Yerneika Lopez, MA, LGPC, ATR-P, is an art therapist and psychotherapist in the District of Columbia specializing in trauma. Yerneika has experience teaching children with autism, mentoring inner city youth and developing Civil Service exams for uniformed service titles. No matter her job description, Yerneika brings her passion to heal, help and understand others into
the spaces she occupies. As a teacher for children with autism, Yerneika was first introduced to art therapy and inspired to pursue that career track. This pursuit has turned Yerneika into an advocate for art therapy because it is a language that everyone can speak, does not require any artistic skill and offers expression by use of various art materials.
In addition to an expressive therapy approach, Yerneika has training in trauma-focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, person-centered therapy and art therapy influenced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. As a graduate of Long Island University Post’s Clinical Art Therapy program and Teachers College at Columbia University Master’s Program in Developmental Psychology, Yerneika has been able to join her creative side with her educational background in psychology to create a space where others can benefit from the healing power of art.
Yerneika was first introduced to art therapy as a behavioral training assistant at Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY for children diagnosed with autism. Each week, for 30 minutes, “I witnessed the amazing effect of art therapy. At that time, I did not know that I had been introduced to my calling and it took me years to wander back to it.” As a student in LIU Posts’ Clinical Art Therapy program, Yerneika was able to use art therapy with survivors of the Holocaust and at-risk youth in Israel, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Long Island, NY and inpatient psychiatric patients in Manhattan, NY. Yerneika believes that just as art therapy is not always about the product, her journey to and through art therapy has
taught her that although healing does not always look beautiful, what comes as a result of healing does.
Yerneika’s wealth of experience, journey to personal healing, and passion for the application of the arts into the therapeutic process, allows her to assist clients on their wellness paths. Her passion lies in providing her clients with a safe space to connect with their inner power while utilizing art therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and trauma-informed psychodynamic
therapy to guide them in their journey to healing.