Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT, is an art therapist, expressive arts therapist, visual artist, research psychologist, and author in the fields of art therapy, trauma-informed practice, and art in healthcare.

Cathy is a leading international expert in the « healing arts » fields of art therapy, art in healthcare, and expressive therapies, and has 25 years experience in trauma intervention and trauma-informed practice. She has published numerous books, including, The Art Therapy Sourcebook, Handbook or Art Therapy, Expressive Therapies, Understanding Children’s Drawings, and Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children, all of which have become standard texts; she has also published more than 50 invited book chapters and refereed articles and reviews various mental health journals. A popular speaker, Cathy has given over 300 invited keynotes, workshops, and courses throughout the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe. She has been an Adjunct Professor at Lesley University’s Expressive Therapies Department for over 20 years and has been a visiting professor and lecturer at numerous universities throughout the US.

She is a research psychologist, a Board Certified and Licensed Professional Art Therapist, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Certified Trauma and Loss Educator with expertise in trauma-informed care, interpersonal violence intervention and disaster relief with children, adults, and families. She is the originator of the practice of « trauma-informed art therapy, » an approach based on resilience-enhancement, mindfulness, sensory-based intervention, and body/mind principles.

Cathy has provided consultation, service, and expertise to a wide variety of community, national, and international agencies, including the International Child Art Foundation, Department of Defense, Issues Deliberation America/Australia, American Art Therapy Association, International Medical Corp, and Save the Children Foundation. Cathy has also served on the boards of American Counseling Association (ACA), distinguished as the first Representative from the Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC); President of the Counseling Association for Humanistic Education and Development (C-AHEAD); American Art Therapy Association (AATA); Delegate to 20/20 National Future of Counseling Task Force with ACA; Research and Ethics Committees of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare; International Advisory Board, International Child Art Foundation; Advisory Board for Alzheimer’s Association of America; and on numerous national and international boards in mental health, education, counseling, arts, and public service. In honor of her clinical and academic contributions, Cathy is the first and only person to have received all three of the American Art Therapy Association’s highest honors: Distinguished Service Award, Clinician Award, and Honorary Life Member Award. She is the recipient of Kennedy Center Honors and a Very Special Arts (VSA) Award for her art therapy work in Hong Kong and Beijing and is the recipient of the Willam Steele Award for her outstanding contributions to the field of trauma intervention with children.

Cathy’s current passion includes bringing together the art therapy community worldwide; to this end, she founded the International Art Therapy Organization (link is external) in May 2009, a network of approximately 7000 professionals and students across the globe. In April 2010, she co-founded the non-profit group Art Therapy Without Borders (ATWB (link is external)), an organization dedicated to using art therapy to wake up the world through service, education, research, and global networking.

Cathy currently resides in the decidedly weird city of Louisville, Kentucky with husband David and furry feline supervisors and task masters, Zoolee and Finnegan.

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Real-Life Inception: Army Looks to ‘Counteract Nightmares’ With Digital Dreams


A soldier tries to sleep. But he is not safe in his dreams. Jolted awake by a nightmare, the combat veteran fumbles in the dark for his 3-D glasses.

He puts them on. Around him are the faces of people whom he trusts. They fight the darkness with him. The soldier’s re-lived this scene in his head and the laboratory over and over again, until it has become reassuringly familiar. The soldier knows that his pixelated friends will take him away from these troubled dreams. When the scene is over, he takes off his goggles and looks around him. The soldier is home.

The U.S. Army wants this dream sequence to become reality. In an Army-backed experiment called “Power Dreaming,” Naval Hospital Bremerton in Washington State will help traumatized troops battle their nightmares — with soothing, digitally-made dreams crafted in virtual worlds. No, this is not the script for the sequel to Inception.

The research project is in its early planning and is not expected to launch until next year, a hospital spokesperson told Danger Room. But it is picking up momentum. Last week, the Army awarded almost half a million dollars to a consulting company for help developing the experiment.

Fifty-two percent of combat veterans with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) reported having nightmares fairly often, according to the National Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Study. “During our conscious hours, most can hide what they have become,” according to a presentation delivered to the Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians, a nonprofit group. “But in sleep, this vigilance slacks and the dream world can become a frightening and uncontrolled experience with waking consequences.”

So the researchers will ask troops to take control of the “creation of the customized healing imagery (therapeutic dreams) to counter the impact of nightmares,” according to a military contracting document.

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