Estefania Alvarez-Zumarraga


Estefania Alvarez-Zumarraga, MA, ATR-P

Provisional – Registered Art Therapist, and Mental Health Practitioner.

She is also certified in medical English/Spanish translation and interpreting, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a focus on clinical trauma, and is trained in multicultural diversity and inclusion, health realization, and as a community health worker and group facilitator. She also completed an DBT Intensive Training (Behavioral Tech). In the arts she enjoys photography and making things.


Estefania integrates expressive arts therapy, psychoeducation, trauma awareness, and culturally-informed methods into her therapeutic approach to enable a safe and healing environment with clients. Additionally, her upbringing and current life in two different cultures has contributed to her awareness of cultural differences and similarities that make humans unique and bring them together in society.

She approaches each client with an open mind, hoping to increase understanding, build genuine connections, and create a judgement-free safe space for healing. With a specialization in mental health, psychology, trauma, addiction, multicultural studies, self-esteem coaching, multilingual skills and expressive arts, she believes that art has an important role in the life of every human, no matter the expertise.  The following quote from Louis Bourgeois best describes the inclusion of art in her mental health practice:“Art is restoration: the idea is to repair the damage that are inflicted in life, to make something that is fragmented–which is what fear and anxiety do to a person–into something whole.”

Her recent experience at a homeless youth shelter in Uptown Minneapolis, has allowed her to keep a mindset of infinite learning and understanding, specially under emergency circumstances. Estefania’s experiences also include working with addiction counseling and art therapy at a recovery center. She aims to process and move through the root of traumas, creating a new narrative and finding healthy coping tools for a balanced life.

Estefania graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Liberal Art’s in Psychology and a certificate in Linguistics-Translation and Interpreting-Medical Track. She completed a master’s degree in Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling at Adler Graduate School in Minnetonka, MN, and is trained in health realization, diversity and inclusion, human physiology and biology, community health work, mental health psychoeducation and a variety of art mediums. She also has been published as a contributor in three academic journal articles:

 Journal of the American Public Health Association

1.“Exploring the sustainability of a school-based CHW outreach model to support Latino families and their adolescents” APHA Vol. 2010

Authors: Estefania Alvarez-Zumarraga, Carolyn Garcia, PhD, MPH, RN, Evan Welo

School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN

2.“Project Wings Home Visits: Sending CHWs into the homes of struggling Latino teens to improve the health literacy of their parents”

Authors: Evan Welo, Community Health Specialist, Carolyn Garcia, PhD, MPH, RN and Estefania Alvarez- Zumarraga, Community Health Specialist

School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN  

Western Journal of Nursing Research

3.“Project Wings, a coping intervention for Latina adolescents: a pilot study” West J Nurs Res 2013 Apr 18;35(4):434-58. Epub 2011 May 18.

Authors: C Garcia, Jessie Pintor, Gabriela Vazquez, Estefania Alvarez-Zumarraga

School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN

 Education, Trainings and Affiliations:

  • Minnesota Art Therapy Association
  • American Art Therapy Association
  • Certified Medical Interpreter and Translator, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN
  • Trained in Community Health Work, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN
  • Trained in Human Physiology, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN
  • Master of Arts, Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling, Alfred Adler Graduate School, Minnetonka, MN
  • Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Psychology, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN
  • DBT Intensive Training (Behavioral Tech)