Dana Elmendorf MA, ATR-BC, LPC

Assistant Professor, Art Therapy also Coordinator, undergraduate Art Therapy program


Prior to joining the Seton Hill faculty full-time, Dana Elmendorf gained over twenty years experience in direct client service utilizing both Art Therapy and Counseling. Professional settings included homeless and domestic violence shelters, geriatric partial programs, adult outpatient programs for the mentally ill and inpatient psychiatric facilities. This wide variety of professional experience enables Dana to bring a practical perspective to her teaching from the front lines of mental health work. Additionally, both prior to and since joining the faculty of Seton Hill, Ms. Elmendorf has facilitated arts experiences within community-based settings as a teaching artist for Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, as President of Pittsburgh Association for the Arts in Education and Therapy, through work with the homeless and individuals with Intellectual Disabilities . Ms. Elmendorf also spent 17 months living overseas in Thailand and travelling extenisviely throughout SE Asia. She was greatly enriched by this cultural immersion experience and regularly weaves stories of her intercultural experiences into classes, encouraging students to think from diverse and multiple points of view. She continues to travel, most recently taking a summer to explore Europe. Specialties in therapeutic work include client needs assessment, trauma-focused care, and chemical dependency recovery. Also specializes in supervision of mental health pracitioners in training.


Joined Seton Hill: 2007
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Personal Areas of Interest: Civil rights advocacy work through regional and statewide coalitions. Snowshoeing, Gardening, World Affairs and World Travel
Academic Areas of Interest: Art Therapy, Community Arts, Art Therapy and Social Justice, Ethics of Creativity in Counseling, Trauma-Focused Care


  • MA, Expressive Therapy, Art Therapy Concentration, Lesley University, (Cambridge, MA) , 1985
  • BA, Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA) 1982


  • Elmendorf, D. (2010). Minding our P’s through Q’s: Addressing possibilities and precautions of community work through new questions. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. 27(1) pp.40-43. [More Information]


  • Prevention Award (2015) – from Mental Health America of Westmoreland County. For providing a wide variety of professional experiences bringing a practical perspective to teaching at the front lines of mental health work.
  • Barbara Gittings Activist of the Year (2007) from Equality Advocates Pennsylvania



  • Art Therapy Education Continuum: Undergraduate to Doctorate, Panel presentation to the American Art Therapy Association Annual Conference: Trailblazing the Future. San Antonio, TX, July 9-13, 2014.
  • Elmendorf,D. "Using Creative Approaches for Trauma Recovery: Theories and Principles of Ethical Practice". Presentation offered through the Dialogue and Resolution Center of the Center for Victims of VIolence and Crime, Pittsburgh, PA, October 12, 2012.
  • Elmendorf, D & Ghubril, P. "The Synergy of Hope: Combining Resiliency Theory and Creativity in Counseling", Presented to the Pennsylvania Counseling Association Annual Conference. State College, PA, October 2011.
  • Elmendorf, D. & Denninger, N. "Creative Responses to Client Creativity in Counseling: A Master Supervision Opportunity for New Professionals", Pre-conference workshop presented to the Pennsylvania Counseling Association Annual Conference. State College, PA, October, 2011.
  • Elmendorf, D. & Veri, J. "It Begins With Us: Therapist Reactions to Transgender Clients", Presented to the Pennsylvania Counseling Association Annual Conference. State College, PA, October, 2009. Also presented to the American Art Therapy Association Annual Conference. July, 2009 and the American Counseling Association Annual Conference. Pittsburgh, PA, March, 2010.
  • Elmendorf, D. "Skills, Surprises and Secrets Boxes: Facilitating Client Involvement Through An Art-Based Counseling Approach", Presented to the Pennsylvania Counseling Association Annual Conference. State College, PA, October, 2009.
  • Elmendorf, D. "Art Therapy" Presented July 2008 for the Hillman Cancer Center 2008 Summer Series: Creative Arts Therapies
  • Panel presentation, "Creative Arts Therapy and Ethics” and “Art Therapy Breakout”. Presented April, 2008 for the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work
  • Elmendorf, D. "Creativity in Counseling: Picturing Possibilities". Presented July 2006 for the Greater Pittsburgh Counseling Association
  • Elmendorf, D. "Surviving and Thriving: Making Groups Work On An Inpatient Psychiatric Unit". presented October 2004 for Forbes Regional Hospital Behavioral Health Unit
  • Elmendorf, D. "Do You See What I'm Saying? Art Expression Groups with Older Adults" Presented June 2000 at the Pittsburgh Summer Series on Aging


  • Licensed Professional Counselor with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Board Certified Art Therapist with the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATR-BC)


  • Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE), Chair, 2015- present [More Information]
  • American Art Therapy Association Master’s Education Standards Revision Task Force, Co-Chair, 2013 - 2015
  • Served as Member of Ad-Hoc Editor Search Committee and also the Education Committee for the American Art Therapy Association
  • Served as Chair of the Seton Hill University Professional Development Committee
  • Served as Board member of the Greater Pittsburgh Counseling Association (GPCA)
  • Served as Chair of the Registration Standards Committee for the Art Therapy Credentials Board