Shoshana Simons, Professor and Program Chair in the MA in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy at CIIS Shoshana Simons

Expressive Arts Therapy
School of Professional Psychology and Health (SPPH)

PhD, MA, The Fielding Institute

MA, University of North London

Shoshana Simons, Ph.D., has a rich background in integrating performance and expressive arts structures into multiple contexts of work with children and adults in educational, therapeutic and larger systems. She has a particular interest in the integration of the arts into spiritual practice and socio-emotional development. She is passionate about using the performance and expressive arts as catalysts for healing and social change. Over the last several years, Shoshana has focused on developing an expressive arts-centered approach to narrative therapy and is currently involved with the development of a blended learning Certificate Program in Narrative Expressive Arts Therapy. Shoshana is highly skilled in the art and science of teaching and curriculum development. She has over 20 years of practice integrating experiential learning methodologies into online classes. In the early 1990's she pioneered teaching blended learning classes in Narrative Therapy in Goddard College's MA Counseling and Psychology program. She has subsequently taught embodied leadership skills and arts-based Cooperative Inquiry in the low-residency MA Transformative Leadership and Ph.D. Transformative Studies Programs at CIIS. She has written and presented on the subject of socioemotional presence in online learning environments.

Shoshana is a graduate of the Omega Transpersonal Drama Therapy Program, Boston, MA. In addition to professional therapy training, she has an MA in Sociology & Social Policy from London Metropolitan University, an MA in Human Development from The Fielding Institute, CA and a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from The Fielding Institute, CA. She has published in the areas of couples therapy, narrative approaches to leadership and systems change, sustainable leadership and the role of spirituality in children's social and emotional development and has trained counselors in narrative collective expressive arts practices in the UK, Latin America, and China. She has also presented extensively at conferences nationally and internationally on expressive arts-based approaches to creative and academic writing, queer studies and the role of expressive arts in social and organizational development. 

Shoshana moved from her birthplace in London to the USA in 1990 to gain training in relational-cultural therapy at The Stone Center Counseling Service, Wellesley College, MA where she remained for an additional year as a Clinical Associate. She then moved to Vermont where she had a private psychotherapy practice for several years while teaching in Goddard College's MA Program in Counseling & Psychology. She also taught as an adjunct in Lesley University's MA programs in Counseling Psychology, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Intercultural Communication.

February 2010
Expanding the Circle: LGBTQII in Higher Education, San Francisco
Terms of EnQueerment: Expanding the Circle in Curriculum and Classroom Practice
Panel presentation With Dr. Matthew Bronson, CIIS and Dr. Terri Davis, JFK University

March 2010
Integral Consciousness Conference, CIIS, San Francisco, CA
Sexuality & Language presentation With Dr. Matthew Bronson, CIIS
This presentation showcased an integral approach to education through the lens of a transciplinary graduate-level class on Sexuality and Language.

June 2010
Drama Therapy & Social Justice, taught session in Drama Therapy Program, CIIS, San Francisco, CA
Drawing in, Acting out, Moving on! Transforming Social Paralysis into Social Action Through Expressive Arts

October 2010
Performing the World, NYC, NY
Moving through fractured whole(s): re-membering the world together
Performance and workshop co-led with CIIS colleagues Denise Boston, Sonya Shah, Anne Bleuthenthal and Arisika Razak on how we have been using arts-based processes to support one another, work through conflict and transform our shared world(s) together.

November, 2010
Expressive Arts Summit, NYC, NY
Roots, Rhythm & Role Play: Nourishing the Tree of Life
Co-presentation with EXA alumna, Francisca Lizana

February, 2011
Msc Program in Sustainable Economics & Social Responsibility, Ashridge Business School, Berkhamsted, UK
Embodying Change: Transforming Social Paralysis into Social Action through Expressive Arts

February, 2011
PhD Program in Systemic Psychotherapy, University of Bedford, Luton, UK
Embodied and Performative Approaches to Research in Systemic Therapies

February, 2011
Bradford Relate, Bradford, Yorks, UK
Tree of Life Through Theatrical and Expressive Arts
Daylong experiential workshop for relationship counselors

February, 2011
The Systemic Café, Keighley, Yorks, UK
Tree of Life Through Expressive Arts
Daylong experiential workshop for relationship counselors, incorporating case consultation using psychodramatic techniques

July, 2011
International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference, Salvador, Brazil
Roots, Rhythm & Role Play: Tree of Life Through Expressive Arts
Co-presentation with EXA alumna, Francisca Lizana

May 2012
The Audacity of our Ancestors: Reclaiming Jewish Activism
Community dialogue facilitation, Shaare Zahav, San Francisco

March 2013
International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, Berkeley, CA
1. Temenos in the Tenderloin: Sustaining Communities through Expressive Arts Therapy

2. Navigating the Winds of Change through Narrative Expressive Arts Therapy co-facilitated with Danielle Burnette

Expanding the Circle Conference, CIIS
Expanding the Bridge: Intergenerational Dialogue and Story-Telling for Queer Educators, Leaders, and Allies, co-led with Matthew Bronson, PhD

April 2014
American Society for Group Psychology and Psychotherapy (ASGPP), Annual Conference, Oakland, CA
Soul of Drama Therapy with Saphira Linden, Founder and Director, Omega Transpersonal Drama Therapy Certificate Program

June 2014
UK National Health Service (NHS) Psychotherapists, Gallery, London, UK
"Laundry of Life": An innovative, home grown narrative expressive arts therapy practice. Experiential presentation

October 2014
Performing the World Conference, 2014
Leading through Expressive Arts: Actualizing the Yet-to-be-Imagined. Presentation with Nika Quirk, MBA, PhD on Simons and Quirk's innovative model of organizational and leadership expressive arts called Arts-based Practices for Relational-Cultural Leadership

November 2014
North American Drama Therapy Association, Annual Conference, Yosemite, CA
"Laundry of Life" with Danielle Burnette



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