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The function of the imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange.

~G.K. Chesterton

In the News


Bureaucrats call it "emancipation," but for foster kids there’s no worse birthday


Published in the LA WEEKLY January 10, 2008

Victoria Stevens, a Los Angeles psychologist who has studied the effects of the foster-care system on younger children, explains that if a child is in a stable environment, his or her brain development is affected accordingly. In a stable setting, connections between the neurons in the brain grow at a healthy pace, allowing for higher-level mental processes — like learning abstract mathematical or scientific concepts.

"In cases of disrupted and insecure attachment, the lower brain processes become dominant and higher-order cognitive skills and social skills can become impaired," Stevens says. Many foster-care kids have trouble reading, and struggle with other basic skills, because their "attention span is hijacked by emotions."


Published in the LA WEEKLY
July 16, 2008

Victoria Stevens, a Los Angeles psychologist who has worked extensively with foster youth, agrees in principal, saying, the "race of parents, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education of the parents, single parents, et cetera, is of little or no consequence." The key is "the capacity of the caregiver to pay attention to the separate existence of the child and respond contingently with care, delight, love, respect, play, predictability and consistency."

October 30 - December 18, 2009

Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Training Program
IPTAR, New York, NY

Special graduate seminar on the work of W.R. Bion in an interdisciplinary developmental context.

Tuesday & Wednesday, October 6-7, 2009

Arts Education for Toddler - High School Arts Education Curricula

Consulting for the Superintendent of the Colusa County School District, Colusa, CA

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Creative Thinking, Imagination and Multiple Intelligences

Pedagogy for artist-teachers - lecture/workshop for the Community Arts Partnership at California Institute of the Arts; Valencia, California

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Panel Topic: Mentoring: One Size Doesn't Fit All

Mentoring Symposium at the California Endowment. The event is presented by Children Uniting Nations, the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect and the L.A. Youth Mentoring Project Team and sponsored by a Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Keynote Presenter will be the Honorable Karen Bass, Speaker of the California Assembly.

Friday, September 18, 2009

One-day workshop for teachers who work in Court and Community, Special Needs and Foster Youth for the Sacramento County Office of Education

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Arts Education in the 21st Century - The Role of the Artist-Teacher-Leader

Professional development for music, visual arts, theatre and dance arts specialists 1st-12th grades; San Juan Unified School District, Carmichael, California

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Student Learning and How the Arts Play a Key Role in Brain Development

Two sessions: California Department of Education - County Arts Leads Meeting

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On-site consultation with teachers, art specialists and administrators for schools in the Colusa County School District

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Play, Creativity and Higher Order Thinking Skills

Professional development for teachers at the School by Play (Skola hrou); Prague, Czech Republic

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Arts and Higher Order Thinking Skills

Professional development for teachers at The School and Center for Gifted Children; Prague, Czech Republic

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Keynote Lecture: Childhood, Trauma and Identity

16th Psychoanalytic-Psychotherapeutic Symposium; Opocno, Czech Republic

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Arts, Brain Development and Emotional Regulation

Professional development for teaching and counseling staff working with foster and at-risk youth; Alternative Education - Monterey County Office of Education

Wednesday, Thursday, August 12-13, 2009

Integrating the Arts and Brain Based Teaching Techniques

Professional development for teachers and administrators at King City Arts Academy, King City, California

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Keeping the Promise to Our Children - National Conference

Co-sponsored by Children Uniting Nations and UCLA
Presenter – panel topic: Student Loan Forgiveness for Academic Mentors Working with Foster Youth

Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, Washington D.C.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Developmental, Spiraling Arts Curriculum preK-12

Regional Arts Leads Meeting, Department of Education , Sacramento, California

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Creativity, Imagination, Empathy and Metacognition – Education for the 21st Century

Monterey County Office of Education, Carmel, CA and Hamish Tyler present a preview of the Monterey County Media Center for the Arts, Education and Technology. Guest speaker Victoria Stevens will discuss the latest research on brain-based creativity, the arts and education.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Development of Imagination and Play in Adults with Early Trauma

