About Our Therapists
The therapists at Healing Through The Arts provide a full-spectrum of services for adults, seniors and their spouses, and children and surviving parents looking to gain clarity on day-to-day life issues. Each of our therapists is fully-credentialed in her respective discipline. We also offer bilingual therapy in English, Spanish and Greek.
Valerie M. Theodorou
MS, MPH, LNHA, BC-DMT, LCAT | Psychotherapist and Dance/Movement Therapist | Founder
Valerie is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, Board Certified Dance / Movement Therapist and Licensed Nursing Home Administrator with over 10 years of expertise. She has worked with adults and seniors as a Therapist and an Administrator. She is an “old soul” who individualizes her approach to allow each client to experience a comfort with the aging process. She brings a sense of joy, humor and a willingness to improve their quality of life. Valerie holds an MS in Dance/Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute and an MPH in Community Health from Hunter College. In addition to clinical work, she is an experienced consultant and supervisor.
Valerie has worked with seniors, adults, adolescents and children in a wide variety of settings. She specializes in working with adults and seniors particularly on the aging process, issues of life transitions, maintaining level of functioning, and aging in place, as well as issues related to behavioral change. Her work is influenced by theories and practices in dance/movement and creative arts therapies.
RDT-BCT, LCAT | Psychotherapist and Drama Therapist
Maria is a Registered, Board-Certified Drama Therapist and licensed as a Creative Arts Therapist. She has been working in the field for over 30 years. She received her BA from Hunter College, her Masters at Columbia University and prepared for her doctorate at New York University. “The theater has been a place of healing for centuries,” Maria states. “It is in the use of theater techniques that our stories are discovered and become alive.
In becoming witness to our own stories we are better able to understand ourselves.” At any age and in any emotional, developmental or psychological state, the sharing of oneself through story/drama is an empowering act. Maria has worked with a variety of populations ranging from hospitalized children to psychiatric adults and the elderly. She continues to be awed by the creative nature of us all and the stories that define us.
Photo credit: Jason Rearick, newstimes.com
Elizabeth (Liz) Bretz
MS, R-DMT, LCAT, LCSW | Psychotherapist, Social Worker and Dance/Movement Therapist
Liz is dually licensed in both Creative Arts Therapy and Social Work. She received her masters in Dance Movement Therapy from the Pratt Institute and her masters in Social Work from Hunter College with a specialization in Mental Health. Liz has experience in a multitude of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, schools and outpatient clinics. She provides treatment across a diverse age range from children through seniors and has a passion for working with infants, children and families. Her work includes assisting individuals in navigating depression, anxiety, pervasive developmental disorders including autism, adjustment disorders, trauma, grief and family conflict.
In her practice, she uses creative arts therapies, play therapy and psychotherapy to help improve attachment and connection, increase insight and social skills as well as self-esteem. With children she helps to develop an emotional vocabulary necessary for self-expression and to use movement to connect the mind, heart and body. In her work, she takes into consideration the unique strengths of each person or family unit and teaches mind-body skills to help empower and support. Liz works from a perspective that each developmental stage in life brings new challenges and opportunities for growth, discovery and joy. Liz believes that children benefit from learning how to recognize and integrate their emotions, thoughts and body reactions; this is especially empowering as they move through busy and often overstimulating school days. In her free time, Liz enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, yoga and chasing after her poodle.
MS, R-DMT, LCAT | Psychotherapist and Dance/Movement Therapist
Angie received her M.S. in dance/movement therapy from Pratt Institute in May of 2009. Clinically, Angie has worked in the NYC public schools with high risk, high need populations in areas where services and resources are unavailable or under-utilized. Angie also has experience with Domestic Violence, the elderly, and children with disabilities.
Angie currently is the President of the NY Chapter of the ADTA and is an integral member of the ADTA PR Committee. She is the new ADTA Social Media Manager and previously a co-leader on the Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube teams for the ADTA. She has created several videos and slideshows for the ADTA YouTube channel. Angie was recently recognized as “Leader of Tomorrow” at the 50th Annual ADTA conference in 2015. Angie recently co-authored the article titled “Reciprocity, Collaboration, and Relationship: The Role of Social Media in Propelling Dance/Movement Therapy into the next 50 years.”
MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT | Psychotherapist and Art Therapist
Catherine (Cat) Farrell is a NY State licensed creative arts therapist and is nationally board certified to practice art therapy. She received her BA in Art History from Bard College and her MPS in Art Therapy from The School of Visual Arts.
Cat has been practicing art therapy since 2008 with a wide range of clients that include children, adolescents, adults and geriatrics. She has treated clients working through a variety of life challenges including depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD and addiction. Cat utilizes a multi-modal approach to psychotherapy that includes traditional (and non-traditional) art making, yoga, meditation, poetry and music listening in order to support each client’s unique circumstance and pathway toward healing.
Cat is also a certified yoga instructor with over 13 years of teaching experience (beginners through advanced classes) and has assisted in several teacher training programs throughout the East Coast. She is gentle and compassionate which provides both her yoga students and therapy clients a safe foundation to explore their own potential for resolution, healing and growth.
As an enthusiastic animal lover, Cat recognizes the powerful healing potential for animal assisted therapy and is in the process of training her Great Dane, Marley, to become a certified Canine Good Citizen.
TR-BC, LCAT | Psychotherapist and Art Therapist
Debbie is a licensed Creative Arts Therapist who has been working as an art therapist for sixteen years. She has a great deal of experience working with adult populations including those with Alzheimer’s dementia, developmental disabilities, medical frailty, and hospice patients. Debbie is dedicated to improving the lives of those served with a compassionate and practical approach.
Debbie also has experience working with children aged 3-18 both as an Art Therapist and Art Teacher. Additionally, she recently began working with children on the autism spectrum. She has a love of children and believes that art making provides them the opportunity to create, communicate, and heal. Creative expression is a powerful gift to which everyone is entitled.
Debbie is a professional mural artist and has curated numerous art shows in a variety of settings. She believes that there is an artist within us all and that the visual language of art is one we can all speak together.
MT-BC | Psychotherapist and Music Therapist
Gabrielle is a board-certified music therapist and received her B.A. in Psychology, B.S. in Music, and M.S. in Music Therapy from SUNY New Paltz.
She trained extensively in Medical Music Psychotherapy and is also certified in Neurologic Music Therapy and Rhythm, Breath, & Lullaby (RBL) NICU Music Therapy. Gabrielle’s clinical experience ranges across the lifespan, with her work primarily focused in inpatient psychiatric settings, NICU, and general medical settings with adults and children.
MT-BC | Music Therapist
Kat is a board-certified music therapist and received her B.M. in music therapy from Queens University of Charlotte.
She trained in Medical Music Psychotherapy at the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine in NYC. Kat’s clinical experience ranges across the lifespan with a special interest in general medical settings, pediatrics, and mental health.
MS, ATR-BC, LCAT / Psychotherapist and Art therapist
Minhye Lee is a board certified, New York state licensed art therapist and obtained her master’s degree in art therapy from New York University. She is currently working at a mental health hospital as a creative arts therapist.
In practice, she provides both individual and group therapy with client-centered approach. She utilizes creative modalities and facilitates in an environment where clients are able to process their emotional, psychological and social difficulties in safe and creative ways. Moreover, she has experience in working with children and their family in various settings including a shelter for domestic violence victims. Her passion in emotional well being and positive personal growth continuously inspires her practicing art therapy with people. In her free time she enjoys participating in community service, making her own art and visiting art museums.