June 25, 2024

The American Art Therapy Association represents a diversity of professionals, students, and organizations across the nation. We recognize and celebrate the work of our members at all levels through our Featured Member series.

We invite Featured Members to share their insights about their work, clients, and art therapy journey. This Pride Month, we are focusing on the work and experiences of our LGBTQ+ members.

What does Pride mean to you? 

Marsha P Johnson 

Sylvia Rivera. 


Interrupting homophobia, transphobia, and limits to the freedom of expression.  

Being authentic. Belonging. Deep love. Respect. Celebration. Community care. Dancing. Movement. Connection. Being seen. Growth. 

Police brutality in queer communities. Hiding. Institutionalized, systemic, and legalized homophobia and transphobia. Pathologizing queer love and sex. 

Pushing boundaries. A spectrum of color, dress, identities, and life experience.  

Fear and anxiety that is stirred up by transphobic and homophobic legislation around the country (and around the world).  

Love. Love. Love. + + + + 

I have been out as queer for less than a decade: public romantic partners, speaking to my queerness in public and private forums, and participating in queer events. So, I am relatively new on the scene. I did not grow up knowing my queerness, and navigating all that that means. I didn’t know the complexity and fluidity of my sexuality when I was young. This evolved over time.  

I am humbled by how welcoming queer communities feel to me. How deeply I experience belonging in my qweirdness. I am grateful. I am proud to (finally) be a part of queer/ LGBTQIA+ community. And what a diverse, multi-faceted, gorgeous, and global community it is!  


What does Pride mean to me?
“Being authentic. Belonging. Deep love. Respect.
Celebration. Community care. Dancing. Movement.
Connection. Being seen. Growth.” 

Why is art therapy uniquely suited for working with LGBTQIA+ communities?

Creative exploration is for all beings. It is global, ancestral, and indigenous to humanity.

What inspires you most about your job right now?

I love working within the queer young adult community where I live. The intersections of relationship can be surprising and inspiring. Clients and supervisees are relationally motivated, considerate of small community dynamics, and creative.  

I am inspired by the creative activism that is found in the queer communities that I am a part of: interrupting harmful projections and reconnecting interpersonal care.   


Mixed media, 2020
Magdalena Karlick

May I Be Grateful

Acrylic on wood
Magdalena Karlick

Coloring an Imaginal World

Coloring Book
Magdalena Karlick

About Magdalena Karlick, Ph.D-c, ATR-BC, LPCC

Magdalena V. Karlick, M.A., Phd-c, ATR-BC, LPCC (she/her) is an Art Therapist and educator. Magdalena is of mixed heritage and benefits from many privileges: light skin, middle-class, able-body passing, post-graduate education, and a US citizen with a passport. Since 2006, she has lived in O’Gah P’Ogeh Owingeh, the unceded territory of Tewa-speaking people, also known as Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a cis-woman and queer mama with two children.

Magdalena is the owner of Our Imaginal World, an organization that provides individual and group therapy, arts-based supervision, post graduate education, community health consultation for agencies, as well as commissioned art installations. She has been an educator in the Art Therapy, Expressive Arts, and Counseling fields since 2012, focusing on Cultural Humility, Somatic Awareness, Ethics, Group Dynamics, and Creative Arts Techniques.

Currently, she teaches for the Kint Institute in NYC, a post-graduate creative arts therapy and trauma training in-person program. For a number of years she was the Art Director for Tomorrow’s Women, working with Palestinian and Israeli youth during an international summer camp intensive in New Mexico, and co-created a trauma therapy support network for staff and Alumnae of this program during the most recent outbreak of violence.

Magdalena has received training in Somatic Experiencing, Sandplay, & Psychodrama, and weaves these understandings of group, symbol and body into her classrooms, work with clients, and supervisees. In her workshops, Magdalena tailors content and experience to meet the needs of the community or organization that has contracted her services. Focuses for her community health offerings include: stress reduction, relationship building, conversation strategies, cultural humility practices, equity and inclusion, and rebuilding group norms. She is a doctoral candidate in the Expressive Arts program at the European Graduate School, focusing on exploring the “Aesthetic Responsibility of the facilitator to the group” through various methods of Arts-Based Research.

Magdalena offers arts-based supervision to Art Therapy interns, dependently licensed Art Therapists and Counselors who are pursuing independent licensure in New Mexico, as well as Art Therapists in training around the country who are completing their hours towards the ATR-BC. As a supervisor she focuses on power dynamics, personal bias, culturally sensitive ethical practice, self-care, and self-regulation.

Magdalena is passionate about social justice, responsibility in leadership, and using the creative process to communicate stories and integrate understanding. She has been involved in multiple cross-cultural global art exchanges and plans to continue to collaborate globally.


Join Magdalena for a 2-hour AATA Continuing Education event on August 27, 2024, expanding on her 2023 blog post “Belonging Is Being Seen.” Register here.