Victoria Stevens, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and IPA certified psychoanalyst, as well as a classically trained cellist, singer, dancer, and actor. She is an adjunct faculty member of the doctoral program in the Department of Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology at University of California Santa Barbara, Pacifica Graduate Institute in the Clinical Psychology PsyD and PhD and Depth Integrative Healing PhD Programs, adjunct faculty for the Trauma Specialization Masters in Clinical Psychology Program at Antioch University Los Angeles, and an assistant Professor for the Clinical Psychology Program at Antioch University at Santa Barbara where she co-created and is founding faculty for the Somatic Psychotherapy Certification Program with a focus on Trauma Treatment. She is on the faculty of the Occupational Studies Program in Mind-Body Psychology at HMI College of Hypnotherapy, a founding faculty member of the California Institute of the Arts Teaching Artist Training Program, and a clinical psychologist at the Sage Center for Gifted in Colorado and California, providing psychotherapy for gifted and twice-exceptional children, and educational curricula and support for students, teachers, and parents.
She has been a faculty member at a number of institutions: California Institute of the Arts School of Critical Studies, Mount St. Mary’s College Graduate Schools of Nursing and Education, Cleveland Chiropractic College, the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute for Infant and Child Development, The Accelerated School in South Los Angeles, and Windward School, as well as Director of Pedagogy, Curriculum and Research for the Young Musicians Foundation in Los Angeles.
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, 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 and supervised by James Grotstein, she studied logotherapy and trauma with Viktor Frankl, and she studied interpersonal affective neurobiology with Allan Schore for over ten years.
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, neurobiology, emotional development, trauma, and affect regulation. She integrates her artistic experience with her expertise in psychology and pedagogical theory to develop innovative arts education curricula and assessments, teacher training programs and trainings for those who work with veterans, foster children, gifted, twice-exceptional, and “at-risk” youth.
She provides professional development training for teachers in public and private schools across the country on the subjects of creativity, the arts, emotional regulation, imagination and metacognition as they relate to life-long learning and academic achievement for all children. Dr. Stevens developed the full curriculum framework for The Millennial Charter High School, an innovative new school in Salinas California that integrates all art forms, media arts and technology with core academic subjects focused on developing creative thinking and social-emotional skills through a trauma-informed pedagogy and STEAM curriculum. As a member of the CREATE CALIFORNIA planning team she has worked with the coalition of the State Department of Education, the California Alliance for Art Education, and The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association to promote artistic training, creativity, and 21st Century Skills through sequential and integrated arts education for all students Pre-K – 12 to schools throughout California. She recently returned from creating a full pre-K – 12th grade curriculum for the Center for Teaching and Learning in Abuja, Nigeria which integrates 21st century skills, empathy, leadership, and collaborative project-based learning with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) skills. This innovative school is dedicated to developing leadership skills in their students and providing teacher training for teachers throughout Africa.
She is an independent consultant for research, program development, and leadership for A Sense of Home which creates homes and community for former foster youth, and a research consultant for the Imagination Workshop offering trauma informed theatre improvisation and playwriting workshops for veterans, at-risk youth, the elderly, and those with psychiatric illnesses. She has been a peer reviewer and GRAMMY Foundation Music and Science Research Special Projects consultant for 15 years, and a peer reviewer for the JumpStarts and Research in the Arts programs for the California Arts Council.
She was a consultant and trainer for the Ministry of Healthy Education in Prague in the post-totalitarian government, training teachers, psychologists, and counselors for 6 years. She has been a trainer in personal growth workshops for individuals and corporations for 30 years, and has given 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 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 at UCLA.
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 “Resonance, Synchrony, and Empathic Attunement: Musical Dimensions of Psychotherapy” in Play and Creativity in Psychotherapy, edited by Terry Marks-Tarlow, Marion Solomon, and Daniel Siegel; “To Think without Thinking: The Implications of Combinatory Play and the Creative Process for Neuroaesthetics” in the American Journal of Play; 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 Krzysztof Izdebski.
She has a private psychoanalytic psychotherapy practice for children, adolescents and adults in West Los Angeles.