Workshop Leaders and Topics

We are privileged to welcome workshop leaders from Latvia, Romania, Spain, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Each one brings their own unique experience, passion and perspective.

Art Therapy

‘Inviting Compassion’ Through Art Therapy and Mindfulness

How can we offer compassion and care to ourselves? This is a creative and explorative workshop integrating therapeutic art making with guided mindfulness meditation, open to all levels of experience.

The session will develop your understanding of mindfulness, compassion and self-compassion. During the time of environmental and economic challenges, the war in Ukraine, and many other individual and collective challenges) the practices of mindfulness and compassion have the potential to support our own personal wellbeing, and the ways in which you can meet others who are currently facing considerable life challenges.

From the basis of self-care and kindness we may find new ways to be able to meet and respond to the collective challenges we are experiencing.


  • Deepen your understanding of mindfulness, compassion and self-compassion
  • Understand some of the potential barriers to self-compassion
  • Find out about the differences between compassion, empathy and empathetic distress
  • Support how we bear witness to another’s distress
  • Learn about ‘compassionate presence’

All levels of experience with mindfulness and/or art making are welcome to attend.

About Nicky

Nicky has been integrating art therapy and mindfulness since 2014. She qualified as an art therapist in 2008 and a mindfulness teacher 2014, and her passion is bringing the two modalities together. The core values embedded in her approach include inviting kindness and care, encouragement of non-judgemental responses, patience in allowing change to occur, and appreciation and recognition of how we are in the present moment.

Nicky works face-to-face in East Sussex and London (and online). She sees clients individually and offers a weekly online art therapy and mindfulness group. She is a supervisor and trainer, and offers CPD training with organisations which include: London Art Therapy Centre, British Association of Art Therapists and Hertfordshire University. She has presented at conferences internationally. She has previously worked within the UK National Health Service and the voluntary sector.

Dace will offer three different workshops:

Art Speaks

In this experiential workshop, participants will have the opportunity to take their time in observing masterpieces of art, their lines and colors, imagining the posture and movements of images, sensing participants’ bodies and feelings of emotions, creating art focusing on colors, and drawing authentic lines and images. This is a part of a larger approach of exploring colors and images in art therapy sessions and is used in art therapy groups and with individual clients looking for self-exploration, development, awareness, self-esteem, and creative expression.

Colors Speak

This workshop presents an approach based on research and experience gained while exploring colors in my art therapy practice over 15 years. The approach demonstrates how colors speak without speaking and how the non-verbal medium of images in art therapy involves all the senses, intuition, feelings and emotions, as well as the body, mind, soul and spirit to help on the path towards healing and wholeness.

Speaking Clay

This experimental workshop will focus on the senses, quieting the mind, and letting go of anything not needed, following the movements of the hands, and creating a clay image without thinking. Participants will have the oppotunity to explore inner and outer space, sharing experiences in pairs through aesthetic response and reflection.

About Dace

Dace has a PhD in Art Education and a Master degree in Art therapy. She is certified as an art therapist, sand play therapist and supervisor, and is qualified to teach art therapy. She is also an art teacher, mentor, and lecturer.

She has practiced art therapy for 15 years in private practice and different organizations including the Psychiatry Ward at Riga Children’s Hospital, Rehabilitation Ward at Sigulda Hospital, and non-governmental organizations for people with special needs. She offers group and individual art therapy for children and adults. Her main fields of work in art therapy are psychosomatic, mental disorders, emotional difficulties, distress, anxiety management, and personal growth. She offers workshops for adults who would like to explore themselves for self-development and stress management. She has given lectures and workshops and presented reports and scientific findings about art education and art therapy in several countries and has published around 39 publications in art education and art therapy, the most important of which are:

Visnola D. et al. Effects of art therapy on stress and anxiety of employees. In: Proceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences. Rīga: The Latvian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 64, Nr.1/2, 2010, 85-91.

Visnola, D. The Role of Art in the Exploration of Personality as Wholeness. In: Education for science and practice. Rīga: LU, 2018, 73-96.

