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Raquel Stephenson

Associate Professor/Art Therapy Coordinator

617.349.8246 x.8246
faculty raquel stephenson

Dr. Raquel Stephenson is a board-certified, registered art therapist (ATR-BC) and a licensed creative arts therapist (LCAT). She joined Lesley in 2013 as a core faculty member of the Department of Graduate Expressive Therapies, in the Art Therapy Program. 
 
Prior to joining Lesley, Raquel was a 2010/2011 Fulbright Scholar to Estonia, where she taught in the Department of Applied Creativity at Tallinn University and continues to teach as a visiting guest lecturer. Raquel was on the faculty of the graduate art therapy programs New York University and the School of Visual Arts, and frequently is a visiting instructor at other institutions worldwide.   
 
Committed to improving the lives of older adults through the arts, Dr. Stephenson’s work has focused on a wide spectrum of older populations. She was co-founder and teaching artist for the Teaching Artist, Creative Approaches to Healthy Aging program, funded by two National Endowment for the Arts ArtWorks Grants, and founder, clinical supervisor, and program director of New York University’s Creative Aging Therapeutic Services. Raquel consults with emerging clinical art therapy programs worldwide and designed and implemented the first creative arts therapy program for older adults with dementia in Estonia.  

Raquel serves on the National Advisory Council and Program Advisory Committee of Arts for the Aging in Rockville, MD, and the Advisory Council of the Art Therapy Project in New York City. She also serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Creativity and Human Development.  

She is a Faculty Fellow of the Institute for Arts and Health here at Lesley University, and a member of the UNESCO-UNITWIN Chair on Life Design, Decent Work, and Sustainable Development. 

Raquel loves to be outdoors in any way possible, especially sailing, skiing, whitewater kayaking, hiking, and spending time with her family. While she loves New England, Raquel is an enthusiastic explorer and thrives on a journey anywhere. 

Scholarship

Book 

Stephenson, R.C. (2021). Art therapy and creative aging: Reclaiming elderhood, health and wellbeing. New York: Routledge. 

Book Chapters 

Sajnani, N., Beardall, N., Stephenson, R.C., Estrella, K., Zarate, R., Socha, D., Butler, J. (2019). Navigating the transition to online education in the arts therapies. European Consortium of Arts Therapies Education 2017 Conference Proceedings. 

Stephenson, R.C. (2015). Color my words – How art therapy creates new pathways of communication. In L. Cardoza (Ed) Communication and Aging: Creative Approaches to Improving the Quality of Life. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing, Inc. 

Guest Editor  

Creative Aging in the USA: State of the Field. (2017). International Journal of Creativity and Human Development, 5(1). 

Select Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles 

Stephenson, R.C., & Rüütel, E. (Under review). Person-centered creative arts therapy training for dementia: A psychoeducational experiential approach.  

Stephenson, R.C (2017). Economics and Opportunities of Creative Aging Programs: Can creative arts programs reduce health care costs in the USA? International Journal of Creativity and Human Development, 5(1). 

Stephenson, R.C (2014). Art in aging: How identity as an artist can transcend the challenges of aging. International Journal of Creativity and Human Development 1(3). 

Stephenson, R.C (2013). Promoting wellbeing and gerotranscendence through an art therapy program for older adults. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association 30(4). 

Stephenson, R.C (2006). Promoting self-expression through art therapy. Generations, 3(1). 

Chapin, R. (2004) Promoting intrapersonal and spatial intelligence through art therapy activities. The Older Learner, 12 (1). 

Select Recent Presentations 

“Creative Helix: A Continuum of Expression for Older Adults,” American Art Therapy Conference (online), December 2021 

“Ageism in the Clinical Community and its Impact on Care,” Expressive Therapies Summit, New York, NY (online), November 2020  

“Assessment in Expressive Therapies: Bridging Clinical, Creative, and Cultural Approaches" with Karen Estrella, Nancy Beardall and Rebecca Zarate, European Consortium of Art Therapies Educators Conference, Alcalá de Henares, Spain 2019 

"Assessment in Expressive Therapies: Bridging Clinical, Creative, and Cultural Approaches" with Mitchell Kossak, Karen Estrella, Nancy Beardall and Rebecca Zarate, 2nd International Creative Arts Therapy and Education Summit, Beijing, China, March 2019 

“Empathic Witnessing and Dynamic Interpretation of Artwork”, 2nd International Creative Arts Therapy and Education Summit, Beijing, China, March 2019 

Keynote: “Art and Joy: Reclaiming Elderhood: Reframing late life potential, creativity and the benefits of the arts in health and wellbeing,” 10th annual Arts in Healthcare Conference at Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, September 2018 

“JCHE Creative Aging” American Art Therapy Conference, Albuquerque, NM, November 2017 

“Seeing a Song, Hearing a Painting: Interconnection of Rhythm and Imagery in Music and Art Therapy” with Karen Estrella, Tallinn University, September 2017  

“Online teaching” with Nisha Sajnani, Karen Estrella, Nancy Beardall, Rebecca Zarate and Donna Socha, European Consortium of Arts Therapy Educators Conference, Krakow, Poland, September 2017  

“Dynamically Interpreting Artwork” Ukraine Art Therapy Association Conference, Kyiv Ukraine, February 2017 (via Skype) 

“Art & Joy: Reclaiming Elderhood,” School of Visual Arts Lecture Series, New York, NY, October 2019 “Dynamically Interpreting Artwork” Ukraine Art Therapy Association Conference, Kyiv Ukraine, February 2017 (via Skype) 

“The Arts in Aging: Opportunities and Challenges for Art Therapists” Canadian Art Therapy Conference, Toronto, Canada, October 2016 

 “Aesthetic, Cultural and Historical Moments that Define Us: Developing Understanding Across the Generations” Western Ukrainian Art Therapy Conference, Lviv, Ukraine, September 2016 (Via Skype) 

“Developing Evaluation Tools for Multidisciplinary Creative Aging Programming: The Arts for the Aging, Inc. (AFTA) Model.” With Janine Tursini and Anthony Hyatt. National Center for Creative Aging Leadership Exchange and Conference, Washington, DC, September 2016 

“The Dementia Project of Estonia: Creative Arts Therapy Program Implementation and Outcomes,” with Signe Krikmann. National Center for Creative Aging Leadership Exchange and Conference, Washington, DC, September 2016 

“Multi-Media Arts Project at the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly,” with Gene Diaz and Donna Newman-Bluestein. National Center for Creative Aging Leadership Exchange and Conference, Washington, DC, September 2016 

“Back In My Day”: Developing Cultural Competency Across the Generations,” National Center for Creative Aging Leadership Exchange and Conference, Washington, DC, September 2016 

“Arts in Aging: How Do We Measure Health and Wellbeing?” Tallinn University, May 2016 

“Creative Approaches to Healthy Aging,” with Vivien Marcow-Speiser and Gene Diaz. Lesley University Institute of Arts and Health Annual Conference, Cambridge, MA April 2016 

“Back In My Day”: Developing Cultural Competency Across the Generation” Workshop, Ukraine Art Therapy Association Conference, Kyiv Ukraine, February 2016 (via Skype) 

Education

PhD, New York University
MA, New York University
BFA, University of Michigan.

Board Certified Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC)
Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT)

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