Category Archives: Expressive Arts Coaching

Creativity: Your Spiritual Connection to Life Force and the Universe

This article was written for the Indigo Sun Magazine in Houston, September 2016

downloadWe humans have been using the arts and imaginative rituals from the beginning of our time on Earth to heal ourselves and to ensure our survival. The night before the hunt, ancient peoples gathered around the fire to visualize how they wanted the hunt to go, using music, acting, storytelling and drawing representations of their visions and desires on the cave walls.

Through that preparation they sharpened their senses, honed their awareness and summoned their energies to ensure peak performance, without hesitation, at the time of action.

Since then, Shamans from all world cultures have used the power of Expressive Arts, symbolism and rituals to increase their people’s chances of survival, peak performance and success in obtaining whatever the people wanted and needed.

As humans we are born with extraordinary capacities to use and create symbols. A three-year-old child can talk on the phone using a banana and can draw two circles and say “this is me and that is my dog!” The high level cognitive skills required to create that scenario is truly remarkable, and it would be impossible to teach it to one who could not do it naturally. For instance, there are many intelligent species that can never recognize that their own image reflected in the mirror is, in fact, a representation of themselves and not someone else!

This capacity to create symbols in order to manage what is not currently happening, but events we want to happen, scenarios that intrigue, bother or scare us from the past and/or the future, might be the ultimate reason why humans mustered the courage to attempt great feats and succeed at them. It might be the reason why human kind, with our frail bodies, did not become extinct, but instead flourished all over the world. Creating tangible symbols and rituals to alleviate our own suffering, our fears and to envision and clarify our desires is, and has always been, at our fingertips.

However, at some point in our history we bought into the idea that art is about how it looks or how it sounds, and that became more important than the powerful transformation it can produce in our own mental, spiritual and energetic states.

Many humans were shamed because a tangible expression of their soul, an artwork they made,  was confused with a superficial thing that did not meet some aesthetic requirements.  The tangible symbols from the human spirit cannot be judged. They simply are. Just like any other natural expression of the universe such as a sunset or a waterfall; they simply are.

The artistic self expression of the human deserves respect not only from other people but also from the creator. Through his or her own art (poem, drawing, dance, etc.) the creator can understand something important about current life circumstances, and about his or her connection with the energy that allows for life on earth and for the existence of the universe.

That is the proper context for personal artistic self expression that deals with your emotions and your spirit. In my Expressive Arts Coaching Sessions, individuals begin reconnecting with their own deeper, authentic self through symbol making. There they recover those parts of themselves that brought them delight, aliveness and creative energy in the past, and discover new ones. The joy and creative energy unleashed through artistic self expression spills to all other projects and areas of life.


“I participated in Dr. Fernandez workshops and got really impressed on how from seemingly simplistic directed art activities participants were able to gather information from their minds and hearts that was hidden somewhere, like the big elephant in the room of their lives.  I saw how we can all use art to heal, to leave our baggage behind and move on.”   Mariela T.

 “Lorena, you are so warm and genuine, your love, excitement and enthusiasm are infectious. They drew me in to your workshop. I was very surprised how much came out for me in the art and in sharing it.” Lisa. UK

 “Me divertí, gocé como loca. Además me permitiste entrar en las profundidades mas secretas de mi misma. Tu espontaneidad, tu diosa interna, tu creatividad y mera presencia hicieron de este workshop una experiencia inolvidable para mi (y para muchas también.) Sos una facilitadora y una artista increíble!! Gracias.”: Rosario S.

Dr. Fernandez offers individual and group person-centered Expressive Arts Coaching session in Houston and around the world aimed to energize five areas of impact:

  • 1.       The Self (Self-development, self-discovery, self-expression, self-improvement)
  • 2.       Emotional Management (Lifting the fog of difficult emotions, adding joy and playfulness)
  • 3.       Communication  (Relationships with others)
  • 4.       Interactions with the World (Systems and materials management)
  • 5.       Creative Visualization (Imagining new possibilities and solutions)

She is the author of three books: Art and Self-Creation: The Roots of Creativity and Innovation (Think Media: EGS Media and Philosophy Series) ,  Spiritual Healing with Art / Curacion Espiritual con Arte, and  How to Exist, an impractical guide / Como Existir Guia impractica. 

For more information and to set up an appointment visit:, text: 281 748 1477 or email

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Love Poems: Music and Poetry at MATCH Midtown Arts Center

The Flamenco Poets Society and the Houston Composers Salon presents, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Love Poems: Music and Poetry.

Hsin-Jung Tsai, pianist and Thomas Helton, bassist of the Houston Composers Salon will interpret original music to the love poems of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Lorena B. Fernandez, will read the poetry in Spanish with English translations available in the printed program.

Known as the Tenth Muse, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz is Latin America’s finest Baroque poet, but her work was forgotten for almost two hundred years until rediscovered by women scholars at the start of the 20th century. Thanks in part to Octavio Paz’s majestic biographical study; Sor Juana has regained her rightful place as a prolific writer and thinker. She is now credited as the first published feminist of the new world.

