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.

July 28, 2022

What excites (or inspires) you most about your job right now?

“Aya: Bouncing Back from Adversity.” Mixed Media on Canvas. 09/01/2020.

The most exciting and inspiring thing about my job right now is that it doesn’t feel like work!  When you do what you love, and what gives you peace, you can’t go wrong. 

Has working with a particular client group shaped your professional focus or specialty? What have you learned from working with these clients?

For over a decade, I had the pleasure of serving as an art therapist and counselor at a community health center that sought to meet the needs of clients living on the margins of society, namely members of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as those living with HIV/AIDS.  This experience absolutely shaped my professional focus and has enabled me to specialize in providing culturally sensitive care that effectively addresses the needs of my diverse clientele. 

How have race, diversity, and/or social justice impacted your work as an art therapist (or art therapy student)?

As an HBCU alum, who majored in political science and religion, I have always been deeply committed to social justice work. It would be impossible for me to ignore the impact race, diversity, and social justice has had on my clients because they bring these issues into the therapeutic space at every turn.  I work hard to ensure that my clients feel deeply understood and cared for, therefore, keeping up to date on how current events impact their day-to-day lives is key.

What are your hopes for the future of the art therapy profession?

I hope that I will live to see the day when art therapists will no longer have to explain themselves, or the work they do, to other mental health clinicians.

What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing a career in art therapy? Or, is there something you would like to share about your journey thus far as an art therapist?

If I could offer advice to someone pursuing a career in art therapy, it would be to invest in your own mental health and wellness. Hurt people hurt others, and healed people are most equipped to accompany others on their own healing journeys. I am a therapist who sees a therapist, and it is my number one, non-negotiable, self-care practice; I could not do the work I do without it. 

Martina E. Efodzi, ATR-BC, LCPAT, LCPC, LPC

Martina E. Efodzi, M.Div., MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT, LCPC, LPC is a Board-Certified Art Therapist, Licensed Clinical Professional Art Therapist, and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the DC Metropolitan area.  The two-time Howard University graduate, and George Washington University alumna, is an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church currently serving in an appointment beyond the local church as a full-time art therapist and counselor in private practice. She is the Founder and Creative Director for Aya Healing Arts, LLC, where she offers individual art therapy and counseling services for adults of all ages and abilities. Martina has facilitated a countless number of expressive arts retreats, trainings, and workshops for individuals of all ages and abilities with a variety of schools, universities, government agencies, community organizations and churches along the East Coast. She currently serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Art Therapy at The George Washington University and is in the final stages of completing her Doctor of Ministry in Soul Care from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.