An introduction to Sandtray

By Vicki Williams-Patterson, MCAT, LPC-AT, ATR-BC, CCSTand Melissa Dilworth, MS, LPC-AT-S, ATR-BC, CCST 

Please R.S.V.P. via email

Sandtray therapy is a clinical modality used by mental health providers to help individuals express and process both their conscious and unconscious experiences.  This often silent activity focuses on the use of a “free and protected” space in which an individual uses concrete miniature items to present a metaphorical or symbolic world.  The healing takes place through the attuned witnessing by a non-judgmental and highly engaged therapist.   This workshop will introduce participants to the founding processes of Margaret Lowenfeld’s “World Technique” and Dora Kalff’s “Sandplay Therapy”.  Participants will have the opportunity to experience the power of personal symbols through activities and will be able to ask questions about the Texas Sandtray Association certification process. 

Learning Objectives:   

Objective 1: Participants will be provided information about  the Texas Sandtray Association and opportunities for mental health providers to become certified in sandtray therapy.

Objective 2:  Participants will understand the key components of sandtray therapy including the “Free and Protected Space” and the importance of an attuned witness to the individual’s personal and symbolic process. 

Objective 3: Participants will have the opportunity to engage in exercises to enhance their understanding of sandtray as a therapeutic modality. 


Vicki Williams-Patterson, MCAT, LPC-AT, ATR-BC has worked as an art therapist since 1983. Her graduate education at Hahnemann University was strongly rooted in developmental psychology and psychodynamic theory, and she has continued with that orientation. Since 1990, she has been conducting seminars on the therapeutic uses of art in the counseling process at local, regional and national conferences.  Since receiving her graduate degree in Art Therapy, she has engaged in advanced professional training in the areas of trauma recovery, Jungian psychology, and Sand Tray Process. In November 2009 she received the American Art Therapy Association’s Annual Award for Clinical Services. From 2013 – 2015, she served as the President of the Texas Mental Health Counselors Association, a division of the Texas Counseling Association. She recently completed the training necessary for becoming a Certified Clinical Sandtray Therapist.

Melissa Dilworth is an LPC-AT-S, ATR-BC and CCST Trainer from San Antonio, Texas.  Melissa’s graduate studies at The College of New Rochelle, was focused primarily on psychodynamic theory but other theories were explored throughout the program. Currently Melissa works at Clarity Child Guidance Center providing outpatient therapy services for children and their families.  She has been an Art Therapist for over 20 years working in a full array of settings with children, teens, adults and families.  Throughout her long career as an art therapist she has been a constant advocate for the art therapy profession and a dedicated, compassionate healer for children and their families. Melissa is also a credentialed as a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and Sandplay Practitioner by Sandplay Therapists of America.





It's Not Easy Being Green - Exploring the Personal & Archetypal Symbol

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

12:00 pm-2:00 pm

2 CEU Credits

LMFT, LPC, Social Work & TEA

Bring your own lunch

Water and Coffee will be provided


The Ecumenical Center
8310 Ewing Halsell Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229

Summary: Green is a color rich in meaning. As springtime begins to re-green our world, lets take a moment to explore the color itself, its origins, its social metaphors, and finally, its personal impact on our lives.



  1.  Participants will become familiar with both the physical qualities of the color green as  well as its wide variety of cultural, metaphorical, and archetypal qualities.
  2.  Participants will experience art tasks designed to enrich their understanding of the color  green.
  3.  Participants will engage in a group art task designed to commemorate this sometimes mundane, but in this case, rejuvenating color.

Get more information

Register Now!





Artvango Shoe Drive

Yadi Puente has started a non profit organization called Artvango. The focus will be on providing different expressive forms of therapy for the San Antonio children in foster care.

She is currently running a shoe drive to fundraise money for the organization. The goal is to collect gently used shoes from closet, your friends, and family (any size, any gender). Her goal is to collect over 1,000 shoes in 50 days, which will be shipped to the less fortunate in Africa. In return Artvango will receive 40-cents per pound of shoes.

Shoes can be dropped off at the SATC Building located at 3463 Magic Drive, suite T8, San Antonio, TX 78229 or contact Yadi to arrange pickup. Deadline to donate is Nov 1st.

Ecumenical Center Open Studio

Open Studio at the Ecumenical Center - Sept 23rd

September 13, 2017

 Art Studio at the Ecumenical Center - Saturday, September 23!
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
FREE Registration at

Open Art Studio is a wonderful opportunity for people of ALL AGES  (6 to 106 years) to use art materials in a playful manner in  a relaxed setting. This creative experience is FREE! All  materials are provided.

