Mary Ellen Hluska | Springfield College

Mary Ellen Hluska

Mary Ellen Hluska

Associate Professor of Art Therapy / Director of Art Therapy
Mary Ellen Hluska head shot
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Lesley University, Cambridge, Mass., 2016.
  • Master of Arts, Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y., 1992
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, The Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Ohio, 1989

Mary Ellen Hluska comes to Springfield College with a strong clinical background using art therapy in acute medical and psychiatric hospital settings. Her practice in art therapy has always been based on the incorporation fine arts skills to promote developmental mastery of milestones in at-risk children, adolescents and their families. Creative thinking encourages problem solving, which initiates innovative thought processes, so children and adolescents can make sense of their world. Her teaching philosophy is similar and incorporates fine arts skills with mastery of core concepts to help students understand the material. Hluska believes that student work should reflect a solid understanding of all of the core components that make the field unique. This includes understanding becoming a therapist and also understanding how to instill art making as an integral mechanism for growth in clients. She has taught research as an adjunct and continue to explore research methods for the artist and art therapist.

Research Interests
  • Incorporation of Language of Fine Arts Pedagogy into Art Therapy
Courses Taught
  • Introduction to Art Therapy
  • Methods and Materials in Art Therapy
  • Special Populations in Art Therapy
  • Art Therapy with the Elderly
  • Printmaking for the Art Therapist
  • Qualitative Research Design
  • Advanced Seminar: Medical Art Therapy
  • Introduction to Art Therapy Research
  • Master's Research project
Certifications and Memberships

Board Certified Art Therapist

Licensed Clinical Professional Art Therapist (Massachusetts and Maryland)

Local Arrangements Committee Membership Coordinator, 2016 National American Art Therapy Association's Conference in Baltimore, Md.

American Art Therapy Association

The Art Therapy Credentials Board

The New England Art Therapy Association

The Connecticut Art Therapy Association


Selected Works


  • Understanding the Roles and Uses of Art Making in Art Therapy, Dissertation Defense, August, 2016.


  • Dissertation: Understanding the Roles and Uses of Art Making in Art Therapy (2016, Lesley University, ProQuest #10182396)