FOAT® Clinical and Community Team
Founder/Director of Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute and Lead Trainer
Laury Rappaport, Ph.D, MFT, ATR-BC, REAT, and Certifying Focusing Coordinator, pioneered and developed the creation of Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy (FOAT®) and Focusing-Oriented Expressive Arts (FOAT®) - based on 30 years of clinical work. Laury is the author of Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy: Accessing the Body’s Wisdom and Creative Intelligence, author/editor of the book, Mindfulness and the Arts Therapies: Theory and Practice, and numerous published articles/chapters.
Laury’s clinical work includes thirty-five years of experience in a variety of settings, including inpatient, outpatient, community mental health, day treatment, private practice, and wellness centers. Specialty populations include working with clients and families with life-threatening illness and health related issues. Laury is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (MA) and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA), a Board Certified Art Therapist with the American Art Therapy Association (ATR-BC), Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT) with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, and a Certifying Coordinator, Focusing-Oriented Therapist and Trainer with The Focusing Institute.
Laury is an Integrative Psychotherapist with the Institute for Health & Healing, Sutter Health in Santa Rosa and Marin, CA. She has been on the faculty of Lesley University in Cambridge, MA for over 35 years, where she was the Academic Coordinator of their International Expressive Arts Therapies programs, former Associate Professor at Notre Dame de Namur University, and has also taught at Meridian University, Cambridge College, California Institute of Integral Studies, Wheelock College, Regis College, and SUNY at Buffalo.
Program Development Associate Director
Rashmi Chidanand, M.A., Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy from Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) and a certification in Focusing-Oriented Therapy from The Focusing Institute. Her background includes research at Stanford University and teaching at University of East-West Medicine. Currently, Rashmi works at Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC) and in the Mountain View-Whisman School District (MVWSD) as a Mental Health Specialist for special education. As part of her self-care practices, Rashmi actively engages in yoga, creative writing, Indian classical dancing and other mindfulness practices, which she integrates into her clinical work with children and adults. Her passion for FOAT® inspired her dissertation research: A quantitative study exploring the effects of Focusing-Oriented Arts Therapy - Internet Protocol (FOAT-IP) on stress, anxiety, depression, and positive states of mind in South Asian women.
Community FOAT® Projects Coordinator
Zoe Rappaport, B.A. is a dancer/choreographer, arts educator and community/youth worker based in Los Angeles and New York City. Zoe received her BA at New York University's Gallatin School where she self-designed her concentration in Community-Based Arts Education in order to deepen her understanding of the transformative power of the arts. She has ran arts workshops for the past 8 years with children, teens, adults, senior citizens and incarcerated young men, embracing hip hop and the arts as an outlet for self-expression, community-building and social change. In 2012, Zoe co-founded Expression Sessions, interdisciplinary arts workshops for creative growth and artistic development. She is a lifelong FOAT® learner informally and has also been training to become a Certified FOAT® Facilitator.
Kelly Drew Foster's administrative experience stems from the creation and ongoing development of her business, Living Temples—where she provides nutritional and wellness consulting for a wide variety of issues—as well as from her previous work at an integrative health clinic on the central coast of California. Originally from New Jersey, Kelly moved out to California after college to live and work within a Tibetan Buddhist community where she studied multiple forms of meditation and eastern psychology. She developed a passion for Insight Meditation and has since taken part in numerous silent 10-day Vipassana retreats. Kelly has an educational background in the fine arts, clinical depth psychotherapy and is also a Certified Nutritional Therapist. She is currently working to fuse her interests in her online consulting business Living Temples, and strives to promote conscious feminine embodiment through nutrition, creativity, and mindfulness.
Website Designer/Administrative Assistant
Gaybriella Igno (nicknamed Gaybi) works as a freelance website designer, with an administrative background. She studied for her B.S. in Computer Science at Sonoma State University and is currently located in the Bay Area, California. She has worked on a number of websites on multiple platforms (Squarespace, Wordpress, Wix). Her first web designer position was with the Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute. And so, Gaybi wholly credits Laury Rappaport for giving her the confidence to pursue happiness and freedom in all future career pursuits. Keeping busy as both a web developer and designer for various clients, she is open to discuss projects to further develop her clientele while ever-expanding her knowledge and experience within the technological world.
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