Denise Padilla de Font is a professional Art Therapist specializing in women and healing arts practitioners. She uses a transpersonal form of Art Therapy to help women experience mindful, empowered pregnancies and birth experiences, helping them navigate through labor, postpartum, and parenthood with confidence. Denise also supports other healers who want to maintain their empathic channels and energy levels, as well as artists who want to dive deeper in their process to mindfully manifest their creative vision. She has over a decade of experience in therapy, specializing in women's life issues, such as: trauma, anxiety, self-esteem, pregnancy/postpartum, parenting, body image, balancing family and work, and addiction and recovery. She listens deeply and compassionately, and assists each client to discover personal avenues to positive transformation.
Denise spent her college years as an interactive installation artist focused on women’s issues, body image, and self-esteem. Her artwork proved to be therapeutic for her collaborators, her audiences, and herself, and she earned a BFA from Florida International University in 2001. Denise then found herself drawn to the field of psychology, feeling a specific calling to support women.
Denise went on to earn a Masters Degree in Art Therapy in 2004 from The George Washington University. She then practiced in clinical settings for almost a decade, most notably at Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health, Paul Robeson School, Cove Center for Recovery, and Mt. Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center with the ArtCenter South Florida as part of the “Art By The Bedside” program. During the post-trauma of 9/11 Denise served as primary therapist to severely traumatized children in downtown Washington, DC.
Denise grew up in the rich Cuban culture of Miami, FL and has always been deeply drawn to her Andean and Spanish family history. Spiritual exploration into her ancestry led to the discovery of the Orisha tradition and in 2004 Denise became an initiated priestess of Oshún, the Afro-Cuban deity of femininity, prosperity, and fertility. This spiritual path has enabled her to develop and deepen her unique abilities as an empath and healer.
These three “tributaries” of Denise’s work – as an installation artist, clinical Art Therapist, and initiated priestess – coalesced into her founding of River Water Healing in 2013.