Erin Partridge, PhD, ATR-BC is an artist and board certified, registered art therapist living on a ranch in the Bay Area. Her clinical experience includes work in community, pediatric, forensic, and geriatric settings. Erin received a BFA, studying fine art, psychology and women’s studies in at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She went on to obtain a MA in art therapy from New York University in 2008; her thesis work was about her work with a young child with Mobius syndrome and tactile defensiveness. She completed her PhD in art therapy at Notre Dame de Namur in 2016. Her dissertation work investigated the communication experiences in the elder care setting through art-based and participatory inquiry.
Erin has been working with older adults since 2010. She creates space for elders to explore creativity through individual and group art therapy. Erin also utilizes art therapy to support elder care providers by using art therapy in training contexts with staff and professional contacts. In addition to work in elder care communities, Erin has used art as a means to stimulate dialogue about aging; Redefining Age: A Square Foot Art Project was an intergenerational art show exhibited in San Francisco, Nashville, and Washington D.C. As Experiential Researcher-in-Residence with Elder Care Alliance, Erin will be expanding art and art therapy programming for older adults and supporting a culture of creativity within the elder care field.
Erin is a professor at Notre Dame de Namur in the art therapy department. Her other teaching and lecturing experience includes guest lectures in art and counseling programs, mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, workshop facilitation at several national conferences, and interviews with media about art therapy. Her research interests incorporate the lived experience and focus on participatory, ethnographic, and art-based approaches.
As an artist, Erin works in what she describes as “heavy-mixed media” using a wide range of materials to create texture, depth, and metaphoric content. She has been keeping art journals since 1998; she is interested in the book as an art form and in art therapy practice. Erin has exhibited her artwork nationwide, has been published in several mixed-media publications and has an ongoing interest in collaborative art projects.
“People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.”
- MARCUS AURELIUS