Psychoanalytic Center of California Extension Lecture Series: Maple Counseling Center, Beverly Hills, California

Friday, April 17, 2009

Jazz vocal soloist in concert with Steve Ellman, guitar
The Algonquin Hotel, New York, NY

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

CAP Pedagogy Series: Creativity, Imagination, Metacognition and Empathy: Arts for Education in the 21st Century

California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Two talks and workshops for a variety of service providers. CCOE provides fiscal and instructional support services for the districts in Colusa County, and operates numerous programs countywide, providing childcare centers in each district, provide special education services in all districts, provide a community school and opportunity classes for alternative choices for district students; offer adult education and regional occupational programs; and operate a juvenile court school in a remote mountain detention facility.

Colusa County Office of Education, Colusa, CA

Friday, March 6, 2009

Overcoming Phobias - Luke Conklin and Dr. Victoria Stevens

The Dr. Howard Gluss Show
Radio Dr. Gluss

Overcoming phobias is a widespread issue deserving proper attention. Dr. Stevens and Luke Conklin address the subject on the Dr. Howard Gluss radio program.

Luke Conklin is the Casting Director of a major network show about women and their phobias. He has a film degree from UC Santa Barbara, and has over twenty major televison shows to his credit.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Imagination, Creativity and Metacognition for Special Needs Students

Keynote address: Sacramento County Office of Education, Sacramento, CA

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Professional Development for all teachers: The Importance of the Arts as a Core Curricular Subject for All Students

Bixby Elementary School, Long Beach, CA

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Imagination, Creativity, Empathy and Metacognition: The Arts and Higher-Order Thinking Skills

Arts Education Leadership Series #2 lecture and workshop - arts coordinators series sponsored by Los Angeles County Office of Education and Los Angeles County Arts Commission

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Infant and Child Development: From Infant Observation to Therapeutic Intervention

Guest lecturer: IPTAR, Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Training Program, New York, NY

Monday, February 2, 2009

Music and Language: Evolutionary and Human Development

Guest lecturer: New York University, Graduate School of Music, New York, NY

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Importance of Creative Thinking, Emotional Intelligence and the Arts for Students in the 21st Century

Pathways to Students' Success Through the Arts sponsored by PTA and the PAUSD Art Education and Music Departments

PAUSD SDC Board Room, 25 Churchill Avenue, Palo Alto, CA

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Creativity, Imagination, Empathy, and Metacognition: The Arts and Higher Order Thinking Skills Necessary for Academic Achievement and Success in the 21st Century

This SLC Stakeholder Forum was held at Etiwanda Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga, California. The audience included key stakeholders for SLC secondary schools in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, students, parents, business and community leaders, site and district leadership as well as teachers, counselors and tutors.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Imagination, Creativity, Empathy and Metacognition: The Arts and Higher-Order Thinking Skills

Arts Education Leadership Series #1 lecture and workshop - arts coordinators series sponsored by Los Angeles County Office of Education and Los Angeles County Arts Commission

READ ALL ABOUT IT! – Victoria Stevens, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst and educator, instructs teachers of King City Arts Charter School on the importance of incorporating arts into everyday classroom lessons.


March 17, 2008

Art on the Brain
A presentation of Arts in the Schools

The following are links to QuickTime videos. Click here to download for free, the latest version of QuickTime Player.

Art on the Brain Part 1 of 2 (13:53)

Art on the Brain Part 2 of 2 (14:50)

In March of 2008, Dr. Stevens presented a talk for arts organizations, teachers, parents, and business leaders about the importance of arts education for all children sponsored  by the Forest Theatre Guild, Carmel-By-The-Sea in Carmel, CA. This was a prelude to her talk the next day for the Region 5 Arts Education Forum sponsored by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education entitled: "Open the Doors to Arts Education". The topic of her Keynote Address was "Creativity, Empathy, Imagination and Metacognition: What Affective Neurobiology Tells Us about the Importance of Arts Education for All Children."

©2008-09 Victoria Stevens • All rights reserved