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NewsJul 18, 2016

Partnership with EDI Institute enhances Expressive Therapies training and research

App allows those in therapeutic settings to create, share healing images.

The Expressive Therapies Program at Lesley University has announced a strategic partnership with the EDI Institute to enhance its training of graduate students and to collaborate with faculty on research into the effectiveness of using digital imagery for therapeutic purposes. Expressive Digital Imagery (EDI) was developed by the EDI Institute as an innovative approach for promoting recovery and resilience through imagery created on mobile devices. EDI has been integrated successfully into multiple therapeutic settings, including McLean Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Lesley University is recognized internationally for its expertise in training expressive therapists who use art, dance, drama, expressive arts, or music. Students who graduate from the Lesley University Expressive Therapies Program go on to become counselors working in a variety of settings with those who have experienced trauma or other psychological conditions. This partnership with the EDI Institute will provide Lesley faculty and students the opportunity to conduct training and research on the use of digital imagery to express complex feelings and emotions that people often have difficulty describing in words.

“This partnership allows Lesley to remain on the leading edge of the field by expanding the tools that faculty and their students will use in therapeutic clinical settings. Lesley founded the Expressive Therapies Program as an innovation in the field of clinical mental health counseling. Adopting new techniques is in our DNA,” said Selase Williams, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Lesley.

Michele Forinash, director of the Expressive Therapies Program at Lesley, believes that “The partnership with the EDI Institute will allow a new dimension for expression, which in turn will aid in the healing and recovery of clients with a variety of histories. Our students and faculty are impressed by the promise of the EDI approach to teaching and clinical practice.”

“In over 40 years of clinical and educational experience, I have never found a more creative, accessible, and pioneering intervention for therapeutic advancements,” said Julia Byers, professor emerita at Lesley.

“We are excited to be collaborating with Lesley University, one of the nation’s leaders in the field of expressive therapies,” said Steven Koppel, founder of the EDI Institute. Through this partnership, we look forward to conducting groundbreaking research, and to helping train Lesley graduates on the innovative use of EDI in therapeutic settings.”

In this short video, Koppel discusses the EDI Institute's technology.