Course Description

This is an online continuing education course designed to help you understand and learn more about positive psychology and how expressive arts therapy approaches and methods complement the development of positivity, resilience, and a sense of well-being in people of all ages. This course emphasizes 1) an overview of positive psychology; 2) current knowledge about positive psychology and expressive arts and art therapy; 3) the neurobiology of positive psychology and relevant aspects of creativity; and 4) compassion, self-compassion, connection, and contribution as factors in positivity and well-being; 5) emphasis on trauma-informed practice and the principles of trauma-informed expressive arts therapy. 

Continuing Education Information

Counselors/National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6557. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC are clearly identified. Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. 

Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute is an Approved Continuing Education Provider by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Our Texas Provider Number is 2318.

Art Therapy Credentials Board [ATCB]. The ATCB recognizes a variety of CEC activities, including those in the areas of professional and mental health counseling. These activities are clearly outlined in their recertification standards provided to all ATR-BCs in their recertification year and on their website. A minimum of six CECs must be earned in the area of ethics each cycle. If you are licensed as an art therapist in your state, please check with your state board to verify what types of CEC activities are acceptable for license renewal.

California Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers and Professional Counselors. As of July 1, 2015, the State of California /Board of Behavioral Sciences [BBS] amended its regulations for continuing education providers to include National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) as a "board-recognized approval agency." If you are licensed as a marriage and family therapist, social worker, educational psychologist or professional clinical counselor in California, NBCC Approved Continuing Education Providers are recognized by the BBS to fulfill continuing education requirements. As of July 1, 2015, required CE hours can be accumulated through self-study and distance learning.

Institute Faculty

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT holds a doctorate in psychology and is a licensed and board-certified art therapist and mental health counselor and has published numerous books, chapters, and articles in the field of art therapy including, Trauma and Expressive Arts Therapy: Brain, Body, and Imagination in the Healing Process, Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children, Breaking the Silence: Working With Traumatized Children, and Understanding Children's Drawings, which are standards in the field. She has trained counselors, therapists, and teachers throughout the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe. In 2011, Cathy founded the Trauma-Informed Practices Institute to meet the need for professional education in the use of arts therapies, expressive therapies, mind-body approaches and resilience-building in trauma integration and recovery for children, adults and families. You can learn more about Dr. Malchiodi at her website

Course curriculum

  1. 1
    • About Your Instructor

    • Welcome to Your Course!

    • Syllabus, Goals and Objectives of this Course

    • Walkthrough Your Course and Its Features

    • Reference List

    • Special Note About Art Materials and Arts Assignments!

    • Guiding Principles of Trauma-Informed Practice

    • Expressive Arts Therapy | Background

    • Download: Expressive Arts Therapy | Background

    • Review: What is Expressive Arts Therapy?

    • What is Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy?

  2. 2
    • What is Positive Psychology?

    • An Introduction to Positive Psychology from the Experts

    • American Psychological Association: Positive Psychology

    • PERMA: A Positive Psychology Model for Well-Being

    • Film Presentation: Nancy Etcoff on Happiness and its surprises

    • Test Your Knowledge: Brief Review of Positive Psychology Principles

  3. 3
    • Positive Art Therapy: A Contribution from Two Art Therapists

    • Envisioning the Connections Between Art Therapy and Positive Psychology

    • Test Your Knowledge on Art Therapy and Positive Psychology

    • Resource: Positive Psychology and Related Art Therapy Articles

    • Depression and Arts Activities: A Research Study

    • Response: Is There a Connection Between Art Making and Depression?

    • After Submitting Your Response

  4. 4
    • The Neurobiology of Positive Feelings

    • Download PDF on "Happy Chemicals"

    • Smiling and Stress: Can a Smile Change Our Mood?

    • Humor: The Human Gift for Coping and Survival

    • Dopamine May Be a Creativity Wonder Drug?

    • Drawing on the Effort-Driven Reward System to Chase the Blues Away

    • Activity: Your Eight Auspicious Symbols

    • Response: Reflections on Your Auspicious Symbols

  5. 5
    • What is Flow? Why is it Important to Positive Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy

    • Film Presentation: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the Secret to Happiness

    • Flow and Children

    • Response: What Gets You Into Your Flow State?

  6. 6
    • Compassion and Self-Compassion

    • The Physiology of Self-Compassion

    • Why Self-Compassion may be better than Self-Esteem

    • Kristen Neff, PhD on Self-Compassion

    • Creative Writing as a Path to Self-Compassion

    • Compassion Bibliography

    • Mandala Making and Compassion

    • Response: Reflect on Mandala Art Experience

    • Creativity and Compassion

    • Art Therapy, the Third Hand, and Empathy

  7. 7
    • Courage and Authentic Happiness

    • Connection Cards

    • Using Art Making to Make Connections

    • Share Your Arts-Based "Connection" Images

    • Reflect on Expressive Arts Experience with Connection

    • Positive Connection in a Digital World?

    • Reflect on Connecting in a Digital World

    • Stephen Porges on How to Counter the Effects of Social Distancing

  8. 8
    • Courage and Authentic Happiness

    • Power of Vulnerability: Five Aspects by Brene Brown

    • The Power of Vulnerability

    • Activity: Expressive Arts and Courage

    • Response to Arts-Based Assignment

    • 12 Most Striking Tendencies of Creative People

  9. 9
    • Altruism, Happiness and Health Resource

    • Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy and 26 Acts of Kindness

    • Response: Reflect on a Contribution

  10. 10
    • Final Exam

  11. 11
    • You are almost finished!

    • Course Evaluation

    • Certificate of Completion

    • Certificate of Completion Qualification

  • $160.00

    $160.00Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy: Foundation Course*

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