Dance Movement Therapy

Draw from the Well of Strength

In this dance movement therapy workshop I will invite you to move, and to stop – to experience the moment, and yourself. We will look for different words and moods through movement to help us look into the well from which we can draw the necessary resources and renew ourselves. There will be opportunities to experience the joy of movement, creative self-discovery and expression, as well as interaction with others, to ulnock creativity and strength to realise your goals.

About Ieva

Ieva is a dance and movement therapist and psychotherapy specialist in the field of Psycho-Organic Analysis. She is co-author of the book “Art therapy” (2011) and works with adults in groups at the Eating Disorders Resource Center and individually in private practice.

The Music of the Body

This workshop will offer a lively, interactive overview of ways we might approach our clients, using aspects of dance, to afford them some insight into the unconscious process, features of which are not always available from a purely verbal perspective.

Please come with  comfortable clothing suitable for moving freely and having fun. Serious fun!

About Jeanette

Jeanette trained at the Royal Ballet School, London. She danced professionally in Europe and the UK before pioneering her work with dance in the UK National Health Service. (NHS) In 1972 she created the first post as a Dance Movement Therapist within the UK National Health Service and continued to develop the profession within the health service over a 38-year career.

She was a member of the first Executive Council at the inception of ADMP UK in 1982 and has twice chaired the Association.

Jeannette teaches and lectures nationally and internationally and is currently a core tutor on the DMT Masters Course, Codarts, Rotterdam. She is visiting lecturer for Masters’ Courses in Barcelona, Warsaw, Zagreb, Beijing and Shanghai. Jeannette teaches in Lisbon at Psinove Psychotherapy Clinic. She teaches for Apollo Education in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou and for the Beijing Dance Academy and Beijing University. She has published several book chapters and peer reviewed articles and continues to maintain a private therapy, supervision and consultancy practice. She is a regular contributor to national and international conferences. Jeannette is the ADMP UK deputy delegate to the European Association for Dance Movement Therapy and a Senior Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Jeannette maintains strong links with the dance profession and is a Life Member of the Royal Academy of Dance and a Practical Teaching Supervisor on its teaching courses.

She is a registered member of th UK Council for Psychotherapy.

Jeannette is available for clinical supervision, personal therapy, course consultancy in London, Exeter and Rotterdam. Email for initial free consultation.

Drama Therapy

Anna will offer two different workshops:

Four Elements

Within the framework of this method (by H. Waunderberg) specific personality traits are considered and replaced by four natural elements – Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Each of the personality traits helps or, conversely, interferes, in certain life situations, in solving particular difficulties. The method of the four basic elements is to creatively strive for balance and look at the patterns of one’s behaviour from a different perpective.

Fields and “Remote Controls” of Emotions

This workshop offers the opportunity to experience creative ways to:

  • recognize your emotions
  • notice the relationship between emotions and thoughts
  • adequately express your emotions
  • manage your emotions

About Anna

Anna is a dramatherapist, supervisor, actress and lecturer. She has an Master degree in Health Care (Arts therapist with Dramatherapy specialization) from Riga Stradins University, and is a certified dramatherapist registered with the Latvian Ministry of Health. She is also a certified supervisor.

She is a lecturer in  the Arts Therapy programme at Riga Stradiņš University and also works in private practice. She has worked at the Gintermuiza Mental Health Care Hospital in psychiatric care and the Riga Eastern University Hosptial in HIV/AIDS rehabilitation.

She has conducted dramatherapy workshops in Greece, Germany and Great Britain.

She holds a BA in Theatre Studies and still works as a freelance actress.

Journeying Through an Imagined World

An experiential dramatherapy workshop inviting participants to step into the liminal space, where the possibilities are endless. With influence from their favourite stories, group members will have the chance to connect to their favourite characters and imagined worlds, unlocking new perspective and greater understanding.

Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing as the workshop will include moving around the space and the potential for working on the floor.

About Freya

Freya qualified with an MA in dramatherapy, in 2021. For the past 18 months, following a year placement, she has been working full time in the National Health Service (NHS), in acute mental health inpatient settings, working with older adults. Prior to her MA she ran her own business for 6 years, using drama and theatre based workshops, with a variety of populations, including schools, prisons and within corporate settings, to develop and grow wellbeing. Since her BA Hons undergraduate degree in Drama and Theatre studies, she has been passionate about how the arts, in particular drama, can be used to help people. She says she feels unbelievably lucky to be doing this work and is proud to ‘bang the drum’ for the development and increased awareness of dramatherapy.

