Bio - Marsha Nelson, Ph.D.

Dr. Nelson is a life coach, corporate and education consultant, and co-founder and training supervisor of the Creative Journal Expressive Arts (CJEA) and Visioning® certification programs. She has 35 years experience as an educator, business woman, and workshop facilitator. Dan Nelson, her husband, and she own and operate El Rocio Retreat in Mission, Texas. She taught elementary school from 1974 to 1987.

Dr. Nelson’s doctorate concentrated in psychology specializing in the Creative Journal Expressive Arts modalities under the tutelage of CJEA and Visioning ® founder and co-partner, psychologist and author, Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D., A.T.R., R.E.A.T. Dr. Capacchione pioneered expressive arts therapy, inner child work and right brain research to applied therapy, personal growth and healing using non-dominant hand drawing and writing. She also originated Visioning®, a process for life and career planning that draws upon whole brain integrative methods such as writing with the non-dominant hand, image writing, right/left hand dialogues and reflective writing. and

Dr. Nelson has effectively used the CJEA method with individuals and groups of all ages including introducing it into public school systems in the Rio Grande Valley, with corporate organizations internationally, medical administrations, mental health professionals, and veteran’s groups. She has led numerous workshops using CJEA methods in healing and wellness centers, support groups for cancer, P.T.S.D. and military readjustment, private counseling and inner-child work for abuse survivors.

She has facilitated CJEA and Visioning® workshops for universities, educational administrators, educators, corporations, spiritual directors and leaders, community groups and organizations as well as in private counseling and life coaching. She is certified as a “Life after Loss” grief counselor with the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Nelson is executive director of the Project Insight foundation that she formed in the Rio Grande Valley in 2005. It is a 501-(C) 3 non-profit group dedicated to empowering individuals by promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being through creative healing and educational tools. Project Insight sponsors the annual “An Evening of Art from the Heart” fund raiser, and an annual youth camp that gives Valley youth alternatives to drug and gang influence.
She also is founding director of Third Thursday Potluck, a community program that has been meeting monthly since 1997 at the El Rocio Retreat with a pot-luck and holistic workshop.

Among her significant achievements, she is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Texas, holds certification for teaching gifted and talented students, the 2007 recipient of the Texas National Guard Remember the Alamo award, 2009-2010 president of The Renaissance Club in McAllen, Texas, a member of the board of directors of Zonta Club of West Hidalgo County, Texas, and a 1986 recipient of the Junior Woman’s Club of Orange County, California Woman of the Year award. Between 1978 and 1986, she founded and directed the Seal Swim School in Seal Beach, California. She has held offices in numerous business and social organizations.

During her leisure, she enjoys giving private swimming lessons, traveling, creating a beautiful and ever-changing environment at El Rocio Retreat, spending time with her husband, visiting her children, parents and sister, and traveling around the country supervising workshops given by CJEA candidates for certification.

Dr. Nelson holds a doctoral degree in philosophy from Summit University, a master’s degree in elementary education and an undergraduate degree in sociology from Cal-State U. at L.A.

Dr. Nelson lives in Edinburg, Texas with her husband, retired Edinburg coach, Dan Nelson. She has two grown sons, a step son and step daughter. She may be reached at 956-802-9993 (cell) or