Slide About The Arts are a Universal Language

The arts allow everyone to communicate ideas and
feelings that can be difficult—or even impossible—
to put into words. Expressive Media is dedicated to
enhancing the informed and thoughtful use of the
arts in healing and wellness.

Founders

Expressive Media, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1985 by Judy Rubin, an art therapist, and Ellie Irwin, a drama therapist.

In 1962, Ellie initiated a drama therapy program, and a year later an expressive therapy program at Pittsburgh Child Guidance Center (PGCC). Judy started an art therapy program at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic (WPIC) a year later, and joined the expressive therapy group at PGCC in 1968. In 1981, Judy and Ellie developed and co-chaired the Department of Creative & Expressive Arts Therapies at WPIC.

Judy saw the power of the media firsthand as the Art Lady in the 1960s on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” on PBS. Further inspired by Looking for Me, a film by dance therapist Janet Adler that is distributed by Expressive Media, Judy and Ellie began making films. In 1985, they co-founded Expressive Media Inc. in order to be able to continue to make and disseminate films and videotapes on the arts in therapy.

There are currently hundreds of hours of clinical and educational footage in Expressive Media’s digital archive; most of it is rare and largely unseen. An invaluable teaching resource, it contains many examples of arts therapies pioneers practicing their specialties. Expressive Media welcomes the submission of footage and finished films in any of the creative arts therapies. If you have or know of any such work, please contact us regarding the possibility of adding it to our collection—soon to be available online along with continuing education credits via Expressive Media’s new e-Learning service.

Directors

Judith A. Rubin

Judith A. Rubin, President

Judy Rubin, PhD, ATR-BC, HLM, began her career as an art teacher and has done art therapy for over 50 years. A licensed psychologist and board-certified art therapist, she is on the faculties of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center. An Art major at Wellesley College, Judy earned a Master’s degree at Harvard, a PhD at the University of Pittsburgh, and completed training in Adult and Child Analysis at the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Institute. A past President and Honorary Life Member of the American Art Therapy Association. Judy was also the Art Lady for the first three years of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” on public television. Author of six books and creator of thirteen films, she is currently developing a Training Film Library through Expressive Media, which she co-founded with Ellie Irwin in 1985.

View Judy’s Books

Eleanor C. Irwin

Eleanor C. Irwin, Vice-President

Ellie Irwin, PhD, RDT, TEP, began her career as a drama therapist at the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Center. Currently in private practice, she teaches, supervises, and consults with play and arts therapists as well as residents in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is a Clinical Assistant Professor. A registered drama therapist, licensed psychologist, and certified as a Trainer, Educator and Practitioner in Psychodrama, Ellie is a recipient of the Schattner Award from the National Association for Drama Therapy (now the North American Drama Therapy Association), which she helped to co-found in 1979. She is also a certified Child and Adult Training and Supervising Analyst at the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center, where she served as a Past-President. Ellie has taught numerous clinical courses, made films about the creative arts, and has written extensively about aspects of theory and practice in treatment. With Judy Rubin, she co-founded Expressive Media in 1985.

Sandra L. Graves-Alcorn

Sandra L. Graves-Alcorn, Secretary

Sandra L. Graves-Alcorn, PhD, ATR-BC, LPAT is a retired professor emeritus from the University of Louisville where she initiated a master’s program. She is past president of the AATA and was present at its founding. After 30 years of teaching Sandra left to develop a private practice. She is the co-author and developer of the Expressive Therapies Continuum and the sole author of the concept of Media Dimension Variables. She is also author of Expressions of Healing: Embracing the Process of Grief, and has written numerous articles and given presentations on this throughout the US. Sandra has served on the board of Expressive Media since 2013.

View Sandra’s Books

Barry M. Cohen

Barry M. Cohen, Executive Director

Barry M. Cohen, MA, ATR-BC, a Board-Certified Art Therapist, has worked with medically ill adolescents and adult psychiatric patients. In 1982, while Director of Expressive Therapies at Mount Vernon Hospital, Alexandria, VA, he developed the Diagnostic Drawing Series (DDS), a standardized art assessment in use worldwide. Co-founder of a specialized treatment program for people with posttraumatic disorders in metropolitan Washington, DC, he founded and chaired the Eastern Regional Conference on Trauma and Dissociation (1989-1996) and later served as conference manager for the American Art Therapy Association (2006 & 2007). Executive Director of Expressive Media since 2008, Barry founded the Expressive Therapies Summit in 2010, which is held annually in Manhattan, and co-founded, with Dr. Eliana Gil, the Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute, held outside Washington, DC, in 2013. In partnership with Ping Ho and her UCLArts & Healing, he added a Los Angeles Summit in 2017.

View Barry’s Books

Advisors

Eliana Gil

Eliana Gil, PhD, ATR, RPT-S, LMFT, is a recipient of the Association for Play Therapy’s 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a registered play therapy supervisor, a registered art therapist, and a licensed marriage, family, child counselor. Eliana is also former President of the Association for Play Therapy and has worked in the field of child abuse prevention and treatment for over 40 years. Founder and Partner at Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education, a group private practice in Fairfax, VA, she was adjunct faculty at Virginia Tech University for over 15 years. Bilingual and bicultural, originally from Ecuador, she has authored numerous books.

View Eliana’s Books

Ping Ho

Ping Ho, MA, MPH, is founding director of UCLArts and Healing, an organizational member of the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine, of which Ping is a Steering Committee member and was founding administrator. She was also founding administrator for the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology. Ping has a bachelor’s in psychology with honors from Stanford, a master’s in counseling psychology from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master’s in community health sciences from UCLA. She serves on the Council of Advisors for the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care.

Support

April Schneider
Administrative Assistant

Laura Bauder
Social Media Coordinator

Janice Rose-Gill
Graphic Designer