Writing about love was for Sor Juana a deep declaration of psychic, spiritual and emotional need. Her love poems are expressions of the uncertain modern psyche. Because they are ferociously passionate, we feel consumed by the naked intensity she achieves.

Join us for an evening of Music and Poetry at MATCH Midtown Arts Center. Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 6:00 pm. Tickets $30 General Admission, $25 Houston Composers Salon Members, Seniors 65+ and student with ID. Tickets online at

For details contact Julietta at 713-520-9364

I’m Not Interested In How-Tos

Yesterday at my studio I had many visitors,
And I asked most of them to play percussion instruments,
There was a drummer who came with his painter daughter,
and it was so fun to play with them, that we did that for over an hour.
People from other studios came to belly dance, to smile, to say hello, to film and to watch.
I told several people about expressive arts, and some were interested in doing sessions with me.
I met two women that I would love to become friends with;
smart, artistic, dynamic, intelligent, global, fun, funny and with great energy.
Both of them are planning to go to my poetry and music performance at The Match.
What did I notice about myself?
I notice that I love creativity, improvisation, beauty, joviality, fun. I love to play.
I love to meet people and talk and listen about the dream life of the soul,
the imaginings inside us, the psyche,
how those drive our actions,
the actions of our loved ones,
the actions of all humans.
This is a fascinating topic, and I forever desires new perspectives on it.
I notice that all daily, mundane things can be full of meaning and mystery.
However, when they are discussed without passion,
And not viewed as evocative and mystifying,
but just as “facts”, as if events in human life were
on a mechanistic conveyor belt of repetition,
control and tradition,
I swiftly become bored and my precious energy depleted.

I’m not interested in how-tos,
I know that if the psyche wants it, it will make it happen. Unless it can’t.
I’m interested in the roots of all there is in human life:
the mind, the soul, love, creative play and imagination.
Without those there is nothing.

Open Studios at JoMar Visions September 10 2016


What is Expressive Arts and Creativity Coaching?

Expressive Arts and Creativity Coaching combine the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing and other creative processes to foster deep personal growth and community development.

By integrating the art processes and allowing one to flow into another, we gain access to our inner resources for healing, clarity, problem-solving and creativity. Sharing our artistic expression in safety is important.

 What kind of problems can we solve with Expressive Arts and Creativity Coaching?

We can solve problems in which we experience a sense of being stuck in an unwanted situations for which we see no way out. There is a clear feeling of being trapped without any viable alternatives. This ‘tightness’ can also be described as ‘having no range of play.’

These types of problems are difficult to solve because the answer or solution is not within the range of alternatives that we can see.

The more we focus on solving the problem, the less we can find a solution. Therefore we need to find a new perspective from which we can see new options. This method is

 based upon the assumptions that:

As restricted as a situation might be, there exist other possibilities hidden to the persons in the situation.

  1. Advances into the unknown are made more attractive by a coaching session marked by openness, appreciation, playfulness, lightness and curiosity.
  2. The client is the ‘expert’ in her situation. The coach will only help the client explore in new ways to find a new perspective.
  3. Problems that seem irresolvable require more than a linear step-by-step approach, instead they might require something ‘new’ or a more basic change that we can find by expanding our “range of play.”

Dr. Lorena Fernandez, Ph.D. provides Expressive Arts Coaching to driven individuals (and groups) who want to expand their own creative and innovative capacities in order to move their projects forward. Projects such as creating a business, writing a book, finding the right approach to a new work position, and others that require effort, imagination, commitment, and an effective way to deal with the daily challenges as well as the opposition that any project has to overcome in its transition from ‘idea’ in one’s mind to ‘thing acting in the world.’ 

Who can benefit from Expressive Arts and Creativity Coaching?

 Creativity and Expressive Arts Coaching can be helpful for persons seeking personal development, self-discovery and healing. We all have an innate capacity and a need to be creative. 

Second, it can be helpful in solving problems, conflict resolution and brainstorming in a wide range of business, professional, and educational settings. 

Third, Creativity and Expressive Arts Coaching can be helpful in teambuilding, to strengthen the resilience of  the team, to establish and retain its well-being and to activate resources, cognitive diversity and a sense of coherence within the team. 

Some useful guidelines for Expressive Arts and Creativity Coaching with Dr. Fernandez are:

There is no right or wrong way of doing things.

  1. No experience with art media is necessary.
  2. The atmosphere is non-competitive.
  3. All feelings are allowed.
  4. Dreams, aspirations, revelations and insights are given respect and encouragement.
  5. Everything proposed during the workshop is a suggestion, if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. There will be no questions asked.