Music Therapy

Experiencing Latin American Music

This experiential workshop aims to provide experiences of Latin American music from some of the leading musical genres of this region. Participants will be able to perform samba, merengue, bossa nova, chamamé, salsa, and circle dances from Brazil. The idea is to live the Latin American music experience and learn resources to apply in music therapy sessions. The main genres to be experienced will be samba, merengue, bossa nova, chamamé, salsa, and circle dances from Brazil. This workshop is part of the teaching approach used in the Bachelor and Master of Music Therapy at Aalborg University (Denmark), especially in the improvisation and clinical improvisation courses, to provide different musical experiences in music therapy from other ways of thinking about the use of music in music therapy.

About Gustavo

Gustavo Schulz Gattino, PhD, is a music therapist and Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Psychology at Aalborg University (Denmark). He is a teacher of the Bachelor, Master and PhD music therapy programs at the same university. He is accredited as a music therapist by the Portuguese Association of Music Therapy (APMT) and the country representative of Denmark in the European Music Therapy Confederation (EMTC). Dr Gattino is the editor of the Portuguese Journal of Music Therapy (RPM). He is a member of the International Music Therapy Assessment Consortium (IMTAC) and also a member of the Publications Commission of the World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT) []

Playing, moving, painting, thinking, feeling – integrating the arts using the Mood Meter

We will use Yale University’s Mood Meter as a focus for engaging in multiple artistic experiences including musical improvisation, painting with our hands (instead of brushes) and moving, followed by reflection on those experiences. We will notice how different activities and media affect our perception of the two elements of the Mood Meter – energy level and sense of pleasantness. We will also consider the things in our daily lives that influence our mood and how the Mood Meter can help us develop a framework for better, more compassionate, understanding of ourselves and others.

The Power of Puppets

In this workshop we will experience the empowering nature of play with puppets. Puppets, as extensions of the self, can help us express feelings and desires that might be inhibited in our “real world” lives, try out new behaviours and explore the transitional space between inner and outer reality, subjective and objective experience. Puppets are also LOTS of fun!

About Katie

Katie has a BA in Primary Education from Exeter University, UK and an MA in Music Therapy from Liepāja University, Latvia. She is also a certified non-directive play therapist with Play Therapy UK/Play Therapy International and has completed the Creative Supervision course at the London Centre for Psychodrama. She currently works in a mainstream school in Latvia with children who have emotional, social and behavioural difficulties. In addition to this, she leads workshops and training for social workers, crisis-centre staff, foster and adoptive parents and many other groups of all ages. She has been the EMTC Country Representative for Latvia since 2017.

Manuel will offer two different workshops:

Your True Inner Sound

This workshop will explore non-verbal communication, deep listening and music-corporal creativity in music and art therapy.

Musical Care Toolbox

This workshop will explore tools for self care to prevent burnout in music and art therapists.

About Manuel

Manuel is a music therapist. He holds a PhD. from the University of Salamanca, Faculty of Medicine. He wrote his doctoral thesis on Burnout Syndrome in music therapists in Spain. He has specialized in Music Therapy and Geriatrics and Neurorehabilitation. He is co-director of Huella Sonora Music Therapy and President of the Spanish Scientific Society of Music Therapy. His activity is focused on clinical intervention, training and research.  He participates as a speaker at numerous national and international conferences. He coordinates the Master of Music Therapy at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Extremadura. He is a trainer specialized in Burnout Syndrome, Geriatrics, disability and business vision in Music Therapy and self experience in Universities, Associations and public-private centers.

Self-care and well being for art-therapists: the connection between unintended therapeutic mistakes and stress

In this self-exploratory workshop, therapists will have the opportunity to address topics that are often verbalized only when it comes to patients and their well-being.

When do unintentional mistakes start to appear at work and in which form?

How important is prevention and self-care in therapists’ lives? Can we nurture our own well-being?

