4CE 3-hr MASTER CLASS | Expressive Therapies Summit (NY 2016)

Expressive Therapies Summit 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Announcing my upcoming workshop at the Seventh Annual Expressive Therapies Summit in New York City (2016):


(Counseling Theory/Practice and the Counseling Relationship; Psychological and Psychotherapeutic Theories and Practice; Media and Materials in Treatment)


Memory artist, Nancy Gershman and Annette Vaccaro, SCP, ATR-BC, ATCS, ACS, NCPsyA, LCSW*

Time: Sunday Nov. 13 from 2pm-5pm 

Location: Executive Conference Center – 1601 Broadway (enter on 48th Street)  New York City 

Didactic Presentation by memory artist, Nancy Gershman about how to use the brain’s neuroplasticity and photos of “new memories” to ease grief/loss

1:15  including bridge on collaborating with the social worker (Gershman) and bridge on art therapy (Vaccaro)

:15 minute break

Experiential Laboratory:

1.5  hour with :15 break

Here the workshop becomes a laboratory for learning the Healing Dreamscape Process.  At first, one attendee will volunteer to work with Nancy as Patient or The Family Member in a Healing Dreamscape Session leading to a visualization. (The final step of creating a digital product will be described, but not demonstrated.)  There will be one more Healing Dreamscape session with a volunteer before everyone breaks up into small groups of 3-5, depending on the class size to practice the method.  Nancy and Annette will rotate through the groups to oversee the process so all attendees have an opportunity to participate as Patient, Family Member or Memory Artist.  Within the groups, attendees will decide if they would like to participate by witnessing and learning, or by actively participating in the Process.  


1. Learn to recognize the 5 characteristics of a compelling memory that can provide teachable moments during family interviews in treatment.

2. List 4 major developments in cognitive neuroscience that support the Dreamscapes process in “overwriting” distressing memories.

3. Identify 3 non-verbal elements that the emotional brain understands best that can help jumpstart meaning-making and active imagination in clients. 

Neimeyer, Robert A. and Gershman, N: Re-­Envisioning the Loss/Chapter 47,” Techniques of Grief Therapy: Assessment and Intervention. New York: Routledge, 2016. 251-55. https://www.artforyoursake.com/pressroom/Dignity%20Portraiture_Techniques%20in%20Grief%20Therapy_2016.pdf

… Be sure to bring a photograph (not the original, of course) of a pet or person whose loss is still felt. During the experiential portion of the workshop, the presenters will ask for volunteers to role-play as the Family Member or Patient – and it is at this time, you may want to refer to your photograph during the interview. 

Of special note: 

Nancy has generously offered to complete Healing Dreamscapes for any attendees who role-play as the Family Member or Patient, back in her studio, upon request. Simply ask Nancy after the workshop to do so, and be sure to give her your full contact information before you leave. 


Nancy Gershman is a memory artist who has worked with over 340 families during her 2.5 year artist-in-residency at VNSNY Haven Hospice. Her published work appears in Annals of American Psychotherapy; Neimeyer’s Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved (Vol. I and II) and The Journal of Palliative Care. Her creative practice is outlined in Advance for Nurses and Armstrong’s Transforming Traumatic Grief: Six Steps to Move from Grief To Peace.  The traveling exhibition, For the Brides of Ed, featuring her work with the eating disorder clients of art psychotherapist Lauren Lazar Stern was hosted by NYU Langone, University of Rochester and the University of Chicago. Since 2013, Nancy co-hosts Death Café NYC. 

Annette Vaccaro, LCSW, SCP, ATR-BC, ATCS, ACS, NCPsyA is an Art Therapy Clinical Coordinator in the graduate mental health counseling program at Caldwell University; Director and Faculty at the Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis; and a grant writer and consultant for agencies. In her NJ-based private practice, she specializes in clinical supervision in four professions: counseling, art therapy, social work and psychoanalysis. Annette regularly presents on art therapy, trauma and resilience, self-care and the treatment relationship, with a focus on aging adults, youth and children. Currently at Argosy, her doctoral studies are in counseling education and supervision.