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
ValerieValerie 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.

Maria Scaros-Mercado

RDT-BCT, LCAT | Psychotherapist and Drama Therapist
MariaMaria 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
ElizabethLiz 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.

Rachael Sokolowski

MS, ATR-BC, LCAT | Psychotherapist and Art Therapist
rachelRachael received a B.A. from SUNY Purchase in Art History and Fine Arts and a M.S. from The College of New Rochelle in Art Therapy and Counseling. She is a NY State Licensed Creative Art Therapist and a member of the American Art Therapy Association and Westchester Art Therapy Association.

Rachael has extensive experience working with the geriatric population including those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of Dementia in various living facilities, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation. She also has experience working with children and adolescents in a variety of settings.

Rachael has a multidimensional background in art history, painting, ceramics, drawing, collage, poetry, culinary art therapy, yoga, and meditation. She is a skilled artist and counselor adept at using multiple mediums during group and individual sessions. Rachael is confident using therapeutic approaches to work effectively with diverse populations. She views the creative process as an opportunity to safely and playfully explore one’s life with the intention to resolve conflicts and deepen self-awareness.

Angie Giordano-Adams

MS, R-DMT, LCAT | Psychotherapist and Dance/Movement Therapist
angieAngie 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.”

Beth Liebowitz

MS, R-DMT | Psychotherapist and Dance/Movement Therapist

bethBeth cultivated her love for the creative arts at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art, the “Fame” school, in New York City. There, she studied as a music major, and took classes in all art forms. Always a dancer at heart, Beth earned her BFA in Dance and minor in Psychology, cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts. Through her studies, she felt an organic connection between psychology and movement that served as a guide in her dance practice.

After college, Beth worked in public schools as part of Free Arts NYC and University Settlement, dancing with economically disadvantaged students, ages 8-12, in an afterschool environment. Simultaneously, she worked at New York Live Arts in the education department, administratively assisting the implementation of dance programs in higher education. Her experiences teaching dance to different populations led her to attend Sarah Lawrence College for graduate school, receiving her Masters in Science in Dance/Movement Therapy. There, she worked with infants and their caregivers, learning about attachment bonds and developmental movement patterns; children 3-4 years old at the Early Childhood Center; teenagers at The Mary J. Blige Foundation; children survivors of domestic abuse in the Bronx; and the geriatric population with memory impairment.

With each population, Beth has learned how dance/movement therapy can facilitate connection, healthy socialization, play, exercise, awareness, and cathartic creativity & artistry. As a psychotherapist and DMT, Beth’s goal is to meet each client’s needs in a supportive, investigatory, and fun environment that she co-creates with the clients themselves. This can be an empowering experience and opportunity for engagement and self-identification. By accessing inspiration from different sources – dances from different decades, gesture, breath, imagery, partnering, facial expressions, voice, improvisation, and props – Beth continues to evolve her DMT practice and is thrilled to join Healing Through the Arts, LLC!

Catherine Farrell

MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT | Psychotherapist and Art Therapist

bethCatherine (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.

 

Debbie Shaw

TR-BC, LCAT | Psychotherapist and Art Therapist

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 3.33.16 PMDebbie 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.

Gabrielle Bouissou

MT-BC | Psychotherapist and Music Therapist

GabrielleGabrielle 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.