May 9, 2019 | Susan Boxer Kappel, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, CGP, Conference Chair


Powerful – Inspirational – Moving


We are pleased to announce that all three of the plenary sessions at the American Art Therapy Association’s 50th Annual Conference to be held October 30 to November 3, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri are now confirmed.  These outstanding sessions are part of the top-notch program that offers more than 220 educational sessions attendees will discover at the AATA conference.  To explore more of our learning options and to register visit the conference website.



Our conference will open with a powerful plenary on Thursday, October 31, at 8:00 a.m. titled Breaking the Chains of Racial Trauma in Therapy, presented by Dr. Angela Roman Clack; Cheryl Doby-Copeland, PhD, ATR-BC, LPC, LMFT, HLM; Jordan Potash, PhD, ATR-BC, LCPAT; Gwendolyn Short, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT; and Lindsey Vance, MA, ATR-BC.  This session will describe how racial hostility, discrimination, and harassment are barriers to trust and effective therapeutic relationships.  The audience will discover how to address racial trauma and race-based stress in therapy, particularly with Black clients.  The presenters will also explore how to acknowledge, assess, and reflect on the effects of racism which requires intentional skills, especially in cross-racial therapeutic encounters.  This session will offer one and a half hours of continuing education.



On Friday, November 1, at 8:00 a.m. five of the AATA’s past Distinguished Clinician Award recipients will present an inspirational plenary titled 50 Years, Five Therapists, Five Cases: The Power of the Work We Do.  The panelists include Paige Asawa, PhD, ATR-BC, LMFT; Deirdre Cogan, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ATCS; Martha Haeseler, MA, ATR-BC; P. Gussie Klorer, PhD, HLM, ATR-BC, LCSW, LCPC; and Gwendolyn Short, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT.  Each presenter will speak about a case in her career that was particularly life changing.  And they will share how this one-case example had significant implications in their careers and in the life of the client involved.  Attendees will have take-home strategies to apply to their own practice, work, and professional development.  This session will offer one and half hours of continuing education.



Our closing plenary will be held on Saturday, November 2, from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. and will feature Dr. Essam Daod.  Dr. Daod will present a moving keynote titled The Journey of the Refugees Mind: Understanding the Psychological Stages of Forced Migration. More than 70 million refugees and asylum seekers are currently forcibly displaced from their homes due to civil war, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and hunger.  This mass forced displacement has created a global human rights crisis and a global public mental health epidemic.  Indeed, tragically, forced displacement and migration, in addition to various post-migration stressors, has been linked to high rates of trauma and stress-related mental health problems.  In addition to the current mental health crisis, an inter-generational crisis of this forced displacement is emerging.  Although rates of trauma- and stress-related mental health problems are elevated among refugees, only a small proportion of this population receives treatment.  Dr. Daod’s keynote will focus on the journey of the refugee’s mind and the psychological stages of forced migration based on our understanding of the global public health and clinical research and intervention development, policy and related decision-making.  This session will offer one hour of continuing education.

Following Dr. Daod’s keynote he will participate in a Master Class, Art Therapy with Refugee and Migrant Populations, moderated by Lynn Kapitan, PhD, ATR-BC, HLM and including Jennifer Beasley, DAT, MA, ATR-BC; Heidi Bardot, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT; and Holly Feen-Calligan, PhD, ATR-BC.  This panel whose work has served the psycho-social needs of displaced people, will bridge global and local perspectives for attendees interested in developing resources in their own communities to address the tremendous need for accessible trauma-informed, culturally-relevant care for refugees and migrants.  This event does require a ticket to be purchased.  The session will be on Saturday from 2:30 to ­­4:00 p.m. and will offer one and a half hours of continuing education.



Visit the conference website to learn more about this exciting program, and to register.




AATA Members receive a discount on conference registration, so if your membership is not current or you would like to become a member visit: or call (888) 290-0878 or (703) 548-5860.