Open Art Studio happens every fourth Saturday 10 am to 1 pm (except this December) and is led by Vicki Williams-Patterson, MCAT, ATR-BC, LPC-AT. This month its on September 23! You are welcome to bring your own art materials as well as the materials provided. Prompts to help you start on your own artistic project are provided and there are plenty of folks available to help you.  

Art Therapy Lunch & Learn

Art Therapy Lunch & Learn
Zombie Apocalypse – Understanding the “UnDead” Archetype and Its Importance to Our Culture

The Ecumenical Center, 8310 Ewing Halsell, San Antonio, TX 78229
Event Date: October 10, 2017
Time: Noon to 2 pm
Cost: $25.00

What is it with all these Zombies? It’s not just Hollywood movies – they have their own TV shows, local parades, and handbooks! Every Halloween, at least a few kids put on green make-up, fit a plastic cleaver into their heads, and stumble out their doors to collect candy. What’s going on? In this workshop, we will delve into this persistent and somewhat bizarre message from the collective unconscious. We might as well try to understand them, because they aren’t going away!

Speaker: Vicki Williams-Patterson, MCAT, LPC-AT, ATR-BC

Note: This is a bring-your-own brown bag lunch. The Center will provide drinks.

Event Registration:

CEU's Available: This workshop is approved for 2 continuing education units for LPC, LMFT, Social Workers, Educators, Clergy

San Antonio Den Meeting - RESCHEDULED for Sept 10

The San Antonio Den will be meeting on Sept 10, from 1-4pm at Salina Shelton's home . Please RSVP to Salina at (210) 274-6863 or for the address. 

We will discuss information shared at the STATA meeting, plan for the holiday part, hear Gabriela Gamez present about studio e, and make art for the STATA show.

San Antonio Den Mtg - June 25th

Please join the San Antonio Den at Salina's home, Sunday June 25th 1-4pm for a den meeting and workshop. Open to all interested persons.

Our guest speaker, Laura Marcel Cardona Berrio, will present "The Clown: A trip around your emotions". She will be sharing interactions, expressions, and games that the clown brings to hospital patients to encourage and support the healing process. 

Salina Shelton will also facilitate an Artist Trading Card workshop, please see attached handout. Plenty of supplies (paint, collage, stamps) will be available, but you are welcome to bring any you would like to work with. 

Snacks and refreshments provided. Hope you can come. Please RSVP so there will be materials available for all.

Salina Shelton, MA, LPC
Office: 210-617-3185

TR Community Garden Ribbon Cutting Health & Wellness Fair

Roosevelt High School will be hosting the TR Community Garden Ribbon Cutting Health & Wellness Fair on May 18 from 6-8 pm.

TR Community Garden Home Page

We will have 3 tables at this event. Two will offer art interventions: breathing branches (yarn wrapped branches) and nature rubbings. A third table will offer literature, cards, and info about art therapy. 

We have the opportunity to fundraise at this event. We will be selling painted/non painted sugar skulls and painted rocks with a quote on them. 

We need  volunteers and supplies for this event. We are coordinating on a list for supplies at this time. More info to come later today. 

Arrival time & Parking: Please plan to arrive at Roosevelt High School after 5 pm.  School lets out at 4:15 and we need time to clear the parent pick up lane as well as school busses.  Parking will be available in the main parking lot at the front of the school (corner Walzem & Raybon).  See attached map

Contact Salina Shelton to volunteer:

San Antonio Den Meeting - April 30th

Join the San Antonio Den for the next meeting on Sunday, April 30th, 1:00-4:00pm at Salina Shelton's home.

Some topics on the agenda:

  • $100 den funds, how would we like to use these funds (and future funds)?
  • Review recent community events, including any feedback, and discuss upcoming opportunities
  • fundraising opportunities
  • sign up for artist in residence at open studio events

Martha Nieto Friend will share her experience using the "Ojo de Dios" in therapy with clients. Participants will learn about the cultural history behind the mandala like creations and engage in creating their own. This event does not offer CEUs.

Email Salina to RSVP and get directions:

Annual STATA Meeting (with CEU)

Join us the for Annual STATA Membership Meeting

CEU Presentation: Trauma & the Brain - Using the Senses & Art to Support Healing

Feb 26, 2017

St. Edward's University, Doyle Hall, Room 132
3001 S. Congress Ave, 78704
(Directions at the bottom of the email)

Register to attend:

We will share updates from the past year, discuss plans for 2017, and have a CEU presentation with art-making. 

