEA), NYC, 2013-2017
Private practice, 1999-present
Supervisor, Private Practice, 2002-present
Art and Play Therapist, Brooklyn Center for Families, 1999-2004
Art Therapist/Art Teacher, New York Board of Education, 1998-2013
EMDR Approved Consultant, EMDRIA 2020
Certificate in Somatic Experience Practitioner (SEP), Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, 2019
Certificate in Hypnotherapy, American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, 2019
Certificate in Integrative Trauma Studies, National Institute for the Psychotherapies, New York, NY, 2013-2014
EMDR Certified Therapist, EMDRIA 2013
M.A.R.I. Certified Practitioner, Mandala Research Instrument, 2012
Certified Psychoanalyst, NAAP, 2011
Psychoanalyst, Institute for Expressive Analysis, NY, 2010
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, New York State Education Department, 2009
Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, New York State Education Department 2006
Master of Social Work, New York University, NY, 2005
Art Therapy Board Certification, Art Therapy Credentials Board, 2002-2021
Art Therapy Registration, Art Therapy Credentials Board, 1999-2021
Licensed/Certified Fine Arts Teacher, New York City and State, 1998
Masters of Fine Arts, Painting, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY, 1996
Graduate Art Therapy, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY, 1992-94
Bachelors of Fine Arts, California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland CA, 1987
Graduate at Large (Early Childhood Education), Mills College, Oakland CA, 1984-85
Bachelors of Arts, Liberal Arts, Mills College, Oakland CA, 1979
Expressive Therapies Summit, New York, NY, 2020
Creative Arts Therapies Online, 2019, available here
National Institute for the Psychotherapies, New York, NY, 2017
Expressive Therapies Summit, New York, NY, 2016
Psychoanalysis and Creativity, Institute for Expressive Analysis, 2015- present
Art Teacher, NYC Department of Education, 1998-2013
Professor of Art, University of La Verne, Athens, Greece, 1990-92
Early Education Teacher, Mills College, Oakland, CA, 1984-85
In the Press
Off the Couch Podcast: Arts as a way to process trauma: Creative Arts Therapy Off the Couch
Interview with Mari Grande, LCSW-R, LCAT for Relationships are Complicated
NBRFM Radio Show with Trauma Therapist Mari Grande