Body Based Approaches and Expressive Arts Therapy

Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute | taught by Emily Johnson Welsh

Course description

This 6 CE course introduces a framework for understanding body based practices, such as yoga, as a resource for the Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy® approach. It provides a short introduction to both Trauma-Informed Practice and Expressive Arts Therapy, therefore easily accessible for the beginning learner. Focusing on the physical practices of yoga, this course will bring to light the "how" and "why" utilizing a body-based method is important when addressing trauma. One will both learn and experience these concepts though a variety of articles, films, and research, all provided within this course.  Body-based approaches are presented as a means to building resilience and self-regulation with consideration for trauma-informed methods. The learner will experience simple yoga techniques combined with expressive arts therapy interventions for themselves, then share insights into their own experience and relate ways to bring these concepts into their own work. Guiding principals for bringing trauma-informed yoga practices to client populations will be covered as well as ethical considerations.


1. Visual arts media: These can be as simple as a pencil/pen and paper or as elaborate as you can imagine (colorful mark making media, paints, collage materials, clay, mixed media and sculptural elements, etc)

2. Digital camera or scanner: Please be sure you can take a clear photo of your artwork and have the ability to attach this image file (jpeg or pdf) to an email in order to submit to your instructor. 

3. A comfortable space to sit or stand:  You do not need to have a yoga mat or large space in order to participate in this course.

Syllabus Topics*

1. Introduction

2. A brief review of Trauma-Informed Practice and Expressive Arts Therapy

3. The Importance of the body in a Trauma-Informed Practice

4. An overview of the Body Based Approach of Yoga

5. Body based approaches as a tool for Trauma-informed Practice

6. Experiencing the Intermodal Transfer 

7. Ethical Considerations

8. Final Paper

9. Final Test

*Please note: All contents of this course must be completed in order to receive a certificate. A PDF of your Certificate of Completion will be emailed from The Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute within one week of completing your coursework. 

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.

Emily Johnson Welsh
Emily Johnson Welsh

Emily Johnson Welsh, EXAT, REAT, LPAT, ATR-BC, LPCC-S, RYT  has over 12 years’ experience working with clients and developing mental health resources in expressive arts therapies. She is a graduate of Lesley University’s Expressive Arts Therapy and Mental Health Counseling program in 2008 and is a licensed and board-certified art therapist, licensed clinical counselor supervisor, registered expressive arts therapist and a Yoga Alliance Registered teacher. As faculty for the Trauma-informed Expressive Arts Therapy Institute for over 5 years, she brings a current knowledge of “brain-wise” approaches and body-based interventions that focus on building resilience and community. She provides technology-assisted distance supervision for those working towards the EXAT, EXA-CE, REAT (Registered Expressive Art Therapist) and ATR (Registered Art Therapist).  

Emily’s accomplishments in the field include presentations at conferences for the American Art Therapy Association, Buckeye Art Therapy Association, Kentucky Association for Play Therapy, and International Expressive Art Therapy Association;  authoring and co-authoring chapters in the book Art Therapy and Healthcare (Guildford Press, 2013) ; co-designing and co-facilitating the online artmaking workshop  “Art Therapy + Happiness Project;"  being awarded "Cure Champion" by the American Cancer Society for my accomplishments in bringing expressive art therapy and yoga programming to families fighting cancer.

Most recently, Emily enjoys balancing her expressive arts therapies private practice, Art Yoga Love, LLC, serving children, families, and adults, with yoga studio ownership and teaching! She can also be found enamored with the wonders of raising a little one and learning from this adventure every single day.