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Julie Norton

Julie Norton (she/her/hers) is a caucasian, cisgender Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Person-Centered Expressive Arts Therapist. She lives in California, USA and has a tele-health practice online. She supports adults and children facing a variety of issues including grief and loss, chronic illness, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress/growth. She has broad experience assisting youth and couples. Her strengths-based approach to psychotherapy is influenced by interpersonal neurobiology, humanistic and attachment theory, EMDR, and somatic and mindfulness-based theories, as well as her personal experience through many years as a person-centered expressive artist.

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Bridget Steed

Bridget Steed is a Licensed Mental Heath Counselor, certified Person-Centered Expressive Arts Therapist, and painter living in the Pacific Northwest. She is especially drawn to working with vulnerable populations, particularly people with disabilities, and uses visual art, music, dance, song, drama, and writing with her clients to help foster creative expression, connection, purpose, and self-esteem. Bridget sits on the Board of Directors of IEATA, the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, and is co-chair of the Student and New Professionals Committee. She launched her passion project, Precious Cargo Expressive Arts Therapy, in 2019 while living in Ashland, Oregon and recently relocated to Bellingham, Washington to work as an Art Therapist for the Nooksack Indian Tribe. Bridget believes that creative expression is one of the most beautiful ways to heal the mind, body, and spirit and allow oneself to be seen in the world.

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Reji Mathew, Ph.D., LCSW

Expressive arts are central to my worldview, work, life, and social activism. Over the past 15 years, I have cultivated a varied work life. I am an integrative, neuroscience-informed, social work psychotherapist; a narrative freelance journalist; a digital artist; and an expressive arts advocate.

 

As a freelance narrative journalist (ASJA member), I work on a wide range of human-interest issues that focus on health recovery, the arts, and resiliency. Understanding place and context are central values in my writing. My storytelling is informed by my education in academia, mental health, social work, and community advocacy. 

 

I have written for PBS: Next Avenue, Coping with Cancer Magazine, the United Brain Association, Post-Polio Health International. 

In my counseling work, my primary worldview is a bio-psycho-social narratology (narrative therapy) lens, inspired by my background in narrative journalism. It is crucial to me to understand people in the context of their environment in real time (cultural time). My narrative lens is intersectional with a commitment to understanding the complex identities we hold along class, culture, location, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and accessibility. 

 

My graduate education at New York University in social work, cultural studies, and community health shaped my therapeutic framework. I specialize in evidence-based treatment approaches; I both practice and teach cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), mindfulness, positive psychology (PP), resiliency, and mind-body wellness.

 

As a street academic, I present in settings ranging from non-profits to hospital settings, primarily speaking on the topic of providing mental health care with culturally affirming attunement.

 

For my arts-based work, I am an intermodal artist and an expressive arts advocate. I am passionate about expressive languages—movement, visual arts, drama, writing, and music. I am always on the lookout for the narrative thread of how artistic skills enable us to reimagine our lives when facing challenges. My arts specialization explores the use of expressive arts as multi-sensory processing tools for problem solving, self-expansion, and personal growth.

 

My clinical work will evolve into a new chapter in the next season of my journey. I am currently completing my certification at the Center for Creative Arts Therapy in Chicago to become a registered expressive arts therapist (REAT). My goal is to teach the benefits of cultivating inner artistry as a direct problem-solving tool to bring to life's challenges, which is how I live my daily life.

 

My current arts practice includes arts advocacy and art creating. I am on the advisory board for the BRIDGES, the Rockland Center for Independent Living, and the Rockland Music Conservatory. I am also a member of Anti-Racists Art Teachers. For art-creating, I explore themes of recovery, unfolding and discovery through words, imagery, and color in digital art mediums.

 ABOUT THE EXPRESSIVE ARTS AND RECOVERY TEAM