BATA 40th Annual Virtual Symposium




Mercedes BallbĂ© ter Maat | College of Psychology | NSU 


Keynote Speaker

Mercedes Ballbe ter Maat, Ph.D., ATR-BC, LPC  

Keynote title:  

Art Therapy Across Borders and Cultures:

A Humanitarian Approach to Healing

Have you ever been interested in spending time overseas providing art therapy services to children and families in need? This presentation shares the experiences of the presenter as she embarked in two volunteer, humanitarian missions. The first one in Lebanon, as a team of art therapists worked with Syrian refugee children and their mothers to assist in improving the quality of their lives. Themes of loss, imprisonment, death, violence, hope, resiliency, cultural and religious norms, strength, and courage emerged. The second one in Peru, where the presenter implemented arts therapeutic activities based on Carey McCarthy’s culturally adapted, school-based program implemented with low-income, impoverished, indigenous children in North America, and Linda Chapman’s Neurodevelopmental Art Therapy (NDAT) trauma treatment model. By participating in this presentation, attendees will be able to recognize protective factors crucial for working with children and families affected by traumatic events, identify cultural considerations when working outside of the United States, and learn about art therapy tasks and directives found effective when working with these populations. Specific art therapy interventions and artwork will be discussed to illustrate how children, mothers, and families narrated their stories through nonverbal creative approaches. Attendees will also engage in a brief art experiential and discussion. 

About Dr. Mercedes ter Maat:

Dr. Mercedes ter Maat, Ph.D., LPC, ATR-BC is a professor in the Department of Counseling at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Psychology in Ft. Lauderdale. Prior to joining NSU she was the director of the school counseling graduate program at the George Washington University, Alexandria, VA campus and an assistant professor at Virginia Tech. She has over 33 years of combined working experience as a counselor educator, mental health counselor, school counselor, and art therapist. Dr. ter Maat participates in local, state, national, and international leadership undertakings in the fields of mental health counseling, school counseling, and art therapy, and has presented and published articles and book chapters on topics related to multicultural counseling, ethics, motivational interviewing, and the use of art in counseling and therapy. She actively participates in humanitarian work, most recently in Peru, Argentina, Swaziland, and Lebanon, and her research interests are in enhancing the quality of life of immigrant, minority families, and refugees in crisis by identifying risk and promoting protective factors through school- and community-based interventions. She is a past-president of the American Art Therapy Association, the European Branch of the American Counseling Association, and the Croatian Art Therapy Association. Dr. ter Maat is a licensed professional counselor and a board-certified/registered art therapist.






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