Running our clinical mental health services and psychosocial programs is a multi-disciplinary group of psychologists, expressive arts clinicians, psychotherapists and counselors, psychometricians, psychoeducators, and expressive arts facilitators. They are also supported by a team of artists and administrators to bring forward an advocacy for the healing impact of the expressive arts.
Maria Regina A. Alfonso, PhD, ATR-BC, LCPAT
Founder and Clinical Director
Gina is the lead convenor of Expressive Arts Philippines, and Founder and Director of MAGIS Creative Spaces. She obtained her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Expressive Arts: Therapy, Coaching, Consulting & Education, Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding at the European Graduate School in Switzerland; a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Arts, focused on Art Therapy from Lesley University in Boston, Massachusetts; and a Master of Science in Education from Fordham University. Gina has been an educator for 30 years, focused on early childhood and special education. She is also a licensed and board certified clinical professional art therapist, a trauma specialist, and expressive arts practitioner.
As a mental health clinician for 20 years working with individuals of all ages, including couples and families, she works in private practice and is an international education and mental health consultant developing preventive and rehabilitative programs for human service professionals who work with children and communities in vulnerable contexts. She was the lead developer of Healing and Education through the Arts (HEART) Psychosocial Support Program at Save the Children, International where she was a lead global trainer and served countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Joey Atayde, M.S., R-DMT
Joey is a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist with the American Dance Therapy Association. After practicing as a ballerina for 15 years, she pursued graduate studies at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where she finished her Master of Science in dance/movement therapy.
As a dance/movement therapist, Joey has worked with numerous individuals ranging from children to seniors. Her clinical practice includes children with autism and developmental delays, adults with various mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, dementia, among others. Upon arriving in the Philippines in 2017, Joey has given talks and workshops about integrating dance/movement therapy into Filipino culture at the Ateneo de Manila School of Medicine, UP Philippine General Hospital, Brain Wellness Center at Asian Hospital & Medical Center, and at The Learning Child School.
Joey is a practicing clinician doing therapy with children and adults, runs various support groups and an expressive arts summer camp, and designs and facilitates training programs for various organizations including the East Asian Pastoral Institute, the Social Work Department of the University of Southern Philippines.
Fabrienne Calipara, MA, RPsy
Fab is a licensed psychologist with a diverse range of experience with individuals, groups, and communities across all ages. She completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of Santo Tomas in 2009, and has been in practice since then. Her work with children and adolescents revolves around dealing with trauma, abuse, emotional and behavioral issues, and working closely with schools to offer and co-develop educational programs and professional development to enhance psychosocial support for the community. She has also been a resource speaker and facilitator since 2006, specializing in topics of psychological well-being in children, women, and in the workplace; addressing sexual abuse and psycho trauma management; and skills training for psychologists and counselors.
Fab’s work includes treatment and therapy with the Kanlungan Sa Erma Ministry Foundation, case reviews and analysis for adoption with the RCWSG Committee of DSWD IV-B, and private practice primarily at MAGIS Creative Spaces. She has also worked as a training and workshop facilitator for the Employee Assistance Program at Human Dynamic, as a counselor and training specialist that spearheaded Stairway Foundation Inc – Manila’s Counseling Program, and as a crisis intervention worker at the Women’s Crisis Center.
Tiffany Cheryl Chan, BFA, MA, MA (she/her)
Tiff specialises in an embodied, and resource-oriented, method of intermodal decentering (IDEC©), with particular focus on using Expressive Arts Therapy practices to process and transform experiences of anxiety, depression, suicidality, and grief; into hope, inspiration, understanding, growth, self compassion and resilience. As a highly sensitive and intuitive empath, her emphasis on the connection to the client, matched with a deep fluency in a full range of art forms, has effectively facilitated psycho-emotional shifts with each individual’s openness to creative engagement. She runs the Open Studio group at MAGIS which is a more relaxed, weekly gathering that supports the group’s individual creative process in whichever medium they choose, with guidance and inspiration in shaping their practice when asked.
She began as a multidisciplinary artist in all main art forms including visual arts, dance, poetry, music and theatre, yet realised her true calling was to use her deep fluency in the art forms to inspire and facilitate the arts in others for healing, transformation and self discovery. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Art from Oxford University’s Ruskin School of Art several years before she graduated from her Master’s Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy with Distinction from the European Graduate School (EGS) in Switzerland and Hong Kong, for which she also trained at The CREATE Institute in Toronto, Canada, seeking especially to train with the pioneers of the field.
