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Dual Diagnosis Professional Conference: Expressive Therapies - Music and Art

The Department of Human Services’ Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) are pleased to announce the Dual Diagnosis Professional Conference Series, which offers presentations focused on supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism (ID/A) and mental health needs. The selected presenters share their expertise on best and promising practices as well as to provide general knowledge. Session topics, which focus on increasing capacity to serve individuals with dual diagnosis in the community, are chosen based on identified needs and with input from the field of professional stakeholders.

  • Invited audience of all professional stakeholders, including direct and clinical supporters for individuals with ID/A are encouraged to attend.
  • Registration is required and at no charge to attendees.
  • Four (4) hours of training credit and a certificate of achievement is provided.

Expressive Therapies

February 10, 2022 – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Session Descriptions

Part 1: Enhancing Engagement through Music Therapy

Under current health and safety restrictions, music therapists provide meaningful engagement and interaction despite the challenges of physical distancing for individuals supported in person as well as virtually. The presenters will use musical/song creation, a rhythm and movement activity, a relaxation experience, and lecture to define music therapy and provide interactive opportunities that reflect a music therapy session. Participants will also learn how to obtain services as well as find funding options

Part 2: Art for All: Integrating Art Therapy and Arts-Based Approaches to Support Individuals with Dual Diagnosis

A basic introduction to Art Therapy and how it can support individualized, strengths-based care for individuals with dual diagnosis. It will outline ethical ways for non-art therapists to bring therapeutic art making into day-to-day life activities for individuals we support. Participants will understand how to set up a safe, success-oriented art making experience and will participate in experiential learning to practice activities aimed at facilitating self-regulation and autonomy.


Kathy Purcell, MT-BC, is a board-certified music therapist and PA State Certified music teacher. She graduated from Shenandoah Conservatory in 1989 with degrees in both Music Therapy and Music Education. She founded Music Therapy Associates (MTA) in 1990. With 28 board certified music therapists, MTA provides individual and group music therapy services for persons of all ages and abilities throughout PA and parts of NJ and Delaware.

Ken Purcell spent 35 years as a recreation therapist in a psychiatric hospital where he conducted creative arts programming. Throughout his career, he utilized music and drama, providing many performances with patients in the community to raise awareness and understanding of mental illness. Ken currently performs as a solo performer as well as with the Jolly Tars, Avoiding Foreclosure, Gaston and Purcell and The Shanachians.

Sahra Riccardi is a Board-Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC) and Licensed Professional Counselor in PA. She has over a decade of experience providing trauma-informed, strengths-based care to individuals with significant behavioral challenges. Sahra has developed Art Therapy programming for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism (IDA) and co-occurring mental health needs including offering ongoing support to families and direct support professionals. Sahra is passionate about using creative, expressive, and experiential approaches to empower individuals of all abilities to achieve their goals.

How to Attend:

The session will be offered virtually, via the Zoom © platform. To participate, you will need access to a computer, with a web camera and microphone that meets the Zoom system requirements.

Zoom Technology Requirements – https://support.zoom.us/hc/enus/articles/201362023-System-requirements-for-Windows-macOS-and-Linux

To Register:

Seating is limited and will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

Use the following link to the MyODP website to register:


A Demographics Form will need to be completed before the registration link will become available.

For questions on registration, email: patraining@columbusorg.com.

* The Dual Diagnosis Professional Conference Series is funded through Money Follows the Person

Upcoming Dates

  • Thursday, February 10, 2022, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm