At Expressive Media's 2015 Spring Institute — Washington, DC

Big image
Big image
Big image

Friday, April 10

10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Culture, Ritual & Movement in Group Therapy for Trauma

Amber Elizabeth Gray, MPH, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, LPCC

Many survivors of trauma have also experienced loss: Loss of trust, ground, home, relationship, and a sense of what is safe, familiar, and known. Survivors often describe feeling as if they “have lost everything,” and many who are fleeing violence have, quite literally. This 3-hour workshop will be a theoretical and experiential enquiry into the role of culture as a resource for re-connecting to self and others. Often perceived as a barrier, culture—and the many ways survivors embody, re-member, and practice aspects of their cultures—can be a powerful resource for the restorative process. The use of tradition and ritual in therapeutic settings will be explored and practiced.

2:15 pm - 5:15 pm

Moving Toward Mindfulness: Embodied Interventions for Treating Trauma

Alicia N. Patterson, MA, R-DMT, CYT

In this 3-hour workshop, we will explore and practice a variety of embodied interventions for enhancing efficacy in working with individuals and groups drawing from dance/movement therapy, somatic psychology, transpersonal psychology, Gestalt therapy, and archetypal movement that promotes simultaneous motion and meditation. Participants will learn practical ways for managing self-regulation, strengthening the therapeutic relationship, introducing mindfulness into psychotherapy, and externalizing difficult material, especially while working through trauma. In addition to theory and lecture, we’ll engage in experiential activities, with sufficient time for discussion. Techniques for eliciting verbal reflection and processing by clients, as well as how to provide supportive integration following therapeutic movement interventions, will be noted. No previous movement experience is necessary.


Neuroscience research has demonstrated that traumatic memories often become disconnected from the language centers of the brain, making their expression “unspeakable.” Experiential approaches that rely on embodiment and the creation of alternative pathways of expression have therefore been recognized as treatments of choice for those suffering the impact of trauma, as they facilitate the transition between verbal and nonverbal modes of processing.

Dance/Movement for Easing Pain in Survivors of Relational Trauma

Amber Elizabeth Gray, MPH, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, LPCC

Safety and trust are eroded by relational trauma, and the suffering that arises from this loss of connection and subsequent isolation can manifest in many ways beyond ‘just’ PTSD. For instance, somatic symptoms often express the deeply-rooted implicit memories that cannot be put into words. When psychic and physical pain become intertwined in the body-mind, it is common that survivors of extreme or complex forms of relational trauma report physical symptoms—typically pain—that have no medical etiology. Dance/Movement Therapy, as a psychotherapeutic practice that embodies the unity of body and mind and acknowledges the status of movement as a primary language, offers pathways to ease suffering of all types. This presentation includes an introduction to the role of dance/movement therapy in working with people who have experienced relational trauma, featuring experientials and case examples with survivors who experience multivalent pain.


8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Compassion & Connection: Perspectives on the Transference/Countertransference Continuum

Amber Elizabeth Gray, MPH, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, LPCC

In this daylong master class, we will explore a range of transference and countertransference issues encountered when working with traumatized clients. In particular, we’ll focus on the importance of the therapist's mindful awareness of the connections between self and client from the vantage point of compassion, thus enhancing the possibility of mutual healing. Through theory and clinical presentations, multimodal experientials, and group discussion, we will also address therapist self-care as an ethical issue that promotes clinical efficacy. Additionally, we’ll discuss vicarious traumatization and its remediation within the context of recent neuroscience research distinguishing empathy from compassion. Participants will be taught the presenters’ Four Quadrants of Connection Process, a multidisciplinary approach involving the sequential use of sculpture, gesture, movement, writing, and spoken word. By examining their trauma work with a former or current client, registrants will deepen their understanding of the transference/countertransference continuum, and learn how to use this information in daily clinical practice. This approach was designed to provide an embodied experience of clinical concepts including: brain plasticity, right brain/left brain integration, and vicarious healing. It will enable therapists of all persuasions to better help their clients transform pain, vulnerability, and alienation into strength, healthy empowerment, and connectedness.



Kundalini Yoga for Healing the Physiological Effects of Psychological Trauma

Taking Art, Myth, and Metaphor to Heart: Making Meaning through Images

Culture, Ritual & Movement in Group Therapy for Trauma

Overcoming Resistance When Using Art in Therapy

Therapeutic Journaling, Poetry & Somatic Psychology for Managing Loss and Grief

Moving Toward Mindfulness: Embodied Interventions for Treating Trauma

Positive Psychology & the Transformation of Trauma through Language and Symbol

Using the Voice in Embodied Trauma Treatment

Art as Therapy, Art as Life: Hands-on Lessons from Edith Kramer

Mandala-Making as Healing in Theory and Practice

Compassion & Connection: The Transference/Countertransference Continuum

Reclaiming the Self through Therapeutic Felting: A Hands-on Workshop

Sand Therapy Competencies: Core Principles & Practices for Clinicians

Using Puppets in Assessment & Treatment with Children and Families

What Affective Neuroscience Reveals About Creativity and the Imagination

Enhancing Self-Regulation & Intention in Psychotherapy through Yoga

Ethics for the Private Practitioner: When You're the Boss


• Clay & Imaginal Mindfulness: Beholding the ‘Collaborative Emergent’

• Balancing Professional Identity & Inner Life through Imaginal Mindfulness and Clay

• Listening to Clay: Janie Rhyne's Gestalt Art Experience

• Living Lessons from Edith Kramer: Sculpting Possibility with Clay


Big image

Barry M. Cohen, ATR-BC, Institutes Director

Sponsored by Expressive Media, Gil Institute, Starbright Training