Dr. Stevens on the 'Net

Blog posts highlighting the work of Dr. Victoria Stevens:

Impacting Educational Reform thru Social Change

The Creative Edge
Arts education takes center stage in this blog from Arts Orange County

State of Maine Arts Education

Serving Central California

The Importance of an Arts Enriched Education

Arts Integration
Get smART: Redesigning Education with the Arts in Mind

Victoria Stevens, Ph.D.
Stevens Creativity, Imagination and Leadership Training (SCIL)

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Performing Arts Resume (PDF)

Victoria Stevens, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst, seminar leader, arts educator, professor, speaker and researcher. She holds a BA with honors in philosophy, cello and theatre from the University of Kansas, an MA and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (CGI in Los Angeles) and specialized certifications in Hypnosis and the Treatment of Victims and Perpetrators of Violent Crimes. Her psychoanalytic certification is from the Psychoanalytic Center of California, mentored by James Grotstein, and she studied interpersonal affective neurobiology with Allan Schore for six years.

While performing professionally as an actress, singer, dancer and cellist, she wrote and conducted personal development seminars through experiential learning for individuals and corporations for over seven years as a senior trainer for the Summit Organization and continues to work in this area through Productive Learning and Leisure in Dana Point, California. She has taught all arts modalities for pre-K – 12th grade in public, private and charter schools throughout Los Angeles, California.

Her research specialty is the study of the development and inhibition of creativity in children and adults, with an emphasis on the relationship between creative thinking, the brain and cognitive processes. She has integrated her experience as a professional cellist, singer, actress and dancer with her expertise in trainings, learning theories, developmental psychology, affective neurobiology and pedagogical theory to develop innovative art education curricula and teacher training programs focusing on the development of creative thinking through the arts.

She was on the faculty of Mount St. Mary’s College in the undergraduate and graduate psychology and education programs and California Institute of the Arts in the School of Critical Studies and is now a consultant to the CAP artist-teacher outreach program at CalArts. She is currently an adjunct professor and training analyst in the masters and Ph.D. programs at the Newport Psychoanalytic Institute, Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara Graduate Institute for Infant and Child development. She is part of an interdisciplinary team of instructors for the Anni Bergman Infant and Parent Training Program in New York. She delivers seminars, lectures and in-services in both private and public schools across the country and in Europe – including seminars at the Tavistock Clinic in London and at Cambridge University.

She has presented at numerous conferences on the subjects of creativity, arts education and the effects of early trauma on learning including the National Conference “Keeping the Promise to Our Children” in Washington DC and the “Courageous Creativity” conference at Disneyland in California. She has also been a featured speaker at the World Congress of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in Prague, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States Annual Conference in Chicago and the California Association of Private Schools Annual Conference in Long Beach. She delivered the Pat King Memorial Lecture at the National Cathedral School in Washington D.C. and has delivered papers at UCLA for the Symposium on the Intersection of the Arts and Sciences, co-sponsored by the Jonas Salk Institute, and the James Grotstein Conference on New Directions in Attachment and Child Development.

She has conducted national seminars for SDAE (State Directors of Arts Education) on creativity through arts education, as well as delivering keynote addresses and professional development seminars on creativity and arts education for teachers, administrators, arts specialists and parents for school districts in every region in the state of California, as well as Oregon, Kansas, Washington D.C. and Prague, Czech Republic. In addition, as part of the Los Angeles Unified School District Intern Program for K-12 teachers, she has conducted special seminars titled: The Arts, Imagination and Higher-Order Thinking

She is the mental health consultant to Children Uniting Nations creating trainings for academic mentors to foster children, as well as teachers, administrators, school counselors and foster parents regarding the effects of trauma on behavior, learning and thinking skills in at-risk youth. She is also a teacher and curriculum consultant for the International Center for Education Youth Development, creating and teaching programs focused on the development of creative thinking, empathy, leadership skills, democracy and social justice for Nigerian teenagers

She has published several articles, including, “Quality, Equity and Access: A Status Report on Arts Education in California Public Schools” with Suzanne Isken, “Nothingness, No-Thing, and Nothing in the Work of Wilfred Bion and in Samuel Beckett’s Murphy" in the Psychoanalytic Review, and “Reading the Language of the Right Brain” and “The Cognitive Unconscious and the Embodied Mind” – both in the Psychologist/Psychoanalyst newsletter of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association.

Her recent publications include the chapter “Bion, Klein, and Freud” in When Theories Touch: A Historical and Theoretical Integration of Psychoanalytic Thought” by Steven J. Ellman and “The Importance of Prosodic Elements in the Dyadic Relationship between Infant and Caregiver for the Development of Attachment and Affect Regulation” in The Voice and Emotions, edited by Kryzysztof Izdebski.

She is the principal investigator on a recently completed study for Children Uniting Nations on the effects of Academic Mentors on academic achievement and the development of executive function and self-regulation skills in middle-school foster youth through an attachment and arts and play based mentoring program. The preliminary results of the pilot program conducted in South Los Angeles with middle school foster youth is posted on her website. She also is the principal investigator on a recently completed study for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles on the relationship between exposure and training in contemporary visual art and creative thinking and metacognition in elementary school students. The results of the study are forthcoming.

She was the arts specialist and consultant on curriculum and assessment at The Accelerated Charter School in South Central Los Angeles, working as part of a team to develop an innovative multi-disciplinary core arts curriculum pre-K through 12th grade. The school was chosen as Time Magazine's Elementary School of the Year 2001 and the Creative Arts Program was recently honored by the Music Center's Bravo Awards for excellence in art education. She is a music training and assessment consultant to the Sol La Music Academy and the Young Musician's Foundation in Los Angeles, a music outreach assessment consultant to the San Luis Obispo Symphony, the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society and Chamber Music Palisades.

She has a private psychoanalytic psychotherapy practice for children, adolescents and adults in West Los Angeles. Her book and workbook The Creative Classroom, Education, Neurobiology and the Developing Imagination will be published by W.W. Norton in 2012.

Fundamentalism is dictatorship of the mind, but a live culture is an exploration, and represents our endless curiosity about our own strangeness and impossible sexuality: wisdom is more important than doctrine; doubt more important than certainty. Fundamentalism implies the failure of our most significant attribute, our imagination.

~Hanif Kureishi

©2008-14 Victoria Stevens • All rights reserved