Welcome! Lorena Fernandez, Ph.D. is an artist, writer and Expressive Arts Therapist who helps individuals and organizations in search of positive transformations to concurrently create and discover their new paths using ART processes and materials.
Lorena Fernandez Ph.D. offers lectures and art-based workshops aimed to increase creative output, for personal growth, teambuilding and for decision making in situations of ambiguity.
Lorena's lectures and workshops introduce participants to using the arts for self-discovery and self-creation. The workshops can integrate different art modalities like collage, movement, painting, sculpting, writing, play, music and acting, to help people access their own creativity. Lorena's class has been described by past participants as "profound" and as "imaginative play for grownups". It is also a way to reduce stress and anxiety and to find common ground with other participants by discovering hidden similarities in a non judgmental, non competitive atmosphere. There is emphasis in an accepting and playful environment to stimulate expression of new ideas.
Lorena has a bachelor of science in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University, a Masters of Arts in the Humanities from california state university Dominguez Hills and a Ph.D in Expressive Arts from the European Graduate School.
She has offered workshops and classes at The Jung Center of Houston, student groups such as Psi Beta Houston Community College Chapter, non profits such as ARTreach, the Palmer Drug Abuse Program, support groups such as the Diabetes support group at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, women's groups, artist's groups and individual clients.
-There is no right or wrong way of doing things
-No experience with art media is necessary
-All criticism is left outside the front door (including self criticism)
-The atmosphere is non-competitive and without evaluation
-Emphasizing the connection between inner world and outer expression
-Individual dreams, and insights are respected and encouraged
-Emotionally safe environment
-Bring comfortable clothes that you won't mind getting dirty
-Bring a journal to write your thoughts
"Persistent engagement in creative self-expression provides us the opportunity of knowing our whole self, including our mind, body, spirit and best environment, a way to understand our life, our own development and our movement among environments. It is a practice that allows us to lift the fog of emotional turmoil to think clearly, to see options plainly, to act in a way that will give the best result." Lorena Fernandez, Ph.D.
"As one of Lorena's first workshop participants a few years ago (2002), I can attest to the healing powers of art. The lifeline painting experience helped me to let go of the past, see what is important now, and highlight my dreams for the future." Georgie Collis - Senior Trainer and Manager - Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJS
"I had the opportunity to be part of one of Lorena's workshops and got really impressed on how from simplistic directed activities participants were able to gather info from their minds and hearts that was hidden somewhere, like the big elephant in the room of their lives. It was a very moving and helpful experience. Knowing her book Spiritual Healing with Art also helped me to see the critical importance of art in our lives and how we can actually use it to heal, to leave our baggage behind and move on." Mariela Tinoco Human Resources / Statoil
"Lorena: On behalf of Psi Beta - HCC Chapter, I would like to thank you for conducting an Expressive Arts Workshop for us yesterday, Feb 19, 2008. It was a wonderful and meaningful experience for all who attended, to get in touch with the aspects of ourselves that may have been hidden or neglected. Again, many thanks for facilitating this memorable workshop!" Joanne Chiehwen Hsu, Ph. D., Psychology Professor and Department Chair Dept of Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology Houston Community College - Northwest"
"Lorena, your workshop was extremely well received. The participants enjoyed the interaction, especially those that were higher functioning. You provided a lot of joy to the group. Thank you." Fran Floersheimer - Program Manager Care Consultation, ARTS (Alzheimer’s Recreation Training Services) Alzheimer's Association- www.alz.org
"Lorena, the (Diabetes Support Group) patients loved the expressive arts activities. I told my Director what you did and she thought it was great. The patient’s said that they really enjoyed being part of the program and not just sitting and listening. Thank you again for your wonderful program and I look forward to seeing you again soon." Certified Diabetes Educator Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital
"Lorena: I would like to thank you for the EA workshop you lead at the Palmer Drug Abuse Program (PDAP) staff meeting on November 7, 2007. You presented us with a wonderful opportunity to learn more about ourselves and our co-workers in a fun, creative, non-judgmental environment. The staff truly enjoyed the exercises you chose for our group. The EA workshop allowed us to see the importance of the arts in the self development of not only youth, but also adults. The workshop provides such a unique way for individuals to learn about themselves and others in a non-critical, fun and safe environment. Sincerely, Jean McMillan Executive Director Palmer Drug Abuse Program, www.pdaphouston.org
"You Divine phenomenal Woman Being! You are a great and I mean great facilitator. You were and are so calmed and centered. Everything to me flowed well from one thing to another. It was fun and energetic, yet it was deeply moving. I was really surprised by my reaction and my art. I admire your courage to deal with a controversial topic. It was beautiful! Thank you." L.M.B.
"Your relaxed, fun presence worked. You constantly gave permission to 'do what you want' A lot of freedom to explore any direction, nice. Glad you had people up and moving for ½ hour. Nice timing and design of movement, art and sharing. Your enthusiasm for life inspires others. Thanks" N.R.
"Me diverti, goze como loca. Ademas me permitiste entrar en las profundidades mas secretas de mi misma. Tu expontaneidad, tu diosa interna, tu creatividad y mera presencia hicieron de este workshop una experiencia inolvidable para mi (y para muchas tambien.) Sos una facilitadora y una artista incredible!! Gracias.": R.S.
"You are so warm and genuine, your love, excitement and enthusiasm are infectious. They drew me in to your workshop. It was good to move - if I had spent time sitting straight after dinner I may have got very sleepy! The lyrics were hard for me. - I think some gay women might have felt unable to connect with it. - I was very surprised how much came out for me in the art and in sharing it. It was good that you kept the plan simple. It gave me time to let my feelings really emerge and to have time to explore them and share them. It left me with some feeling of vulnerability my "difference" from other group members. You responded directly to me when I shared with the whole group - That was very valuable to me, gave me a feeling of being heard and really acknowledged. I needed that after sharing, helped me feel safe again." L. A.
"Congratulations on doing such a great job! I admire you for doing a workshop on this, I would like to have that kind of courage. The sharing was very important and interesting to hear the variety of insights that came out in your offering." B.K.
"You arranged the room in an inviting way with costumes, scarves around the circle and also on the banister of the entrance. It was great that you gave out copies of the lyrics so people could understand them and sing them. The group seemed to enjoy moving to the music and was very playful in dancing and singing, very good to have a lively, playful evening. The message of the lyrics seemed to inspire much of the art and touched into darker issues and memories. The art that emerged from it was thought provoking." S. D.