Expressive Arts Therapy E-News

March 2016 | Upcoming Events, Resources and More

In this issue...

Enjoy and learn more about expressive arts and trauma-informed practice...
  • "Child Art Therapy: How it Works"
  • "Expressive Arts Therapy and Windows of Tolerance"
  • "49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child"
  • "Sing, Act, Dance, Heal"

...and links to latest downloadable resources, events and other trauma-informed expressive arts therapy information.

Three-Day "Visual Journaling in Expressive Arts Therapy and Counseling" Denver CO, June 22, 23, & 24, 2016, Lowry Conference Center; Early Registration Rate ends on March 20th, 2016!

Early Rate Registration ends on March 20th, 2016! This 3-Day course fulfills part of Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level One through the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute [see below for more information].


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

Register now 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 20, 2016, midnight CST.

Complete Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level One

"Visual Journaling in Expressive Arts Therapy and Counseling" [Denver CO/Lowry Conference Center] is part of the Level One Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Certificate; the following are required to complete Level One.


Required: Trauma-Informed Art Therapy®/ Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy. Provides 12 hours of continuing education. Choose two additional courses from the following:


  • Resilience, Posttraumatic Growth and Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Practices (Part One)
  • Resilience, Posttraumatic Growth and Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Practices (Part Two)
  • Art Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy and Positive Psychology
  • Ethics of Art and Play Therapy with Traumatized Children
  • Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy with Children and Families

For more information about these courses, please visit this link. To read more about completing Registration as an Expressive Arts Therapist, please see this link about the REAT.

Contact Us Here!

Let us know if you have any questions about registration or courses.

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.

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

    Registration closes on March 19th, 2016! Limited registrations available!


    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].

    Expressive Arts Therapy and the Window of Tolerance

    Via Psychology Today..."Lamott (1995) in her novel Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, provides a story that I often share with older children, teenagers and adults in expressive art therapy. She tells the story of her brother who at the age of ten years had a report on birds to write and due on the next day. Although he had three months to write it, he left the project until the last minute and understandably became overwhelmed by the magnitude of the report. Lamott’s father put his arm around his son’s shoulder and simply said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird” (p. 18-19). This short story explains how overwhelming any large task can be and how we have to take it on “bird by bird.” Similarly, individuals in the process of recovery from any challenge must be carefully guided into taking small steps that can be safely tolerated rather than stretching one’s limits only to feel worse as a result.


    In any application of expressive arts therapy, sensitivity to the “window of tolerance” (Siegel, 2010), the area of arousal within which a person can comfortably participate, is key. This window is bounded by two common responses: hyperarousal (overactivation) and hypoarousal (withdrawal or dissociation). When individuals respond in either way, they are experiencing something intolerable and likely something that is sensed as unsafe. While many individuals have the ability to return themselves to their tolerance zone, those who have a limited window may not have the same capacity. In these cases, it is important to understand not only what can be tolerated in terms of creative intervention, but also how to appropriately pace expressive arts in a way that maintains that individual’s zone of comfort to support a sense of safety.." Read more here....

    Child Art Therapy: How it Works | Psychology Today

    Via Psychology Today..."Casado-Frankel observes that parents often ask about the effectiveness of play therapy as a form of treatment and say, “But it’s just play!” Art therapy often attracts the same question and a similar response—“But it’s just arts and crafts!” Like play therapy is not just “play,” art therapy is not just “arts and crafts” or even its first cousin, the ubiquitous coloring book. And also like play, art created within the context of a therapeutic relationship is intended to help young clients not only to engage in self-exploration, it also involves purposeful meaning-making through specific art making.


    Child art therapy is also often confused with play therapy and for many good reasons. Play therapists introduce various art-based activities in their work with children when appropriate; similarly, art therapists who work with children include play activities [toys, puppets, props and games] to supplement art therapy and stimulate children’s creative expression. Art making within the context of therapy is, however, a slightly different experience from play because it encourages the creation of a tangible product in most cases. Art therapists are also in the business of helping children visually express and record experiences, perceptions, feelings and imagination; they capitalize on their vast knowledge of art media and arts-based approaches to enhance young clients’ ability to communicate through creative expression. Here is a brief overview of how and why art therapy “works:”"

    Sing, Act, Dance, Heal

    Inspirational article by Wendy Kagan..."In January 2011, a 9mm bullet, fired point-blank from the gun of a mentally ill assailant, passed through the left rear of Gabrielle Giffords's head and exited just over her left eye. The Arizona congresswoman, who had been meeting with constituents in front of a supermarket near Tucson, would survive—despite massive trauma to the left side of her brain, the regions that control vision, movement, and speech. After surgery and intensive therapy, some 10 months later Giffords could respond to TV journalist Diane Sawyer's interview questions with mostly one-word answers—yet she could sing all the lyrics of "Tomorrow" from the Broadway show "Annie." Struggling to find language, she would call a chair a "spoon," but she could belt out all the words to Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." It was music that helped pave a road back to speech, and it was music that—in the form of a guitar-strumming therapist by her side to help organize her movements—even supported Giffords's steps as she relearned how to walk." See this link for entire text...
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