CREATIVE ARTS THERAPY FACULTY AND STAFF
The Center for Creative Arts Therapy's Training Program faculty are leaders in their field with over 120 years of combined experience in the field of Drama Therapy, Psychodrama and Expressive Arts Therapy. Professionals, leaders, educators and skilled clinicians in drama therapy, psychodrama and expressive arts therapy offer the most superb choice for your training needs.
LCPC, RDT/BCT, REAT
Educator, Counselor, Theatrical Director,
Board Certified Drama & Expressive Arts Therapist
Azizi earned her BA in Film Directing at Columbia College Chicago and two Master Degrees from Northeastern Illinois University in Community Counseling and Communications, Media and Theatre. She worked in professional theatre and film for over ten years as a choreographer, dancer, director, and actor at such places as Alchemy Theatre, Theodore Roosevelt High School, Betty Hill Dance Studios, and multiple commercial and film studios before discovering drama therapy.
After training in drama therapy at Kansas State University through the North American Drama Therapy Association's Alternative Training program, she created the Therapeutic Performance Initiative (TPI) Model at Mis_ing Link (an arts-based social service agency) and served as the Executive Director. While there she had the opportunity to work with a wide array of children through adults who had various physical and cognitive disabilities. This taught Azizi how to create theatrically therapeutic opportunities for all of her clients.
She also served as the Director of Expressive Therapy with Riveredge Psychiatric Hospital, Director of Theatre Education with Alchemy Theatre, as a Drama Therapist for The Youth Campus, School of Expressive Arts and Learning, and Wellness House, and has created over 200 socially-focused, therapeutic performance initiative productions.
Visiting Faculty & Staff
Innovators, Artists, Educators
Our Faculty and Staff have over 80 years of combined experience in the field of drama therapy, psychodrama and expressive arts therapy. They have studied with some of the great pioneers in the field such as Sally Bailey, Jacob L. Moreno, John Nolte, Dr. Edith Kramer, Zerka Moreno, Marilyn "Toddy" Richmond and many more, and have served as pioneers themselves in the multi-modal training of expressive arts therapists. Not only do their students become knowledgeable of their chosen modality, but several interdisciplinary modalities as well.
Students learn how to safely incorporate dance/movement therapy, art, theatre, and music with multiple clients and settings.
Each Faculty & Staff member has obtained the highest level of training and education in their field:
PhD in Psychology
PsyD in Clinical Psychology
Board Certified Trainer (RDT/BCT) Certification in Drama Therapy
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Art Therapist Registration - Board Certification (ATR-BC)
Music Therapist - Board Certified (MT-BC)
Psychodrama Trainer, Educator, Practitioner (TEP)
Clinical Counselor, Educator, Dance/Movement Therapist
Rachel Wagner-Cantine is a licensed clinical counselor (LCPC) and board certified dance/movement therapist (BC-DMT). Rachel has been in the field of psychotherapy for nine years working in a variety of treatment settings including outpatient, inpatient and residential.
Rachel has extensive knowledge of treating individuals and families struggling with depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, as well as symptoms in relation to past trauma experiences. She utilizes a variety of therapeutic techniques to best fit each client's needs including verbal therapy, art, music, body-mind connections, and principles of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). In addition, Rachel is trained in DIRFloortime® and specializes in treating children on the autism spectrum as well as supporting parents and families of special needs children.
Brittany Lakin-Starr, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with 10 years of experience treating children, families, and adults. She is currently a staff psychologist at Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Services, and provides supervision and didactic instruction for the psychology practicum training program. Dr. Lakin-Starr’s interests include combining her background in performance arts with therapy and leading psychodrama groups for both high functioning and chronically mentally ill individuals.
She created the Psychodrama Training Track at Illinois Masonic to allow students to gain specific skills and experiences in psychodrama. She also oversees the Effective Parenting Program and Children’s Social Skills Groups. Additionally, she is trained in Prolonged Exposure therapy for PTSD and Gottman Couple’s therapy.
Dr. Lakin-Starr earned her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology, with a specialty in children and families, from Loyola University in Chicago. She received her psychodrama training from the Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute and the Mid-South Center for Psychodrama. She has taught undergraduate psychology classes as adjunct faculty at Loyola University.
Marketing & Outreach Coordinator
Marketing, Community Liaison, Communications Expert
Leslie recently completed an internship as a counselor in the Counseling Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she had the opportunity to refine her counseling and empathy skills by providing a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students with culturally sensitive individual and group counseling. Additionally, she has presented on a variety of outreach topics, including stress management, mindfulness, conquering shyness, social anxiety, and informational presentations about counseling services to the campus community.
Leslie earned her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling through Minnesota State University, and is currently an Assistant Theatre Director at Lemont High School.
Let us inspire and guide you towards healing the world through the arts.
The Center for Creative Arts Therapy's Training Programs offer certification and certificate programs in Drama Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, Therapeutic Performing Arts, Psychodrama, Sociaiodrama and Theatre for Change.
Experience fearlessly progressive education in intimate, experiential programs. Under the guidance of globally influential and award-winning faculty, students prepare themselves as leaders in their career, effecting purposeful and inspiring revolutions in the community.
For more information on the Center for Creative Arts Therapy training programs in the Chicago and DuPage County area, call us at 847.477.8244, email us, or visit us at 2600 Warrenville Road, Suite 205, Downers Grove, IL 60515.