Dr. Katherine Ziff

Assistant Professor

Faculty Member at Wake Forest University since  2014


  • Ph.D., Ohio University
  • Master of Arts in Education (Counseling), Wake Forest University
  • Masters in Urban Affairs & Public Policy, Virginia Tech
  • Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research and Special Interests:

  • Creative counseling, history of psychiatry, the intersection of individual experience, history, and social/organizational structures, and arts based research practice.

Awards (selected):

  • George E. Hill Memorial Award for outstanding work and professional service, Ohio University Counselor Education Program, October 2014.
  • Archie Fund for the Arts and Humanities Grant, Wake Forest University. to support research for Ruth Faison Shaw: Originator of Finger Paint.
  • League of Women Voters Barbara Wiseman Award, for work on behalf of children and mental health. Athens, Ohio, 2012.
  • President’s First Annual Award for Excellence in Diversity. Ohio University, 2004-2005.
  • J. Mel. Witmer Creative Altruism Award. Ohio University, 2001.

Professional Service (selected):

  • Editorial Review Board,  Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 2011-present.
  • Advisory Council, Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World, Greensboro, NC. 2012-present.
  • Appalachian Community Hospice (Athens, OH): train volunteers in touch drawing for clients, 2012-2014.
  • Co-Editor, Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds, 2005-2008.
  • President, Ohio School Counselor Association, 2002-2003.
  • Member, Executive Board, Ohio Counseling Association, 2002-2003.

Counseling Experience: 

  • School Counselor K-12: Athens (OH) City School, Guilford County (NC) Schools, and Greensboro (NC) Day School.
  • Professional Counselor: Ohio University Counseling & Psychological Services; Comprehensive Counseling and Psychological Services  (Athens, Ohio)

Professional Licensure and Memberships (Selected):

  • School Counselor, State of North Carolina
  • School Counselor, State of Ohio
  • Professional Counselor, State of Ohio
  • American Counseling Association
  • Association for Creativity in Counseling
  • Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling

Recent Publications (selected):

  • Ziff, K., & Ivers, N. (in review). There’s Beauty in Brokenness: Teaching Empathy through Dialogue with Art Works. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health. 
  • Ziff, K. (in press)  ArtBreak:  A Creative Guide to Joyful and Productive Classrooms. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press/Swallow Press.
  • Ziff, K. (2016). Nature and the trauma of human enslavement: An imaginative resonance with the bisimbi of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts, 15, 7-19.
  • Ziff, K., Ivers, N., & Shaw, E. (2015).ArtBreak group counseling for children: Framework, practice points and findings. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 41, 71-92.
  • Ziff, K. (2015).  Squaring the circle. In C. Bhat, Y. Pillay & P. Selvaraj (Eds.), Group work experts share their favorite activities for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders (pp. 242-245). Alexandria, VA:  Association for Specialists in Group Work.
  • Ziff, K. (2012). Asylum on the Hill: History of a Healing Landscape. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press.
  • Ziff, K., Johanson, S., Pierce, L., & King, M. (2012). ArtBreak: A creative counseling program for children.  Journal of Creativity in Mental Health.
  • Ziff, K. (2009). Family Sculpting. In ACA Encyclopedia of Counseling, Erford, B. Ed. Washington: American Counseling Association.
  • Ziff, K., Thomas, D., & Beamish, P. (2008).Asylum and community: The Athens Lunatic Asylum in nineteenth-century Ohio. History of Psychiatry, 19(4): 409-432.
  • Bhat, C. and Ziff, K. (2008). Working well under stress: A holistic approach forombuds. Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds.
  • Pillay, Y., Ziff, K. Bhat, C. (2008). Vedanta personality development: A model to enhance the cultural competency of psychotherapists. International Journal of Hindu Studies.
  • Conway, M. & Ziff, K. (2006). Speaking ourselves into existence: metaphor as a means to reflective practice. The Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds, 7, 1-7.
  • Ziff, K. & Beamish, P. (2004).Teaching a course on the expressive arts and counseling:experiential learning in counselor education. Counselor Education and Supervision, 44,147-159.
  • Ziff, K.  (2002). Home and career development: A life history of Elia Hill Swann, 1878-1961, with implications for counseling. Journal of Career Development, 29, 1-18.

