- MA (Art Therapy), Concordia University, Canada
- BA (Fine Arts), University of Guelph, Canada
- BA (Psychology), Wilfred Laurier University, Canada
Grounded in a psychodynamic psychotherapy paradigm, Ronald P.M.H Lay’s career blends both practical and academic pursuits. His years of experience working full-time as a forensic art therapist in California’s Department of Mental Health acknowledges the invaluable role that education plays in developing, informing and preparing postgraduate students in becoming competent, ethical, socially responsible and effective professional therapists. This is especially critical in regions of the world wherein art therapy is emerging as a viable, meaningful and relevant discipline.
The California State Legislature awarded him the prestigious Sustained Superior Accomplishment Award, a two-year honour, on two separate occasions, recognising his art therapy and contributions to the facility. Ronald developed a sustained art therapy internship at this setting, providing clinical supervision and holding several leadership positions including Acting Chief of Rehabilitation Therapy Services and Chair of the Professional Rehabilitation Therapy Practice Group. He was an active member on several local and state-wide committees that addressed assessment, development, budgets, documentation, quality assurance, privileging, credentialing, treatment intervention and planning as well as continuing professional development.
Ronald is a board-certified and registered art therapist. He maintains professional credentials and memberships nationally and internationally, including the Art Therapists’ Association Singapore, the Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapy Association, the American Art Therapy Association, and the Art Therapy Credentials Board. He has actively contributed to these as well as the Northern California Art Therapy Association through membership on committees to nominate board members, planning international conferences and training events, providing workshops and presentations at peer-juried conferences and providing consultation.
Ronald is an accomplished and award-winning artist. His artistic inquiry is in the area of memory, the passing of time and the psychological interplay between these, and the mixed media he explores (photographs, found objects and acrylic paint). He has donated his personal artwork to several group auctions to raise funds and awareness to several charitable causes, including mental health, breast cancer, heart and stroke, HIV/AIDS and community arts projects. In addition to this, he has spent a considerable amount of time volunteering in Africa.
Ronald is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Education. His research focuses on the impact of experiential learning within postgraduate training on professional practice. He is interested in how art therapy is being applied within Asian and local contexts.