Through examples and reflection exercises we will explore the need of self-care for art-therapists; what can be avoided through a constant awareness of the actions taken for oneself; how the quality of the therapeutic intervention increases when the therapist’s state of mind is balanced and present; and when to insert time for silence and introspection during working hours.

Angelica Postu, a pianist and music therapist, is the founder of the Romanian Music Therapy Association. She works as a music therapist at the Charité University Hospital for Psychiatry in Berlin and is a PhD student at the University of the Arts in Berlin, researching music therapy in Romania from an ethnographic and academic point of view. As an associate lecturer, Angelica teaches Introduction to Music Therapy seminars at the National University of Music in Bucharest and at the “Gheorghe Dima” Music Academy in Cluj.

The main promoter of music therapy in Romania, Angelica Postu was born in Bucharest, studied piano at the National University of Music, and at the same time, she graduated in parallel the  the Faculty of Psychology. After obtaining an MA in piano interpretation at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels she decided to pursue her dream of attending the Music Therapy Master degree at the National University of Arts in Berlin, thus combining her musical passion and interest with psychology and becoming so the first accredited Romanian music therapist. As a practitioner in music therapy, she has gained experience in Spain, Belgium and Germany.

Angelica Postu is co-author in the volume “Receptive Music Therapy”, by Prof. Dr. Ioan Bradu-Iamandescu, 2020 edition, with the chapter “Professional training of music therapists” and the first article in German on Music Therapy in Romania, published  in the magazine of the German Music Therapy Association-Musiktherapeutische Umschau in September 2020.

The president of the Romanian Music Therapy Association, Angelica Postu, constantly works on promoting the theoretical and practical bases and methods of the western school of Music Therapy with a tradition of over 60 years, as a practitioner, trainer and speaker.

In parallel, combining the experience in the field of psychology with that acquired as a pianist on stage, Angelica prepares and advises musicians in the process of personal development, understanding and management of emotions, presentation on stage and career-related fears.

Through conferences and workshops dedicated to the health of musicians and art-therapists Angelica aims to raise awareness about the importance of self-care and well-being, in order to prevent burnout and emotional disorders.

Speaking Clay

This workshop will present Art for Health projects with a community music therapy approach. There will be analysis of video examples and an opportunity to engage in creative music making techniques. There will also be an overview of reflections from participants in the Art for Health projects.

About Loreta

Loreta is a Doctor of Social Sciences and Master of Health Sciences (Music therapy).

About Snieguolė

Snieguolė is a composer and a doctoral student at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Music therapy research models in neonatology and CI-rehabilitation; strategies for project planning in Latvia

For more than 30 years music therapy has been increasingly introduced into both the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and Cochlear-Implant (CI) -rehabilitation. In the first area music therapy as live singing with multimodal stimulation has been used as an intervention designed to enhance treatment, stabilize the clinical state and facilitate growth and development of premature infants. In several RCTs its effectivity has significantly been shown in improved preterm infant’s heart rate, respiratory rate, stress level, increase of oral feeding volume as well as in enhanced bonding development whilst decreasing the stress parents associate with premature infant care. In the second area children with CI under music therapy show a much quicker and more profound development of hearing functions impacting the preverbal perception and language acquisition process. The improved functions of differentiation of volume, pitch and duration as prosodic parts of the language as well as phonetic structures and word-formation has been proofed by several studies as well. This lecture will give an overview on the recent research models used world wide in both areas and offers a specific plan how to implement studies in local centers for neonatology and CI-rehabilitation in Latvia with support of international medical-technic companies.

Music therapy practice in work with people after refugee experience and PTSD

World wide conflicts resulting in displacement of several million people have deeply impacted Europe in the last decade and showed both the limitation of the given structure of health care systems and the urgent need to invest more in music therapy services for the ever increasing number of people effected by PTSD as a result of war experience, violence, escape and expulsion. As European governments found answers in very contradictory policies, the community of European Music therapists have worked convincingly through their congruence in ethics, practice and research ( lecture offers a guideline through the field of PTSD and will introduce examples for  practical application of music therapy linked to the Narrative Exposition Therapy (NET).

About Reiner

Reiner holds a BA in Rehabilitation Science and an MA in Music Therapy. He is a senior fellow at the Technical University of Dortmund in the Department of Rehabilitation Science.