She has volunteered internationally, and worked with clients of all ages and walks of life, individually as well as in groups, ranging from the neurotypical, to mentally and physically impaired in-patients; from adults aspiring to enhance their creativity for well-being, to toddlers, children and youth with anxiety, depression, and issues socialising.
John Vincent Felix
JV is a Full-time faculty member of the Psychology Department at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Arts in Psychology major in Clinical Psychology degrees in the same university. Before being an educator, he was a Guidance Counselor at Mater Ecclesiae School and The Learning Child School. His love and commitment in helping children with mental health concerns motivated him to become a full-fledged Registered Psychometrician and Psychologist. Among his affiliations are the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP), and Association of Education Researchers and Trainers (ASSERT) where he is a Board Member.
Princess Margaret Fuentes, RN
Princess graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing at San Juan De Dios Educational Foundation, Inc. in Pasay, and attained her professional license both in 2007. After working as an emergency nurse for ___ years, both in the Philippines and Saudi Arabia, Princess pursued her passion for the arts back in the Philippines. Her interests in the arts and healthcare began to emerge as she developed her own practice as a painter and setting up Artventure PH, an art center that exists to provide art classes and creative services to mostly children and those with special needs. Her personal experiences as an artist and a healthcare worker has led her to pursue her Masters in Clinical Psychology at De La Salle University— Dasmariñas, while training to be an expressive arts facilitator and therapist at MAGIS Creative Spaces.
Kristine “Bambi” Gamban, MA
Expressive Arts Facilitator
Bambi is an expressive arts practitioner, resource speaker, workshop facilitator and retreat director, completing her Master’s degree in Theology at the Divine Word School of Theology in Tagaytay City. She has facilitated values camps for elementary students and has conducted retreats and team-building workshops for both children and adults for various organizations. Bambi has been trained directly by expressive arts pioneers Paolo and Margo Knill, and in expressive arts trauma integration as part of MAGIS’ professional training of trainers. Bambi has been closely mentored as a trainer by board certified clinicians and has co-facilitated numerous workshops on self-care and psychosocial integration through arts-based approaches serving organizations such as the East Asian Pastoral Institute, the Asian Hospital Brain Wellness Center, the Philippine Heart Center, Cartwheel Foundation and the University of Southern Philippines.
Patrick Gamo, MCouns
Patrick is a professional counselor and psychotherapist who has worked with children and adults with behavioral, social, and psychological issues. After completing his Masters in Counselling as a scholar at Monash University, Australia, he returned to the Philippines and currently holds clinic at EMMAUS Center for Psycho-Spiritual Formation, and MAGIS Creative Spaces.
Patrick is certified in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mental Health First Aid, and Applied Suicide Intervention. Patrick’s advocacy for mental health has caused him to start Psych of Pat, which activates advocacy through psychoeducation.
Aimee Gonzaga, MD – Clinical Psychology
Aimee is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Certified Clinical Psychologist from the Psychological Association of the Philippines. She has spent almost 17 years of her career working with various non-government organizations, and specializes in the treatment of trauma among children who have been victims of different forms of abuse. She also works with families and caregivers that provide family therapy services. She also handles varied psychological issues among adult clients in her private practice.
She acquired her Master’s Degree program in Clinical Psychology from University of Santo Tomas Graduate School in 2011. She is an affiliate member of various organizations including Philippine Association of Child and Play Therapy (PHILPLAY), Society of Filipino Family Therapist (SOFFT) and Psychological Association of the Philippines. She was also a part-time faculty in the Department of Psychology at Far Eastern University Manila. Aimee is also a consultant Psychologist of different NGOs and government agencies in their programs and intervention services for their clients.
Marisa Marin, MA, RPsy, CSCLP, CAGS
Marisa is a registered psychologist who has used music, play and other expressive arts modalities in her therapy practice for almost two decades. She took her BA Psychology at The Catholic University of America and later on pursued her MA Psychology, focused on Child and Family Development at the Ateneo de Manila University. Recently, she earned a certificate for postgraduate studies in Expressive Arts Therapy, Education & Consulting in the European Graduate School in Switzerland where she hopes to finish her doctorate studies.
