A grotto of purple and snowy white petals
An ancient theatre of angelic dancers
held together in prayer
A phoenix rising
PhotoPoem by Akiba & Maryam Mermey Copyright © 2020
The Transformative Arts
PhD, REAT, Founding Executive Director
Dr. Maryam Mermey is a trauma-informed, Registered Expressive Arts Therapist and the Founding Executive Director of The Transformative Arts. The Transformative Arts is presently focused on offering international trainings on the healing benefits of the integration of dance, haiku poetry, nature photography and music for counselors/therapists, educators, health care professionals and medical professionals. As an expressive arts artist, Maryam publishes haiku with the “Blithe Spirit” "Presence” and “The Bamboo Hut” Journals and received a commendation in the 2022 Martin Lucas Award Contest. In May of 2023, one of her haiku was accepted into a haiku anthology called "To Live Here” a benefit for Salford Loaves and Fishes, which supports unhoused people in the UK. She was also invited to participate in The Wee Sparrow Poetry Press - To Live Here Poetry Reading. Maryam collaborates with her husband, Akiba, in the creation of PhotoPoems and PhotoHaiku, which they share through publications and exhibits throughout Maine in the USA. For the month of June 2023 they had a 31-piece PhotoPoem exhibit at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine.
Dr. Maryam has a life-long career offering trauma-informed expressive arts therapy via private practice in Massachusetts and Maine as well as teaching expressive arts therapy at a private college in Maine and starting an Expressive Arts Program at the Peter Alfond Prevention and Healthy Living Center at MaineGeneral. The Expressive Arts Program included trainings in Healing Glass Mandalas, Painting Glass Mandalas and Glass Jewelry Making among a wide range of other healing expressive arts modalities. She also helped to support the Maine Dartmouth Family Medicine Residents during Covid by offering healing expressive arts trainings.
Advanced training in grief work and co-presenting a creative writing workshop called From the Heart at the Third Bereaved Parents Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland inspired hospice and Train the Trainer certifications. Dr. Mermey used this background to offer expressive arts trainings for hospice volunteers as well as expressive arts psychosocial support groups for grieving children, teens, adults and refugees from Africa, the Baltic States and Cambodia.
Maryam designed an original bully prevention model for children, youth and adults called Transforming the Bullying Cycle Through The Expressive Arts, which has been used internationally along with a companion book and professionally made films. The Transforming the Bullying Cycle Through the Expressive Arts Model specialized in working with young people with the neurodiversity of autism.