Our Mission

As an Affiliate Chapter of AATA, we are committed to upholding the mission, standards and goals set forth by AATA.
Our regional mission is to support and promote the field of art therapy in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  
To this end, our goals include facilitation of networking opportunities for art therapists, organization of workshops/symposiums for education purposes, establishment of alliances with other mental health providers,
and promotion of public awareness of the field.

Board of Directors


Leila is a Board-certified and Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and is currently working at a local private practice in Richmond, VA providing outpatient art therapy and counseling in addition to her art therapy groups at an adult inpatient psychiatric facility in Richmond. Leila also enjoys being an art therapy supervisor and provides supervision for other art therapists towards credentialing. 

Leila received her MS in Art Therapy and Counseling from EVMS in Norfolk, VA. Leila is actively involved in the VATA Licensure Committee in pursuing licensure for art therapists in VA and believes in the power of advocacy and public policy in promotion of our field.

Leila Saadeh, LPC, ATR-BC

Vice President

Michael Galarraga, LPC, ATR-BC, CSAC, CSOTP




Terri moved to Virginia just over a year ago from Nashville, TN. She graduated from the University of Louisville in 2007 and worked in Illinois for approximately 5 years as an art therapist with children and adults with developmental disabilities and behavioral/emotional issues. During that time, she also worked with older adults in a skilled nursing setting. She lived in Nashville for 4 years, working part time at an inpatient psychiatric facility, providing art therapy to individuals with thought disorders, mood disorders and substance abuse. In addition, she provided art therapy to older adults with mental health concerns and Alzheimer’s/dementia in the same facility. She contracted with local nonprofits, providing services in skilled nursing, memory care and retirement facilities. She also worked with nonprofits serving those in recovery from eating disorders, those diagnosed with Epilepsy, and with adults with developmental disabilities.

While in Nashville, Terri co-founded NCAT (Nashville Coalition of Art Therapists) organizing art shows and outreach in the Nashville area. She served as secretary for this organization and was then elected as Vice President of the Tennessee Art Therapy Association. During this time, TATA focused on state licensure and advocacy, planning and hosting CEU workshops, and providing networking events for Art Therapists in Tennessee.

Terri Giller, M.Ed., ATR-BC, Resident in Counseling

Membership Director

Amber lives in Richmond and works in Glen Allen, VA at a small group private practice as a clinician. She currently offers outpatient art therapy and counseling services and has experience in serving the needs of children, youth, families, and adults in private settings, school systems, hospitals, non-profit and community mental health agencies. She is skilled in art education, mental health counseling, social service, and passionate about advocating for LGBTQ+ unique needs and rights. Amber is a Registered Art Therapist (ATR) and is currently a resident in counseling towards her LPC. She received her MS in Art Therapy and Counseling from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2013 and her BFA in Art Education from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009. Amber is also currently a student and under training for the Body Positive Yoga Teacher certification. After completion of the program she will be a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and will teach accessible, adaptive yoga asana practice, intersectional feminist and social justice principles, address working with marginalized communities, and operate from a body-positive trauma-informed perspective. She also currently serves on the Junior Board of Directors for Full Circle Grief Center, volunteers facilitating groups for Side By Side, and offers outpatient individual therapy at Health Brigade. 



Amber Golden, MS, ATR, Resident in Counseling 

Delegate to the Assembly of Chapters

Laura is a board certified art therapist, certified trauma therapist and founder of Shenandoah Art Therapy, LLC.  She has served as VATA's Membership Representative, committee head of the Community Meeting Committee and member of the GAC/Licensure Committee since January of 2017.  She worked closely with the GAC/Licensure Committee to prepare the application to the Board of Health Professionals for Sunrise Review approval and plans to continue to be involved as that process continues.  


Laura graduated from James Madison University with a BA in Psychology in 2005 and earned a MS in Art Therapy from Florida State University in 2010.  She has experience as an art therapist at the following types of facilities: prison, physical rehabilitation center, substance abuse rehabilitation facility, acute psychiatric hospital, agency for adults with disabilities, intensive in-home program, and now in private practice.  In 2015, she obtained Green Cross recognized certification as a trauma therapist by Intensive Trauma Therapy, Inc. located in Morgantown, West Virginia.  In addition to her roles with VATA, she is a member of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), Secretary of her local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Shenandoah), and serves as Secretary/Treasurer on the board of a local non-profit, The Making Space.  She would gladly accept this leadership role in the continued effort of gaining title protection and licensure, to both protect and further enhance her first and greatest passion, art therapy.

Laura Tuomisto, ATR-BC, CTT

Please reload

© 2017 by VATA.

Representitives to the Board


Want to help VATA grow?! The director of membership helps recruit new members and manages current members, ensuring we have everyone's up to date contact information and sends out friendly reminders when their membership is due for renewal


Social Media Representative

Are you social media savvy? Please help us keep a presence on social media!


Member Representative


Student Representatives


Please reload

The Virginia Art Therapy Association

P.O. Box 17553

Richmond, VA 23226

  • w-facebook
  • Twitter Clean
  • White Instagram Icon

Call Us:


To learn more about the Art Therapy Profession, click below
To learn more about the American Art Therapy Association, click below