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About Dr. Lyons 

Yvette Lyons, Ph.D.

Yvette Lyons Ph.D., has a doctrine in Clinical Psychology with a Specialty in Expressive Art Therapy. Dr. Lyons has been teaching at the Graduate Level since 2006.  She has always love the arts. She has trained with some of the finest teachers in Southern California, and the U.S.  She has been using art all her life as a way of dealing with life's experiences and wonders. Art is a powerful healing tool for people of all ages and all cultures.   We all have experienced the benefits from engaging in the arts, music, dance, drama and creative writing as a means of expression.  Well, the arts are not for entertainment alone.  The field of Expressive Arts Therapy is growing.  Art is a very effective way of helping people deal with life, stress, disaster and disease.  The Expressive Arts can be used in the field of medicine, education, mental health, geriatrics, with children and adolescents as well as with families and couples.  Joseph Campbell said, "It is the function of art to carry us beyond speech to experience."   The Expressive Arts are power healing tools.  Through the arts we are able to express thing that we can not find words for. 

Today, Dr. Lyons has a teaching art studio in lovely Carlsbad California.  She teaches painting and art classes that are unique and different.  Through the process of painting,  you are able to release blocks in your body/mind and free up your creativity to enhance your life.  Painting becomes your teacher and healer.  This process helps people access the creative flow and allow that to move through them and their lives.  NO ~ you do not have to be an artist.  EVERYONE is artistic and creative.  Develop yourself!  You can visit her studio web site at for a list of workshops and classes coming up. 

As an Educator:      Because of her long time exposure with using the arts for healing and self expression, Dr. Lyons continued her education by pursuing a Master's Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy, and then her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a special certification in Expressive Arts  Therapy.  She has worked with a wide variety of people and groups using Expressive Art.  Dr. Lyons created an art therapy program in a facility working with homeless veterans and schizophrenics.  She used Expressive Arts with families, children and adolescents in a private practice setting as well as with foster youths,  and at a crisis center as an intervention for the chronically mentally ill. 

As a trainer and educator, Yvette Lyons has run workshops in Expressive Arts Therapy and Sandtray Therapy.  Dr. Lyons has been the Director of Expressive Art Therapy  Dept. at the San Diego University for Integrative Studies.   She has trained therapists and other mental health professionals the use of expressive art therapy in working with a multitude of populations.  Dr. Lyons been teaching at  the Graduate Level since 2007. Dr. Lyons was the Director of the Expressive Arts Therapy Department at the San Diego University for Integrative Studies (SDUIS).  


Carla Bittencourt, M.A. in Counseling Psychology with emphasis in Expressive Arts Therapy. Also studied Gestalt-therapy at Pacific Gestalt Institute in Los Angeles. Currently working with individual and group therapy, workshops and trainings at Live your Art Studio in Carlsbad, CA and San Diego area. 

Carla’s main focus is mindfulness. The benefits of mindfulness practice has been experienced for thousand years, from east to west, from religion to science. Her work is based on a relational approach, which the goal is to support people to enhance their mindfulness, be more creative while dealing with life situations and relationships and becoming more authentic. This approach can be used with any population from child to elderly, any health conditions physical or mental and many life issues as depression, anxiety, trauma, etc. 

Today, Carla is combining her knowledge in mindfulness and creative therapies with individual and group therapy, workshops and trainings in a private practice and off-site locations. 


Anita Vaccaro, M.A., began working in the field of Psychology since 1996.  She holds a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in the Behavioral Sciences.  After working in the field for 22 years Anita became interested in  neuroscience and neurophysiology which led to her interest in the healing arts of sound, meditation, and mindfulness.  Anita is currently leading sound bath meditations and facilitating sound bath workshops in Mission Viejo and Carlsbad California.  She is also incorporating sound and meditation in her psychology practice.   

“Our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world, in a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity.”

Jean Houston