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Dana Elmendorf MA, ATR-BC, LPC
Joined Seton Hill
Pittsburgh, PA
Contact Info
(724) 830-1140

Thankyou for your interest in my work. I am the Program Director of the Seton Hill Graduate Art Therapy Program, which allows students to obtain a master's degree(M.A.) in Art Therapy with a Specialization in Counseling. I continue to teach along with providing programmatic direction and development of effective teaching and learning practices, student advising and administrative oversight. ----- Prior to joining the Seton Hill faculty full-time, I gained over twenty years of experience in direct client service in a variety of settings and agencies. These included homeless and domestic violence shelters, geriatric partial programs, community mental health centers for adults managing mental illness and inpatient psychiatric facilities focusing on behavioral health. This variety of professional experience enables me to bring a practical perspective to my teaching from the front lines of mental health care which exists along a continuum of treatment focus and community supports. ----- In addition to experience in clinical mental health work I continue to facilitate arts experiences within community-based settings. These community-based settings have included work with individuals with disabilities,those experiencing homelessness and also individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. ----- Intercultural discovery is important to me, and I have always been eager to explore the world around me. I spent 17 months living overseas in Thailand and traveling extensively throughout SouthEast Asia. I was greatly enriched by this cultural immersion experience and regularly weave stories of these experiences into classes, encouraging students to think from diverse and multiple points of view. I continue to enjoy travel, most recently taking a summer to explore Europe, and consistently seek to disrupt assumptions and stereotypes I have of others. A mantra for my lifelong learning is, " The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust


  • 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]


  • 2016 Presidential Award for Exemplary Service – given by the American Art Therapy Association [More Information]
  • Prevention Award (2015) – from Mental Health America of Southwest PA. For providing a wide variety of professional experiences bringing a practical perspective to teaching at the front lines of mental health work. [More Information]
  • Barbara Gittings Activist of the Year (2007) from Equality Advocates Pennsylvania, now known as Equality Pennsylvania [More Information]



  • Elmendorf, D. Integrating the Arts into the Continuum of Care, Presentation for Veteran Community Partnerships (VCP). October 11, 2016.
  • 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