Faculty

Pioneers all, their work has influenced most everyone who practices these contemporary creative disciplines. Selected for their inspired and inspiring training skills, each of our six faculty brings many decades of experience in the expressive arts therapies to this event.

Judith A. Rubin, Ph.D., ATR-BC, HLM, began her career as an art teacher, and appeared as the Art Lady on the television series “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood” in the late 1960s. After earning her Ph.D., she completed training in Adult and Child Analysis at the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Institute. A Licensed Psychologist and a Board-Certified Art Therapist, she has worked with people of all ages and conditions. Dr. Rubin is the author of seven books and numerous other publications, and is a faculty member of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center. Past President and Honorary Life Member of the American Art Therapy Association, Judy currently serves as a Director on its Board. She is an award-winning filmmaker, and in 2006 was nominated for the National Medal in the Arts. Dr. Rubin has practiced art therapy since 1963. She is co-founder of Expressive Media, Inc.
Eleanor C. Irwin, Ph.D., RDT, TEP, is a co-founder of the National Association for Drama Therapy (NADT). As a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT); a Trainer, Educator, and Practitioner in psychodrama (TEP); and a Licensed Psychologist, Eleanor has produced films and written articles and chapters in books on drama therapy, psychotherapy, and other mental health topics. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches and supervises. She is a Certified Child and Adult Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center, where she served as Past President and now serves as the Co-Chair of the Curriculum Committee. During the course of her career, she has taught a variety of courses, including Drama Therapy; Play Therapy and Child Development; and Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamically-Oriented Psychotherapy. She continues to treat, teach, and train others. With Judy Rubin, she is a co-founder of EMI.
Sharon Chaiklin, ADTR, studied with dance therapy pioneer Marian Chace in the mid-1960s at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC. For over ten years, beginning in the 1980s, she taught in the Goucher College Graduate Dance Therapy Program in Baltimore. Sharon also helped to create the first dance therapy program in Israel at the University of Haifa in 1980-1981. Chaiklin has presented at many conferences and has led workshops in this country and abroad. She has published a number of articles, and is co-editor of a book that is due to be published in July. Active in the founding of the American Dance Therapy Association, she served as its first vice-president and later as president. Sharon currently serves as President of the Marian Chace Foundation of the American Dance Therapy Association. She has worked as a dance therapist, primarily in psychiatric hospitals and private practice, for over 34 years.
Eliana Gil, Ph.D., ATR, RPT-S, MFCC, is Director of Clinical Services for Childhelp, Inc. in Fairfax, VA. Originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, she is bilingual and bicultural. Dr. Gil is a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor, a Registered Art Therapist, and a Licensed Marriage, Family, Child Counselor. She has authored numerous books on child abuse and related topics, and a number of educational videos feature her work on such topics as play therapy with abused children and family play therapy. Eliana served on the Board of Directors of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and the National Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse. She is also former President of the Association for Play Therapy. Dr. Gil has worked in the field of child abuse prevention and treatment for 36 years.
Peggy Osna Heller, Ph.D., LCSW/C, PTR, is a Social Worker, Clinical Poetry Therapist and a master mentor/supervisor. She has taught courses in poetry therapy at The Catholic University School of Social Service and the University of Maryland, and served as adjunct faculty for the Union Institute Graduate School. As treasurer of the Bibliotherapy Round Table, President of the National Association for Poetry Therapy and its Foundation, and the National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy, Peggy has been active in the poetry therapy community since 1981, when she completed her poetry therapy training at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Her book, Word Arts Collage: A Poetry Therapy Memoir, is being published in May. With Kenneth Gorelick, M.D., Peggy co-directed the Wordsworth Center for Growth and Healing. She conducts a private practice of psychotherapy and poetry therapy in Potomac, MD.
Clive Robbins, DMM, MT-BC, began his work in Special Education and arts therapies in 1954. He co-founded the Nordoff-Robbins approach to Creative Music Therapy in 1959 with composer and music therapist, Paul Nordoff. Together, they pioneered the application of improvisation and clinical composition for children with disabilities. He has co-authored a number of leading texts on Creative Music Therapy, and many books of musical activities for children. In 1975, he began to work with his late wife, Carol Robbins; they developed and co-authored a curriculum guide in Music Education for hearing impaired children. The Robbins-Robbins team produced many songs and musical plays for children and continued to develop and promulgate Creative Music Therapy in the U.S. and abroad. In 1990, they created the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy at New York University, where Clive is the Founding Director and an Adjunct Clinical Professor.