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Amy Backos, Ph.D.

Chair, Art Therapy Program


  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology. Alliant International University/California School of Professional Psychology (APA Accredited, Child and Family Track). San Francisco, CA, 2009.
  • MA, Art Therapy. Ursuline College. Pepper Pike, Ohio, 1997.
  • BA, Psychology. Kent State University, Kent, OH, 1994.
    • Magna cum laude

Research and Interests

Art therapy in treating PTSD, use and validity of projective assessments, PTSD, empirically validated treatments, PTSD treatment outcome and program evaluation


  • Faculty Research Grant, Notre Dame de Namur, 2012.
  • Graduate Fellowships, California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, 2004-2009.
  • Scholarship, Edgewood Center for Children and Families, 2005.
  • Award for Outstanding Research, Ursuline College, 1997.



  • Collie, K., Backos, A., Malchiodi, C. & Spiegel, D. (2007). Art therapy for combat-related PTSD: Recommendations for research and practice. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 23(4), 157-164.
  • Backos, A., Participating clinician in Koplewicz, H. S. & Goodman, R. F. (Eds.). (1999). Childhood revealed: Art expressing pain, discovery, and hope. (p. 118). New York: Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated.
  • Backos, A. & Pagon, B. (1999). Finding a voice: Art therapy with female adolescent Sexual abuse survivors. Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 16(3), 126-132.


  • Backos, A. (1999). Transformations. The Voice of the Nightingale, 15(1), 2.
  • Backos, A. (1997). Feminism and the Healing Benefits of Art. What She Wants, 24(9), 6.



  • Backos, A. & Samuelson, K. (2010, August). Drawings of mothers and children exposed to intimate partner violence. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Diego, CA.
  • 2010 Grand Rounds Presentation at the Cleveland VA Hospital Acceptance and Commitment Therapy using Art Therapy with Veterans who have PTSD.
  • 2008 PTSD Clinician’s Workshop at the Cleveland VA Hospital (co-presentation with Corrie Mazzeo) ACT Art Therapy.
  • Backos, A. & Samuelson, K. (2007, August). Comparisons of children with and without Emotional disturbance in DAP: SPED. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.
  • 2000 Ohio Coalition Against Sexual Assault. (Co-presentation with Phyllis Harris) Girls Kick Butt: Empowerment for the Y-Generation Girl.
  • 1999 Cleveland Rape Crisis Center: Professional Education Program. (Co-presentation with Peg Tipka) Recognizing and Exploring Vicarious Trauma.
  • 1999 Ohio Art Therapy Association. (Co-presentation with Peg Tipka) Transforming Toxic Imagery: The Vicarious Traumatization of the Art Therapist.
  • 1998 Ohio Art Therapy Association. (Co-presentation with Barb Pagon) Group Art Therapy with Female Adolescent Sexual Abuse Survivors.
  • 1998 YWCA/Center for Refuge Conference: Healing the Hurt – Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Using Art Therapy to Examine and Heal Body Image in Sexual Abuse Survivors.
  • 1997 National Coalition Against Sexual Assault Conference. The Use of Art Therapy with Sexual Assault Survivors.


  • 2012 University of San Francisco, Invited lecturer for graduate assessment class, Art Assessments.
  • 2011, 2006, and 2005 California School of Professional Psychology. Invited lecturer for Psychodiagnostic Assessment doctoral class: Figure Drawings in Therapy and Assessment.
  • 2007 Sonoma State University. Invited lecturer for Careers in Psychology undergraduate class: Art Therapy as a Profession.
  • 2006 San Francisco Veteran’s Administration. Co-created grand rounds panel lecture: Is Insight Oriented Psychotherapy Contraindicated with Asian Clients?
  • 1999 Cleveland Rape Crisis Center: Professional Educational Program for Professionals. (Co-presentation with Stacey Knox) Creative Therapies with Sexual Abuse Survivors.
  • 1999 Cleveland Rape Crisis Center: Legal Education and Training Program for Cleveland police and detectives. Common Reactions of Sexual Abuse Survivors.
  • 1998 Pittsburgh Action Against Rape: Invited lecturer (Co-presentation with Mary Brigid) Art Therapy With Sexual Assault Survivors.

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