CEU - Trauma and the Brain: Using the Senses and Art to Support Healing
Presenters - Bess Green, LPC, ATS, ATR-BC and Deann Acton, LMFT, ATR-BC

Learning objectives:
1. Participants will demonstrate basic understanding of trauma's effects on the brain and ways to help clients be "brain savvy."
2. Participants will learn strategies to help clients buy in to brain-based, trauma-informed therapy and coping skills.
3. Participants will learn strategies for increasing the sensory impact of their current art therapy or counseling practice.

Recent research is providing new insights to the ways that trauma, both big and little t, effect the brain. Growing understanding of the brain’s plasticity throughout the lifespan provides hope for clients and a challenge for clinicians. Working with cognition alone has provided limited benefits for many of our clients. They tell us, “Yeah, I knew what to do” or “I knew that wasn’t going to work but…” Cognitive strategies and strategies using the neo-cortex simply aren’t “on-line” during times of high stress and overwhelm. The research suggests that therapists need to develop new ways of supporting shift in the body, the kinesthetic and sensory experience of living. How can we as therapists incorporate these understandings into our work with clients? How can we educate our clients in ways that help build trust, reduce shame and develop empowerment in the healing relationship? These are some of the issues we will grapple with in the presentation and experiential to follow.


Bess Green is a Board Certified Registered Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice.  She has worked with children and families who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse for more than ten years in a community setting. She also has experience working with adults and children in an acute hospital setting.

Having majored in studio art as an undergraduate, Ms. Green was familiar with the power of art to explore the richness and complexity of emotional life and the power to create a bridge between artist and viewer.  Art Therapy training strengthened her conviction that art helped clients who had experienced trauma find their voice and reconnect with the body safely. Further research into working with relational and solution focused counseling models and Somatic Experiencing led to an approach that was supportive but also effective given a brief treatment frame.

Deann Acton is a Board Certified Registered Art Therapist and Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in Private Practice.  In the past eighteen years, She has amassed a wealth of experience working with women and children in domestic violence shelters, running mandated violence intervention programs for men, working in prisons and juvenile detention centers as well as drug and alcohol recovery programs and mental hospitals.   For twelve years, she worked in the San Mateo County School Based Mental Health program outside of San FranciscoCalifornia.  In that program, she was able to do training with Bruce Perry and his Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics and also received extensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. 

Ms. Acton has a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art from the University of Texas.  She has used art through out her own life as a means of healing.  In 2012, when she was diagnosed with cancer, Ms. Acton used art and DBT coping strategies to weather the illness and treatment necessary to defeat it.   She is currently in full remission, but cancer left her with an even deeper understanding of the power of art to move through seemingly insurmountable challenges.  


We will meet in Doyle Hall, building number 12 on the map linked here:

Enter from Congress Ave and proceed onto campus from the main entrance. Turn left at first stop sign. You will pass a large parking lot on the left and the Arts building on right. Park in the lot on the left, across from Doyle Hall. You can enter the building through the courtyard or the front.

Art Therapy Lunch & Learn at The Ecumenical Center

2017 Art Therapy Lunch & Learn

Ecumenical Center (@ South Texas Medical Center)
8310 Ewing Halsell Drive

San Antonio, TX 78229

**Visit for more info and registration**

February 14 - Noon to 2:00 - $25
Vicki Williams-Patterson LPC-AT
Building Community & Making Connections through Art Therapy
Healing takes place best in the context of a relationship. Whether it's within one's self, one on one, a small group, a neighborhood, a nation, or the world; when people have a sense of connection with others, they are empower to work together for positive change. Art-making can be a powerful process for facilitating connections in both small & very large communities. In this workshop, you will learn several art techniques that will enrich relationships through a stronger sense of connection & set the stage for energetic healthy change!

April 11 - Noon to 2:00 - $25
Salina Shelton LPC
Renewal, Growth & Transformation
Life moves us through many cycles, transitioning from one stage of growth to another. This experiential workshop will explore psychological growth as a cycle. Different challenges at various stages and questions encountered at each stage will also be explored.

June 13 - 10:00 to 4:00 - $60
Vicki Williams-Patterson LPC-AT
Aggression in Our Schools - Art-making Tasks for Transforming a Destructive Force into Energy for Positive Change
Aggressive lashing out, whether it's in cyber space or in the school hallways, is a destructive force that can destroy the learning environment. Art-making can provide a means for anger & violence to be expressed, shared, and transformed into positive energy for change. In this extended workshop, we will explore art-making experiences that can help transform a hostile environment into an energetic atmosphere for creative change.

