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I was born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, during the 70´s. The things I love right now were clearly born then too, when living at my home in la Blanqueada -a middle class urban neighborhood-, and in my summers in Atlántida, a seaside resort not far from the city capital.

I grew up immersed in a universe inhabited by Verne, Bradbury and traditional fairy tales from far away countries, dolls handmade by the women in my family, porcelain miniatures that waved at you from wooden showcases, tireless creative aunts and grandmothers, old objects that nostalgically remembered those who had been there before, a mother who grew orchids with odd, fantastic shapes, a father whose curiosity and humor called my imagination into play, and a bountiful supply of adventures in nature.

Invited by introversion to carefully observe whatever was around me,  and dreaming vivid dreams that acted as my compass, it is clear now that my path was bringing me inexorably to where I am today.

In my clinical practice and in my textile experimentation, I weave the eclectic nature of my professional training and my  ways to make sense of the world: clinical psychology, Jungian psychotherapy, art therapy, the art of making dolls by hand, ancient and contemporary textile arts and horticultural therapy. From the peculiar and loving interweaving of all that is where I stand to work with other people, in my space Ítaca (Ithaca) and -also- to narrate and transform my own life.

Distant birds
they call me,
I will go.

Mariana BertaSugerencias



1990 – 1995: Clinical Psychologist (UCUDAL, UY)

1998 – 2002: Graduate studies and MA in Analytical Psychology (UCUDAL, UY)


1995: Art Therapy Summer Intensive (The University of Oklahoma, EEUU)

1996 – 1998: Art therapy training with Dra. Selma Ciornai (BR)

1995 up-to-date: Continuing education on Art Therapy on trainings, workshops and conferences in USA and with Selma Sciornai both in Uruguay and Argentina.  Art therapist professor and student supervisor on several uruguayan institutions and in my own space Ítaca.  

2020-2022: Creator and facilitator of the online group “Muñecas en tiempos difíciles” (aka Dolls on difficult times), an art therapy group whose main focus was to process in a community setting what the pandemic meant to us, by researching and creating traditional and contemporary dolls.

2021-2022: Creator and facilitator of the art therapy project “Muñecas viajeras” (aka Traveling Dolls), in which 6 Uruguayan women and 4 Argentinian ones created one doll each, that was later intervened by all of the women on the group. The project itself ended on December 2022. Future interventions will include art shows and a book I am writing about the dolls´ journey.

2022: Live Webinar “Nature-Based Expressive Art Therapy” with Cathy Malchiodi (US) and Elizabeth Warson (US).


2006 – 2007: Horticultural school (MVD, UY).

2013 – 2014: Horticultural Therapist (Asociación Argentina de Terapia Hortícola, ARG)

2022: Live Webinar “Nature-Based Expressive Art Therapy” with Cathy Malchiodi (US) and Elizabeth Warson (US).


1996 – 1997: Uruguayan Fine Arts School (MVD, UY).

2010 up-to-date: Workshops, clasess and ongoing research on traditional and contemporary textile arts (handmade dolls, basketry, processing and working with natural fibers, weaving, embroidery, ñandutí, wet and needle felt, soft sculpture, natural dyes, ecoprint, amongst others).

2020 up-to-date: Dolls’ workshops and courses with Barb Kobe (US), Melissa Ichuiju (US), Helen Leyfield (UK), Wiegand Gotschlich (CHL), Erika Cleveland (US).

2021-2022: Slow stitching, quilt fusion, boro and kwandi workshops with Helen Leyfield (UK).

2022: Slow stitching and domestic stains course with Willemien de Villiers (Southafrica).