Maria da Graça Duarte da Silva Santos
Graça Duarte Santos is a certified Psychologist since 1991 (Specialist in Clinical and Health Psychology and Specialist in Educational Psychology by the Order of Portuguese Psychologists, with an Advanced Specialty in Special Educational Needs). Graça is also Expressive Arts Therapist and Psychomotor Therapist. In1999 obtained a master’s degree in Special Education, at Lisbon University; and in 2007 a Ph.D. in Psychology (Expressive Therapies) at Évora University. Throughout more than 20 years of clinical practice with children, adolescents, and adults in individual and group interventions, she has always sought to deepen psychotherapeutic interventions of bodily and expressive mediation based on her theoretical and professional training and later her academic research, namely at masters and doctoral level. In 2000 she started working at Évora University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and after 20 years she works currently in the Department of Sports and Health. Graça Duarte Santos has been a member of the Executive and Monitoring Committee of the Degree in Psychomotor Rehabilitation (since the 1st edition in 2007) and in Master's Degree in Psychomotricity (since the 1st edition in 2008). She was also Director of the Degree in Psychology (2009-2010) and the Master’s Degree in Special Education (2009-2013) and member of the Executive and Monitoring Committee of the Master’s Degree in Special Education (2013-2021). Since 2009 she has been a visiting Professor at European Graduate School -Department Arts, Health and Society (Switzerland). She is also Supervisor and Collaborator at PG in Expressive Arts Therapy, Trauma and Embodiment – Poiesis Institute - Clinical Section of Applied Arts – España. She has held multiple workshops in this area in Portugal and abroad (Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and USA) With a background also in Psychosomatics (1990-91 -ISPA-University Paris VII), Psychodrama (S.P.P. 2008-2013), and Psychomotricity (post-doctorate at Institute de Formation en Psychomotricité- Faculté de Medicine Pièrre et Marie Curie, Université Paris VI), she has directed her teachings and research towards the articulation between psychology and corporeity, whether in the study of embodiment, psychological variables and its psycho-body expression, whether in the study of (psycho)therapeutic interventions of body mediation (mainly expressive), in clinical or community contexts (and its impact on mental health and psychosomatic). Since 2007 she has supervised several Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral dissertations, namely in Psychology and Psychomotricity. Graça's research specialties include the connection between body and emotion, particularly the impact of expressive therapies and body-oriented interventions on children, adolescents' adults' and elderly mental health and well-being. She has been focused on typical and atypical development as well as on various clinical groups (e.g., social behavior problems, X-fragile, autism, women with breast cancer, women in prisons, victims of domestic violence, etc). Graça has participated in national and international research projects. Currently, she is part of the team of the project Knowledge Academy OUT-TO-IN, which was recently awarded a grant from Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. The project aims to promote children's social-emotional competence through body-oriented practices implemented at preschools outdoor.