Recent Presentations (Selected): 

  • Ziff, K.  (2016). The Early Years of the Athens Lunatic Asylum, NAMI Spring Speaker, Athens, OH.
  • Ziff, K. (2016). Caring for Caregivers: Making Meaning with Art. Aging Re-Imagined Symposium Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC.
  • Ziff, K. (2016). Adding the Rainbow to Mud Pies: Ruth Faison Shaw and Finger Painting as a Therapeutic Medium. North Carolina Counseling Association Conference, Greensboro, NC.
  • Ziff, K. (2015). Artbreak Creative Group Counseling for Children: Framework, Research Update, and Practice Points. All Ohio Counselors Conference, Columbus: Ohio.
  • Ziff, K. (2015). Adding the Rainbow to Mud Pies: Ruth Faison Shaw and the Origination of Finger Painting as a Therapeutic Medium.  Buckeye Art Therapy Association Conference, Columbus, OH.
  • Gladding, S., Ziff, K., & Henderson, D. (2015). Counseling is… Teaching counselor education through metaphors. Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, National Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Ziff, K. (2015, June). The Kirkbride plan: social control or humanistic impulse?  Athens Asylum: Heritage Worth Preserving Conference, Ohio University Department of Geography, Athens, Ohio.
  • Ziff, K. (2015, February). The expressive therapies continuum: integrating art into counseling practice. North Carolina Counseling Association. Greensboro, NC.
  • Ziff, K., & Ivers, N. N. (2015, March). ArtBreak creative group counseling for children: Framework, practice points, and research. Presentation given at the 2015 American Counseling Association Conference in Orlando, FL, March 15, 2015.
  • Ziff, K. (2014) Landscape and Community: Utopian Approaches to Healing. Invited Presenter, Ping Institute for the Teaching of the Humanities Fall Workshop, Ohio University. November 2014.
  • Ziff, K. (2014) The Expressive Therapies Continuum: Integrating Art into Counseling Practice. All-Ohio Counselors Conference, November 2014. Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Ziff, K. (2014) ArtBreak: A guided Introduction to a Small Group Creative Counseling Intervention. Invited presenter, North Central Ohio Counseling Association Fall Workshop, October 2014.
  • Ziff, K. (2014) ArtBreak: Creative Group Counseling: Framework and Practice Points. North Central Ohio Counseling Association Fall Workshop, co-sponsored by the Ohio Counseling Association. Cleveland, OH
  • Ziff, K. (2012). ArtBreak: A creative counseling intervention. Pre-Conference Workshop, All Ohio Counselors Conference. Columbus, OH.
  • Ziff, K. (2012). Introduction to Touch Drawing. Pre-Conference Workshop, All Ohio Counselors Conference. Columbus, OH.
  • Ziff, K. Ohio University Ping Institute Lecture, 2012.
  • Ziff, K. and Pierce, L. (2011). ArtBreak: A creative counseling intervention. American Counseling Association national conference. New Orleans, LA.
  • Ziff, K. and Johanson, S. (2011). ArtBreak: A group intervention for students. National Association of School Psychologists National Convention. San Francisco, CA.
  • Ziff, K. & Roberts, K.  (November 2007). Art-making and counseling: introduction to mandalas. All Ohio Counselors Conference. Columbus, OH.
  • Ziff, K. and Graham, E. (April 2007). Intervening with suicidal ideation in the ombuds office. Annual conference of the International Ombudsman Association. St. Louis, MO.
  • Ziff, K. and Graham, E.  (November 2007). Conveners: Writer’s Panel. Annual meeting of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds. Pacific Grove, CA.
  • Barrington, P. & Ziff, K. (2005, November). Portfolios: a professional development tool for school counselors. Presentation at the All-Ohio Counselors Conference. Columbus, OH.

Juried Art Exhibitions (selected):

  • Ziff, K. (2015). SkyHorse. In Athens Voices USA, A Dairy Barn Biennial Exhibition.  Athens, Ohio. Exhibited in Athens: Ohio, Alabama, and West Virginia.
  • Ziff, K. (2013). Foundation: 40B. In Athens Voices USA, A Dairy Barn Biennial Exhibition.  Athens, OH. Exhibited in Athens, Ohio;  Athens, Alabama; and Athens, West Virginia.
  •  Ziff, K. (2012).  Freak Flag. In Fly Your Own Freak Flag, Thunder-Sky Gallery. Cincinnati, OH.
  •  Ziff, K. (2012). 36 works: RobotArt. In Small Potatoes Thunder-Sky Gallery. Cincinnati. OH.
  •  Ziff, K. (2011). RobotArt. Selected for exhibition in Hard Knocks: Art without Art School, Thunder-Sky Gallery. Cincinnati, Ohio.
  •  Ziff, K. (2006). Asclepius on The Ridges (monotype). Selected for exhibition in OH+5 Dairy Barn Center’s Regional Biennial Exhibition, 2006. Athens, OH.
  •  Ziff, K. (2005) Redbud (monotype). Art Exhibition of the Seventh Annual Conference on the Women of Appalachia. Zanesville, OH.
  •  Ziff, K. (2003). Jupiter Fone Illustration (pen and ink). Catalog of the 2003 Burning Man Art Exhibition. San Francisco, CA.


  • My special interests are hiking, shopping at farmer’s markets, making art and being with my family.