Tonia Herrero is a Board Certified Registered Art Therapist with the Art Therapy Credentials Board. Her theoretical approach to therapy is grounded in both relational psychodynamic and humanistic approaches. Tonia has a long history of facilitating the powerful therapeutic relationship between art and young people. She obtained her Bachelors of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts in Oakland/SF, an Art Teaching Credential from California State University East Bay in Hayward, and a Master of Professional Studies in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.
Tonia developed and directed the Fashion Art and Design Academy of Oakland Technical High School (formerly Far West High School) and taught art and design courses to adolescents there for ten years. Inspired by the healing power of the arts and the therapeutic relationships she built with her students as an art teacher, Tonia then moved to New York to pursue clinical graduate studies in Art Therapy. During her graduate program, she completed various clinical internships providing individual and group art therapy to pre-teens and adolescents that struggled with complex trauma, substance abuse, oppositional defiance disorders, and other mental health diagnoses.
Since completing her graduate studies and returning to the Bay Area, Tonia has held various positions as an art therapist at facilities across the bay such as; transitional housing for adults with severe mental illness in Redwood City and Daly City, an adult inpatient acute psychiatric hospital in Oakland, and a public high school in Hayward. Tonia currently has a private practice out of her office in Oakland where she works with clients of all ages and provides supervision to emerging art therapists. She currently works part time as an art therapist with children, adolescents and adults at John Muir Behavioral Health Center (inpatient psychiatric hospital) in Concord and at Newport Academy’s residential facilities for adolescents and young adults all across the bay area.