Expressive Arts Therapy E-News

September 2016 | Enjoy These Resources and Articles!

In this issue...

Enjoy and learn more about expressive arts and trauma-informed practice...
  • "Why Art Therapy Works"
  • "Expressive Arts and the Window of Tolerance"
  • "It Didn't Start with You: Inherited Family Trauma"
  • Current Workshops and Courses
  • Continuing Education Updates
  • Peter Levine Film Clip

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

See You in Australia in November! Byron Clinic Workshops

"Expressive Arts Therapy & Trauma" 2-Day Workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane: November 2016

These two-day hands-on workshops will emphasize the “neurobiology” of expressive arts therapy and how these approaches help “tell without talking”. Expressive arts therapy includes the purposeful application of visual arts, music/sound, movement, dramatic enactment, creative writing and storytelling to facilitate individual recovery through all the senses and all parts of the brain— it is truly a whole-brain approach.

These workshops emphasize the “neurobiology” of the expressive arts and play and how these approaches help clients “tell without talking,” supporting executive functioning through non-verbal experiences, and enhance self-regulation and internal resources. Participants will learn how to apply and adapt expressive arts therapy from a “brain-wise” perspective and develop their own creative strategies based on a neurodevelopmental model of treatment.

Adolescents and children can often have a resistance to authority, a lack of trust in the adult world and difficulty establishing a therapeutic relationship — engaging in traditional forms of verbal therapy may not be an option. Gain knowledge and skills and improve your proficiency when working with such cases. The workshop material covers working with children, parent-child dyads, adolescents, adults and families. Everything covered in the hands-on components and taught as general principles is applicable to working with children, adolescents and adults. These workshops have the potential to transform lives – research is demonstrating that art improves not only our quality of life but is also effective in reducing pain, fatigue and stress as well as increasing cognitive abilities, emotional well-being and security. It is also a worthy clinical skill when dealing with eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol abuse where the client may not find the words to describe preceding events.

To Register, click this link or visit

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Why Art Therapy Works | Psychology Today

As an approach to mental health, art therapy has heavily relied on expert opinion rather than actual evidence via various forms of research. Despite the collective enthusiasm from the profession, there has been very little substantiation that art therapy makes a positive difference in emotional recovery in individuals challenged by personality disorders.

Researchers Haeyan, van Hooren and Hutchemaekers (2015) set out to identify the possible effects of art therapy on the recovery process in groups of adults with personality disorders, based on existing anecdotal observations made by practitioners in the field and patient testimonies. Using Grounded Theory Approach (GTA), they constructed a qualitative study using in-depth interviews to collect data that reflected individuals’ responses to art therapy experiences and used open and axial coding to generate and distill information. For the non-researcher and clinician, this may sound daunting; however, the researchers were able to eventually identify a set of five concepts that encompassed all data collected...Read more here

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

Institute Faculty: Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT and Elizabeth Warson, PhD, LPC, ATR-BC...we really enjoyed presenting this three-day seminar and learning from the participants. We are in the planning stage for 2017 for the Denver area and other locations around the US.

Continuing Education Updates...

We have a variety of continuing education offerings for learners and participants. But many of you have been asking for more options, so we are exploring continuing education for social workers, psychologists and nurses. If you have a preference or specific need--- please let us know and use our Contact form at this link.

And for our current continuing education offerings, please visit our continuing education page for information.

Complete Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level One

To date, over 10,000 participants have attended one or more trauma-informed expressive arts therapy workshops and/or taken online courses! Thank you for your support! For more information about these courses, please visit this link. Here are a few of the most popular offerings:

  • Trauma-Informed Art Therapy® and Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy©
  • Resilience, Posttraumatic Growth and Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Practice
  • Art Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy and Positive Psychology
  • Expressive Arts Therapy Approaches to Resilience and Stress Reduction

To read more about completing Registration as an Expressive Arts Therapist, please see this link about the REAT.

How Trauma "Sticks" to the Brain...a short film with Peter Levine

Peter Levine Demonstrates How Trauma Sticks in the Body

Coming Attractions...Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Courses Around the US in 2017

The following US and Canada workshops/seminars are open to all professionals and graduate students in the fields of mental health, health care and education...

  • January 27th, 2017: Alabama Association for Play Therapy
  • April 20-21st, 2017: Kansas Association for Play Therapy
  • May 2017 [dates to be announced]: Saskatoon Canada Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level Two
  • And a possible sighting of the Northern Lights and Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level One and Two in Anchorage Alaska in September 2017! Watch website for details.
Contact Us Here!

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

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Inherited Family Trauma | It Didn't Start with You

A well-documented feature of trauma, one familiar to many, is our inability to articulate what happens to us. We not only lose our words, but something happens with our memory as well. During a traumatic incident, our thought processes become scattered and disorganized in such a way that we no longer recognize the memories as belonging to the original event. Instead, fragments of memory, dispersed as images, body sensations, and words, are stored in our unconscious and can become activated later by anything even remotely reminiscent of the original experience. Once they are triggered, it is as if an invisible rewind button has been pressed, causing us to reenact aspects of the original trauma in our dayto-day lives. Unconsciously, we could find ourselves reacting to certain people, events, or situations in old, familiar ways that echo the past. Read more here...

Why Music is being Prescribed for Heart Ailments, Brain Dysfunction, Learning Disabilities, Depression, PTSD, Alzheimers, Childhood Development and More

Music has proven time and again to be an important component of human culture. From its ceremonial origin to modern medical usage for personal motivation, concentration, and shifting mood, music is a powerful balm for the human soul. Though traditional “music therapy” encompasses a specific set of practices, the broader use of music as a therapeutic tool can be seen nowadays as doctors are found recommending music for a wide variety of conditions. Read more here...
You can find even more resources, links and articles everyday on Trauma-Informed Practice on Facebook. Click here to go to our page....close to 30,000 "likes" and growing!
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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. Read more here....

A Reprise...Defining Art Therapy in the 21st Century

Historically, the field has promoted two roads as its primary conceptual pathways in the US. These are: 1) art as therapy; and 2) art psychotherapy. These two concepts are ubiquitous in art therapy literature and have become well-worn mantras describing the profession and guiding the way art therapists define themselves for the past 40 years in the US and despite the influence of the field of counseling. They are also referred to as “the continuum of practice” in that art therapists may use both, depending on the situation and the client. According to some, these two concepts emerged in conjunction with a long-standing debate among early leaders that not only involved scholarly discourse, but also political control of the field’s future trajectory. Read more at this link...

And Finally...We had a fabulous time at the International Art Therapy Conference in Hong Kong, May 2016! Here is a photo of Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level Three Participants [Now Consultants] from Around the World!

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