Our core faculty are regular conference and keynote speakers who publish, teach, consult, and provide training throughout the United States and abroad. Together, we have decades of experience pioneering arts based practices with survivors of domestic and sexual violence, war, homicide, developmental and attachment trauma, and child abuse.
Ani Buk, MFA, MA, ATR-BC, LP, LCAT is a licensed art therapist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Manhattan, where she works with children, adolescents, adults and couples. She is a graduate of the MFA program of the Yale School of Art; the Graduate Art Therapy Program of New York University, where she has been on the faculty since 1993; The Institute for Child, Adolescent and Family Studies; and the Psychoanalytic Training Institute of the Contemporary Freudian Society, where she is on the Permanent Faculty and a Training and Supervising Analyst. A nationally recognized trauma specialist with 30 years of clinical experience, Ani’s work and recommendations have been featured in newspapers and periodicals such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, The Chicago Tribune, and Scholastic News. She is the Clinical Advisor to Lalela, a non-profit that provides educational arts for at-risk youth in Africa and the US.
Amber Elizabeth Gray, Ph.D., MPH, MA, BC-DMT, LPCC, NCC, is an activist, dancer, and human rights psychotherapist. She has worked internationally since the mid-1980s, and clinically with survivors of human rights abuses such as war, terrorism, torture, and organized violence for 22 years. She is considered a pioneer in the use of Dance Movement Therapy, Somatic Psychology and Continuum for survivors of trauma, especially survivors of interpersonal trauma. She has managed and directed torture treatment and refugee mental health programs in the US and Haiti, and has traveled to over 50 countries to teach, consult, or respond to disaster and complex humanitarian emergencies. She is an expert in staff care systems for humanitarian responders, is the 2010 recipient of the ADTA Outstanding Achievement Award, and has been nominated twice for The Barbara Chester Human Rights Award. She is a peer nominated member of The Tulane University Traumatology Institute’s torture trauma expert panel. She developed and teaches Restorative Movement Psychotherapy, and Polyvagal-informed Soma-Movement Therapies (Dance Movement Therapy, Somatic Psychotherapy, Yoga and Continuum) through collaborations with Dr. Stephen Porges, and the wisdom of whole body, moving intelligence. Her work synthesizes science and spirit, and she is a frequent student of Indigenous medicine teachers and traditions. She is a frequent publisher and keynote speaker on her many areas of expertise. Her non-profit organization, Trauma Resources International, promotes the right to embody, human and animal rights, and a social justice, humanitarian approach to global well-being.
Craig Haen, Ph.D., RDT, CGP, LCAT, FAGPA has been working clinically with people impacted by interpersonal, developmental, and familial trauma for over 20 years. He provides acute crisis intervention following acts of violence and atrocity, trains crisis teams and schools in responding to mass trauma events, and has consulted with organizations on the implementation of trauma-informed care. He has a private practice in White Plains, New York where he treats children, adolescents, adults, and families. Dr. Haen is a graduate adjunct faculty member at New York University and Lesley University. He has published widely on both clinical practice and research, and is editor of four books, including Creative Arts-Based Group Therapy with Adolescents: Theory and Practice with Nancy Boyd Webb and Handbook of Child and Adolescent Group Therapy with Seth Aronson. He serves on the Editorial Boards of The International Journal of Group Psychotherapy and The Arts in Psychotherapy, where he has guest edited two Special Issues on the arts and trauma treatment. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, where he co-chairs the Community Outreach Task Force, a group that provides both frontline and secondary support in response to trauma events in diverse communities.
Brian Harris, PhD, MT-BC, LCAT is in private practice as a music psychotherapist in NYC. He holds a PhD in Expressive Therapies and is an adjunct faculty member at New York University and SUNY New Paltz. Brian is the founding director of the company Creative Arts Psychotherapy, and is the past head of the Pavarotti Music Center’s music therapy department in Mostar, Bosnia where his work focused on children with post-war traumas. Brian has published and presented nationally and internationally and has worked for 20 years with a diverse range of populations including, LGBT clients, trauma, psychiatric, Autism, and Alzheimer’s.
Heidi Landis, LCAT, RDT/BCT, TEP, CGP is a drama therapist and psychodramatist specializing in working with refugees and immigrant populations and children and adults who have experienced trauma. Heidi is currently the Community Coordinator of Mental Health at Claremont International High school. In addition, she is in private practice in New York City where she sees clients and facilitates trainings nationally and internationally. Most recently, she was the Associate Executive Director of clinical and training program at Creative Alternatives of New York (CANY) where she ran Trauma-Informed Drama Therapy groups with many different populations, including refugee children and adults, adults and youth on the autistic spectrum and youth in residential programs and therapeutic schools. Heidi is an adjunct professor at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, Concordia University in Montreal, Yeshiva University and New York University in New York City and has published about her work in multiple books and journals.
Heidi served two terms as the Education Chair for the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) and two terms on the executive council of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama (ASGPP) . She is the NADTA’s recipient of the 2015 Teaching Excellence Award and a Fellow of the ASGPP.
Kat Lee, MA, RDT, CCLS is a drama therapist with additional training in working with medically compromised children and their families. She treats children, adolescents and adults at the Post Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven, CT, where she also assistant directs a trauma-centered, public health program for adolescents in the school system. She has completed postgraduate training with Kint and currently studies at the Institute for Developmental Transformations in NYC. Alongside Dr. Haen, she has published her work on integrating drama therapy with attachment theory in the Drama Therapy Review.
Shanee Stepakoff, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and registered poetry therapist, and holds a MFA in creative writing. She was the psychologist for the UN-backed war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone for over two years. She also spent two years as psychologist/trainer for the Center for Victims of Torture, first in Guinea and later in Jordan. Additionally she has provided training and consultation to trauma treatment programs in Liberia, Cambodia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, as well as in a variety of settings in the United States. Dr. Stepakoff is the author or co-author of nearly two dozen scholarly articles and book chapters, and has won several professional and literary honors. Dr. Stepakoff is a graduate of the two-year training program in Biblio/Poetry Therapy at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC, is credentialed as a mentor/supervisor by the National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy, has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Poetry Therapy, and was the 2019 recipient of NAPT’s Outstanding Education Award for leadership in advanced training programs and academic graduate studies in poetry therapy. She is an Adjunct Professor in the graduate program in expressive arts therapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and maintains a private practice in western Maine.
Nancy S. Scherlong, LCSW, PTR, CJT, M/S, is a psychotherapist, writer and teacher and has been practicing in the field of expressive arts since the 1990’s. She has a long history in the domain of crisis services and trauma-informed intervention and has provided direct care, consultation and training to area schools, businesses and clinics in the aftermath of sensitive and traumatic events. She is the current co-president of the International Federation for Biblio-Poetry Therapy, past government affairs chair to the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapy Associations for over 10 years and currently serves as adjunct faculty for Adelphi and Columbia Universities in their Master of Social Work programs as both a clinical practice professor and a practicum supervisor. She is part of the core faculty for the Therapeutic Writing Institute, a global on-line school and community for writers and journal therapists. Nancy specializes in trauma informed approaches with individuals, couples and groups and is additionally trained in the methods of EMDR, IFS, Somatic Experiencing and psychodrama, all of which she integrates into her practice interventions. She is a two-time recipient of the National Association for Poetry Therapy’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005 and 2017 and was named Field Educator of the Year by the Hudson Valley branch of Adelphi University. She is the founder and owner of Change Your Narrative LCSW PLLC, based in NY and CT, through which she offers psychotherapy services, coaching, continuing education workshops, training groups and outreach education in integrating expressive writing with trauma work.