Her passion to serve, enjoy playing and music making started with the cancer patients in Children’s Medical Center (Dr. Fe del Mundo General Hospital) and was part of the team of psychologists in MLAC Institute of Psychosocial Services, Inc. Presently, she is a practitioner of music therapy in CRIBS-New Beginning Foundation where she handles abandoned and abused children. She also provides music therapy for the aging priests of the Jesuit Infirmary inside the Ateneo Loyola Campus. She is part of MAGIS Creative Spaces, Ayala Alabang where she offers expressive arts therapy for all ages. She joined ALRES-Philippines as a supervisor for graduate students and a psychologist specifically for children with special needs. She has also conducted seminars on Music & Wellness at UP College of Music Extension Program (UPCMEP).
She is a founding board member and past president of the Philippine Association of Child and Play Therapy (Philplay). She is a Certified Specialist in Clinical Psychology and an associate member of the Psychological Association of the Philippines. She is a member of the American Music Therapy Association.
In 2012, she had the opportunity to talk about her music therapy practice in Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, Korea. She also contributed to the 2014 Music and Medicine Journal, Southeast Asian edition an International Online Journal with an article, Exploring Therapeutic Songwriting for Filipino Children with Leukemia. And she also wrote a chapter, Music, You and the Adolescent to Joey Ayala’s Palay, Kanin, Bigas Sourcebook. Her MA thesis, Exploring the Use of Music Therapy for Filipino Children with Autism, is featured in the December 2004 issue of Philippine Journal of Psychology.
Marinela Paulino, MAP, RPsy
Mariel is a registered psychologist who obtained her Master of Arts in Psychology from Southville International School and Colleges, where she also currently works as a college guidance counselor and faculty member of the Psychology Department. As a member of the Rotary Club of Sunvalley Sunrise, she has also taken part in projects such as Psychological First Aid training and psychosocial interventions in Tacloban and within the Rotary community.
Josephine Samudio, RPsy
Jophie is a registered psychologist and faculty member of National Teachers College in Manila. She graduated from B.S. Psychology at Far Eastern University, and completed her Masters in Psychology, majoring in Clinical Psychology, at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. She is also trained in mindfulness-based stress reduction. In her free time she enjoys playing badminton, reading, playing guitar, practicing mindfulness meditation.
As a clinician, Jophie mostly handles adolescents and adult clients with mental disorders, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, and personality disorders with issues regarding self-worth, relationships, and family concerns. She uses integrated techniques in therapy but mainly uses mindfulness techniques in all her clients to maintain awareness and attention in the present moment.
Jillen is a kids yoga instructor and a psychologist in training, taking up her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at De La Salle University, Manila. She has had training in Virlanie Foundation, Inc. and in Divine Mercy Psychiatric Facility. Currently at MAGIS, Jill is a co-facilitator for expressive arts psychosocial programs, integrating psychological and expressive arts-based methods in psychosocial support.
Jillen’s professional pursuit is also her personal advocacy that she turned into a business for social impact. As an entrepreneur she is one of the Co-Founders of FAM Mnl, a business that donates 10% of their proceeds to National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) and other mental health organizations. FAM Mnl aims to end the stigma around mental health. By raising awareness, Jillen and the FAM team aspire to create a platform that would encourage people to openly talk about their mental illness, connect with people, seek treatment and even save lives.
Gia Michaela Umil, RPm
Gia is a registered psychometrician who finished BA Psychology at the University of the Philippines – Diliman. Passionate about mental health, her enthusiasm for the arts as an instrument for healing grew in the internship program at MAGIS. The internship led to a role in Programs and Research, where Gia was involved in various psychosocial programs as a co-facilitator and coordinator. Gia has also been practicing yoga for the last 8 years, and integrates knowledge of this practice in co-facilitating workshops on self-care for groups of all ages. She is currently taking up her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at De La Salle University, Manila, and remains engaged with MAGIS as a co-facilitator for expressive arts psychosocial programs, integrating psychological and expressive arts-based methods in psychosocial support.
Rea Villa, RPsy
Rea is a registered psychologist and faculty member at Southville International Schools and Colleges where she also obtained her Masters in Clinical Psychology. Aside from individual therapy services, her experience includes administering assessments, facilitating workshops and seminars, and conducting research. Her background in athletics also highlights her passion for personal development and social change through education, the empowerment of the youth through sport, and activating communities for social impact.