August 8 - Noon to 2:00 - $25
Salina Shelton LPC
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
This experiential workshop will introduce participants to the research-supported orientation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), including the 6 core processes of ACT. Participants will explore assessments and applications including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and OCD.

October 10 - Noon to 2:00 - $25
Vicki Williams-Patterson LPC-AT
Zombie Apocalypse - Understanding the "UnDead" Archetype and Its Importance to Our CultureWhat is it with all these Zombies? It's not just Hollywood movies - they have their own TV shows, local parades, and handbooks! Every Halloween, at least a few kids put on green make-up, fit a plastic cleaver into their heads, and stumble out their doors to collect candy. What's going on? In this workshop, we will delve into this persistent and somewhat bizarre message from the collective unconscious. We might as well try to understand them, because they aren't going away!

December 12 - Noon to 2:00 - $25
Salina Shelton LPC
Therapy & Spirituality? Getting Comfortable Discussing Questions of Faith
Our clients come to us with many questions. Sometimes the struggles they face may lead them to question their faith, or the safe and supportive environment you create may embolden your clients to explore their own spiritual journey. This workshop will explore the spiritual competencies endorsed by the American Counseling Association (ACA) and their real-world application.

San Antonio December CEU and Den Meeting - Holidays As a Time For Healing

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11TH, 3:00 TO 6:00 PM. 


Attendees will be introduced to the concept that the ability to connect in a relational context is vital to mental health.  Become acquainted with the story of the Three Magi and how it can be used as a therapeutic metaphor.  Understand the archetypal elements and their symbolic meaning. An expressive art task will put our knowledge to a painted image to swap with one another. Bring acrylic paints and brushes if you have them. Small canvases provided. 

This last San Antonio Den event of the year will be presented by Vicki Williams-Patterson, MCAT, LPC, ATR-BC and hosted by incoming Den Chair, Salina Shelton.  Refreshments provided by outgoing Den Chair, Deb Murphy. Free 1.5 CEU's as our gift to you.

Be prepared to learn, socialize with colleagues and reflect on our amazing year of professional development and connections.

Salina's home address is: 8223 Galespoint, San Antonio, 78250. Email:

RSVP Deb Murphy at or text 210-889-4126

Annual STATA Art Show - Sign up now!

All STATA members are invited to submit art for our annual art show.

This year's theme is the Pablo Picasso quote: "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

StrangeBrew Coffee Shop
Austin, TX
Oct 1 - Nov 30
Reception: Sunday, Nov. 6th, 3-5PM

Artwork can any size or medium (but must be 2D and hangable) and should respond to the quote in some way. You can submit up to 3 pieces to hang and may use new or previously completed art. Please consider writing a brief artist's statement about your piece. You may include a price to sell your piece or mark it as not for sale.

Sign up by Sept. 18th on our Google spreadhseet:

Art hanging will be Oct 1st at 10PM. All help is appreciated! If you cannot drop off your art that night, please contact Karen at (North Austin) or Wanda at (South Austin) to arrange drop off in advance.

Pick up artwork from StrangeBrew at your convenience Nov 27-30th.

STATA Annual Meeting 2016

Please join us for the STATA Annual Meeting!

“Envision the Possibilities” 

Sunday, March 6th, 2016
Yarborough Branch Public Library
2200 Hancock Dr., Austin, TX, 78756

Connect with your colleagues, share your ideas & make art!  At our next meeting, you can choose which break-out group to participate in for the day. Within each group, participants are encouraged to offer creative ideas, planning suggestions and even volunteer for future events! 

  • Annual STATA art show: explore ways to advertise the show, promote/educate the public about Art Therapy, concept/theme, opportunities to volunteer
  • Outreach: Make "Join STATA" cards! The BOD will collect cards & send to STATA members. This group is perfect for participants who would like to make art, chat & brainstorm. What are ways STATA can network/connect with other associations, inform the public about STATA, ways members can utilize social media?  
  • Skill share: develop ideas, opportunities for STATA members to share their skills and earn CEU’s! Explore format of the concept/event, content (careers, experiential, research?). Recruit STATA members as presenters!
  • Retreat/conference: What is STATA interested in? Separate events? Combo? Could we have a service-learning project at the retreat/conference?  

Hope you can join us to “Envision the Possibilities” for STATA!

RSVP by replying to this email or on the STATA Facebook page invitation: