Expressive Arts Therapy E-News

January 2016 | Upcoming Events, Resources and More

Three-Day "Visual Journaling in Expressive Arts Therapy and Counseling" Denver CO, June 22, 23, & 24, 2016, Lowry Conference Center

Institute Faculty: Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT and Elizabeth Warson, PhD, LPC, ATR-BC

Register for three days of dynamic learning and experiential work with visual journaling and expressive arts [register early, spaces are limited].


Visual journaling [also called art or drawing journaling] has been identified as both an important and accessible approach in expressive arts therapy, counseling and psychotherapy. It is not only an effective method for stress reduction, but also is considered a creative way to express personal narratives and life stories as well as make meaning through images, creative writing, imagination and storytelling.

In this three-day course, participants will experience a variety of visual journaling approaches that are grounded in emerging research and based on historical foundations of journaling for emotional reparation and wellness. Course content focuses on three basic areas--methods, materials and mind-body-- to demonstrate and illustrate how visual journaling can be adapted to support self-regulation, stress reduction, meaning-making and construction of narratives within person-centered expressive arts, narrative therapy and counseling frameworks. While this course is mostly "hands-on," participants will also learn how to design developmentally-appropriate, trauma-informed and culturally responsive visual journal interventions through lecture and group discussions.


This course provides 18 hours of continuing education [see this link for specific information]; a small additional fee is charged for continuing education certificates and is payable at the event. All participants who successfully complete the three-day course will receive a Certificate of Completion from the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute in "Visual Journaling in Expressive Arts Therapy." The hours accumulated in this course offering may be applied educational requirements for the Registered Expressive Arts Therapist [REAT] credential with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Institute. This course is open to professionals and students interested in applications of visual journaling for health and well-being.


REGISTRATION: Register at this link; early registration [lowest fee] ends on March 15, 2016, midnight CST.

Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy, Anchorage Alaska, August 22 & 23 [Level One], August 24-25-26 [Level Two], 2016 at the BP Center [limited to 48 participants each Level]

Register early for these popular offerings in Anchorage Alaska in August 2016!

Institute Faculty: Cathy Malchiodi, PhD & Elizabeth Warson, PhD


Join us at the beautiful BP Center in Anchorage Alaska for this weeklong event and courses presenting the foundations of trauma-informed practice, research and approaches in expressive arts and play, stress reduction, mind-body intervention, and resilience.Participants will learn art and expressive arts therapy strategies and applications to increase their understanding of trauma-informed approaches, enhance resilience in various client populations and reduce stress responses to trauma and loss. Participants will engage in a variety of hands-on experiences using mind-body, mindfulness, wellness and strength-based best practices grounded in emerging research on the expressive arts therapies [art, music/sound, movement, dramatic enactment, writing, storytelling, play and imagination]. The essential practices presented in this course can be applied to individuals of all ages and families, groups and communities from a culturally-responsive, trauma-informed approach.


Level One: To complete Level One, attend two days of live presentations (12 continuing education hours) and complete Trauma-Informed Art Therapy/Expressive Arts Therapy (12 continuing education hours) as an online course.

Level Two: Level Two is open to participants who complete Level One or with permission of the faculty.

    Before the courses begin, you will receive several mailings including course powerpoints and supplemental articles/readings.

    EARLY REGISTRATION [lowest rate]: April 30, 2016; register early for best rate and also plan your Alaska visit to see the spectacular scenery and Pacific coastline!


    Attendance each day provides six hours of continuing education from the National Board of Certified Counselors [NBCC Provider #6557 and Texas LPC Board]; if you require a specific continuing education certificate for your profession, please let us know and we will look into possibilities to obtain those hours. A small additional fee is charged for a continuing education certificate for Level One and for Level Two, but your Level One and/or Level Two Certificate(s) of Completion from the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute are included in the registration fees, with hours of attendance.

    Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level One-- Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada, May 2016

    Saskatoon May 2, 3, 4, 2016. The first day is an introductory training; the second and third days are more intensive and will fulfill the requirements for "Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level One.” Registration is LIMITED to 50 people for the three day training!! Please register early! Payment by E-Transfer or cheque only. Register by emailing: grybaevents@gmail.com Daily schedule, hotel arrangements and lunch options available upon registration. And welcome to the venue-- the famous Castle on the River [see photo or visit https://www.deltahotels.com/Hotels/Delta-Bessborough for more information].

    Creativity as a Wellness Practice

    Via Psychology Today..."In 2010, a review of existing literature on the benefits of the arts (music, visual arts, dance and writing) by Stuckey and Noble considered more than 100 studies, concluding that creative expression has a powerful impact on health and well-being on various patient populations. Most of these studies concur that participation and/or engagement in the arts have a variety of outcomes including a decrease in depressive symptoms, an increase in positive emotions, reduction in stress responses, and, in some cases, even improvements in immune system functioning; visual art therapy, for example, is trending toward many of these health gains and more. Even engagement in the arts as a viewer can have an impact, but if you really want to benefit from the arts for wellness, studies continue to show that your active participation is the best bet (Bolwerk et al, 2014).


    As of 2015, additional studies indicate that creative self-expression and exposure to the arts have wide-ranging effects on not only cognitive and psychosocial health, but also physical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, various forms of dementia and cancer. One of the most compelling studies was recently conducted by the Mayo Clinic and proposed that people who engage in art activities (painting, drawing and sculpting; crafts, like woodworking, pottery, ceramics, quilting, quilling and sewing) in middle and old age may delay cognitive decline in very old age. These findings underscore the idea that it is possible to build a “cognitive reserve” through engaging in novel, creative experiences that have a protective effect on the brain. According to the principle investigator, “Our study supports the idea that engaging the mind may protect neurons, or the building blocks of the brain, from dying, stimulate growth of new neurons, or may help recruit new neurons to maintain cognitive activities in old age” (American Academy of Neurology, 2015)." Read more here....

    The Science of Resilience and Childhood Trauma

    Via Harvard Review: "When confronted with the fallout of childhood trauma, why do some children adapt and overcome, while others bear lifelong scars that flatten their potential? A growing body of evidence points to one common answer: Every child who winds up doing well has had at least one stable and committed rela­tionship with a supportive adult.

    The power of that one strong adult relationship is a key ingredient in resilience — a positive, adaptive response in the face of significant adversity — according to a new report from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, a multidisciplinary collaboration chaired by Harvard’s Jack Shonkoff. Understanding the centrality of that relationship, as well as other emerging findings about the science of resilience, gives policymakers a key lever to assess whether current programs designed to help disadvantaged kids are working." Read more here...

    Imagination in Action

    Via Psychology Today..."In the midst what seems to be an ever-expanding terrain of adult coloring book kitsch, there is an accessible and inspirational book that elevates the creative process to its rightful place of soul, spirit, healing and human potential. I am referring to Shaun McNiff’s recent book, Imagination in Action: Secrets to Unleashing Creative Expression. It is an eloquent celebration not only of the essentials of creativity and imagination, but also takes the reader on the most rewarding journey there is in this life— the discovery of one’s authentic voice and the manifestation of one’s truth."
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