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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

Alyssa Hayes, LPC, ATR-BC, CSAC-S

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Alyssa Hayes is a Board Certified Art Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Supervisee. She received her Master's degree in Art Therapy and Counseling from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. Alyssa has provided Art Therapy services to children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings to include residential behavioral health, psychiatric hospital, and schools. She assists individuals with managing mood disorders, trauma, sexual exploitation and trafficking, LGBTQ+, and substance abuse. Her personal approach to art making has influenced an interest in researching and exploring the benefits of unconventional processes and materials with clients. 

Tuesdai Johnson, Resident in Counseling



Tuesdai Johnson, LPC-R is a business owner, published author, and artist. As an art therapist, Tuesdai has made it her mission to bring awareness to the holistic healing effects of Art therapy. She received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Mississippi State University and a Master of Science in Art Therapy and Counseling from Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Since beginning research at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Tuesdai has continued working towards improving the lack of diversity within the field of Art Therapy, publishing a co-authored peer reviewed brief report titled, Art Therapy Students of Color: The Experience of Seven Graduate Students. 

Tuesdai is the owner of Closing the Gap, where Black, Indigenous, and People of Color’s (BIPOC) mental health and wellness is the central focus. Closing the Gap (CTG) provides the BIPOC and neighboring communities a resource for healing by offering BIPOC individual and small groups mentoring, mental health services (provided by BIPOC licensed therapist and licensed residents in counseling), and workshops and trainings to improve diversity and inclusion within mental health education. 

Whitley Richards, LPC, ATR



Whitley completed her graduate degree in Art Therapy and Counseling at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She started her practicing journey at a residential behavioral health facility, where she gained the love of working with the adolescent populations struggling with anxiety, depression, oppositional/defiant behaviors, suicidal issues, and Borderline Personality traits. Whitley is a Registered Art Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor practicing in Norfolk at Peninsula Child and Family Services. She works with a cognitive behavioral and person-centered approach, and enjoys individual, group and family work. Whitley uses Art Therapy and EMDR as tools to assist in sessions. The creative process is her true passion, and she attempts to incorporate Art Therapy as much as possible to assist with rapport building, emotional processing, self-expression, and coping skill building.

Dana Hillebrand-Roebuck, MPS, LCAT, ATR-BC

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Dana holds a masters from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her fine arts background in sculpture and fiber arts helps to inform her work within the expressive nature of art as a physical, visceral, and tactile experience. She currently works as a freelance art therapist working in residential and corporate settings. She has experience working in schools, foster care systems, community programs, and in inpatient psychiatry settings treating child/adult/geriatric patients with acute psychosis, substance use disorders, auditory/visual hallucinations, developmental disabilities, trauma, and depression. Dana has been a recurring clinical panelist at the RealAbilities Film festival and presenter at the Water & Stone art therapy conference. She also held an executive position on the New York Art Therapy Association’s board as the Social Media/ Webmaster for a two year term. Dana currently serves as Treasurer of VATA. She was selected in July 2020 to take over responsibilities from the past treasurer and was elected for the 2021-2023 term, bringing her experience and skills from her work with the  New York chapter.

Sarah Deaver, PhD, ATR-BC, HLM


Delegate to the Assembly of Chapters

Sarah Deaver, PhD, ATR-BC, HLM has been an art therapist for over 40 years, working in
various inpatient, residential, alternative school, outpatient, and academic settings. She was a
faculty member at the EVMS Graduate Art Therapy and Counseling Program for 37 years,
where she was professor and research director. With Donna Betts, PhD, ATR-BC, she co-
authored the textbook Art Therapy Research: A Practical Guide (Routledge, 2019). Sarah has
volunteered for many years for AATA in various capacities such as editorial review board
member of the journal, chair of the Research Committee, and President from 2013-2015.
Currently she serves on the Past Presidents Advisory Council, the Honors Working Group, and
the Research Committee.

Julia Willinger, LPC, ATR-BC


Membership Director

Julia is an art therapist in the Richmond area working as an outpatient art therapist and intake coordinator. In the outpatient setting, she serves clients from early childhood through young adulthood who have been impacted by past trauma, experience family discord/dysfunction, suffer from depression or anxiety, exhibit aggressive behaviors, are processing grief and loss, or need assistance with maintaining safety and stability. Within the intake coordinator position, She facilitates initial assessments for clients seeking Intensive In-Home, Mental Health Skill-building, and/or Parent Coaching and Support services. Her therapeutic focus is an integration of person-centered approaches, trauma-informed care, art therapy and creative expression interventions, cognitive-behavioral strategies, and family-based theories. As she previously was an Intensive In-Home counselor for 3 years, she prioritizes the focus of treating the entire family system and not just the individual. Julia uses her organizational and time-management skills to address expected tasks within VATA.  She is open to feedback and wants to work collaboratively with VATA's members to ensure that the organization is providing opportunities for connecting with others and doing our best to continue growing as a mental health profession.

Elizabeth King, ATR-BC, LPC

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Membership Representative

Elizabeth is a licensed professional counselor and board certified art therapist in practice since 2008. She has worked in a variety of clinical and educational settings with people of all ages. She has treated clients in schools, psychiatric hospitals, medical hospitals, and private practice. In addition to direct clinical services, she has experience providing clinical supervision to students studying art therapy and counseling, teaches art classes, and has experience educating students about health and wellness.

Catherine Meadows

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Student Representative

Catherine Meadows is a second-year graduate student at Eastern Virginia Medical School where she is pursuing an M.S. in Art Therapy & Counseling. Catherine graduated magna cum laude from Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, Virginia where she earned a B.F.A in Print and Photo Media with concentrations in Photography and Psychology. While at ODU, Catherine received the Lorraine and Dr. H. William Fink Arts Scholarship for her photographic work. Her passion for photography and its therapeutic benefits is what led to her discovery of the art therapy profession 8 years ago. Catherine has completed numerous photography projects that help inform others about the importance of mental health care and hopes to continue advocating for mental health in her future career as an art therapist.

© 2017 by VATA.

Honorary Lifetime Members


Gretchen Graves, ATR-BC, CDATA

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Carol Olsen, ATR-BC, LPC, CSAC

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