 About the Coach:

Dr. Fernandez’s Expressive Arts Coaching offers a kind of support that engenders enthusiasm, new perspectives and out-of-the-box thinking to keep pushing forward with energy and delight on long term projects. She aims to energize five areas of impact discovered in her doctoral research:


  • 1.       The Self (self-development, self-discovery, self-expression, self-improvement)
  • 2.       Emotional Management (lifting the fog of difficult emotions, adding joy and playfulness)
  • 3.       Communication  (relationships with others)
  • 4.       Interactions with the World (systems and materials management )
  • 5.       Creative Visualization (imagining new possibilities)   

Dr. Fernandez is the author of three books: 

Art and Self-Creation: The Roots of Creativity and Innovation (Think Media: EGS Media and Philosophy Series)   
Spiritual Healing with Art / Curacion Espiritual con Arte 
 How to Exist, an impractical guide / Como Existir Guia impractica 

 Dr. Fernandez obtained her engineering degree from Texas A&M University, her Masters of Arts from California State University Dominguez Hills, received her Person-Centered Expressive Arts facilitator certification from Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, San Francisco, CA. In Switzerland, she earned her Ph.D. from the European Graduate School (Summa Cum Laude) in the Arts, Health and Society Program, and also attended the Media and Communications Program. 

She was born in Merida, Venezuela, educated in the United States and Europe, lived and worked in Singapore for seven years and currently lives in Houston, Texas.

Expressive Arts Houston Blog

Latina Book Club Interview: Click here to read The Latina Book Club’s goal is to promote Latino authors and literacy by reading at least one Latino book a month. Thereby broadening our minds and corazones. It’s also an attempt to embrace our Hispanic heritage; make new friends; and have something to read on the subway. 

Individual Expressive Arts Class

Individual Expressive Arts Class

I can assist you to safely develop your creative self, where you will discover your own new ways to bring more energy and vision to all your projects, personal and professional. For duos, I can help to deepen connections, increase fun, self-knowledge, self-discovery, self-development, relational development, and improve communication. To set up an appointment call and leave a message.

The sessions integrates drawing, painting, writing, collage and music to help you access your powers of vision & imagination.

For a comprehensive, more in depth experience take the Individual Class of 9 sessions lasting 1 hour each.

  1. There is no wrong way of doing things. 
  2. No experience with art media is necessary.
  3. There is no evaluation.
  4. All feelings are allowed.
  5. Dreams, revelations and insights are given respect and encouragement.
  6. Everything proposed during the session is a suggestion, if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it, there will be no questions asked. 

Awake your creativity  (9 sessions) 

Facilitated by Dr. Lorena Fernandez

Enroll here

Introduction to Imagination and creativity 

  1. (Expanding Awareness Using Oil Pastels)
  2. How We Want to Walk the Earth
    (Expanding AwarenessWorking with Acrylic Paints I)3. Hello & Good Bye Outdated Ideas 
    (Befriending the Shadow & Working with Acrylic Paints II)4. Messages from Desire 
    (Expanding Awareness Working with Collage I)5. Messages from Aversion 
    (Befriending the Shadow Working with Collage II)

    6. Ideal State in the Ideal Environment 
    (Expanding Awareness Working with Clay I)

    7. Authentic Movement 
    (Expanding Awareness Working with Clay II)

    8. The Masks We Wear 
    (Befriending the Shadow Working with Paper and Found Object sculpture)

  3. Bringing it all Together with Poetry and Storytelling(Expanding Awareness)



Creativity coaching, Times of transition, Renewed energy for long term projects, Creative exploration, Lateral thinking and idea generation.


Creative Development and expansion

Client Focus

Alternative Languages: Spanish


Adults (18+)

Treatment Orientation

Expressive Arts, Authentic Movement, Coaching, Culturally Sensitive, Existential, Humanistic, Multicultural, Narrative, Symbol Creating, Art Making, Imaginative Play


Individuals, Couples, Groups


60-90 minute sessions



Years in Practice: 10+ Years

School: European Graduate School EGS (Switzerland)

Year Graduated: 2012


Additional Credentials

Certificate: Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center/Person Centered Expressive Art

Certificate Date: 2007

Membership: International Expressive Arts Therapy Association

Member Since: 2008



Individual Sessions Cost:

One session: $60 to $150 sliding scale

Accepted Payment Methods: American Express, Cash, Check, Discover, Mastercard, Paypal, Visa


By appointment only.



281 748 1477


5249 Langfield Rd

Studio 4

Houston, Texas 77040


Group Expressive Arts Classes

Dr. Lorena Fernandez’s group creativity workshops integrate different art modalities, (drawing, painting, writing, collage, music, movement and acting) which can help teams access more of their creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, positive energy, fun, relaxation, and good relationships. All criticism is left outside the front door, including self-criticism. We foster a non-competitive atmosphere without evaluation. There is no wrong way of doing things, and no experience is necessary.  Please contact us for the specific needs of your group.  

“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 information 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   

To arrange a group workshop at your location email:  

What people said:

“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.

“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.”: Rosario Sammartino







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. 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,







“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” Natalie Rogers 


“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 


“You are so warm and genuine, your love, excitement and enthusiasm are infectious. They drew me in to your workshop. 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. UK









“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.