The Universal Experience of Collective Grief, Trauma, and Healing

Join an international and diverse faculty on March 11, 12, and 13, 2021 to learn expressive and somatic approaches to address collective grief and trauma in our clients and in ourselves.

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that we were officially in the state of pandemic due to COVID-19. The threat of an unseen "enemy" became real and life dramatically changed for individuals, families, and communities. A time of physical distancing and social separation began, leaving many with an overwhelming sense of immobilization, fear, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. 

The COVID-19 has been called an "unprecedented" global event and has altered our internal and external perceptions of stability and security. In some parts of the world, the impact of escalating deaths coupled with social separation and fear of contagion continues to impact the normal process of grief and loss necessary to healing and restoration. For others, the distress of trauma reactions is dramatically impacting existing mental health and physical conditions. For specific ethnic and age groups, the pandemic has been particularly cruel, causing deaths and disabilities at alarming rates. 

The pandemic has undeniably challenged our capacities as mental health professionals to help those in our care and in most need. For healthcare professionals in particular, the pandemic continues to be a daily experience of exhaustion and helplessness, coupled with traumatic stress and often unmanageable grief reactions. 

We are also experiencing the impacts of the pandemic within larger contexts of trauma and loss. During this time period, movements such as Black Lives Matter, conditions such as systemic racism, dynamics of political unrest, and unaddressed inequities in gender, ageism, and socioeconomic status underscore historically unresolved social justice issues. The pandemic has also forced the world to focus more closely on the critical situation of climate change and how the ecology continues to be threatened through our inability to address the stewardship of our planet with immediacy and for future for generations. 

Practitioners and communities are now undeniably confronted with communal grief and trauma. In a sense, the pandemic has required us to pause what we knew as "normal" and face many issues that have left unattended. For the first time many have become aware that there are communities and groups defined by intergenerational, transgenerational, and historical trauma and grief. The voices of these communities not only are important in helping to illuminate what constitutes collective grief and trauma. They also contain much of the wisdom of healing rituals, practices, and procedures that have existed for thousands of years and have guided the repair of trauma and the restoration of the self during times of grief and loss.

About This Event And What You Will Experience

With respect for the challenges we face in addressing collective grief and trauma, this conference brings together both new and recognized voices in the fields of grief and trauma. Our emphasis is on inclusion of voices not always present in conference programming and on innovative methods of addressing collective grief and trauma. To this end, our intention is to provide an event that includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Presentations from leading trauma and grief experts to help us contextualize our experiences and the experiences of people in our care;
  • Actual practices grounded in expressive arts and somatic approaches to only address the mind, but also the body's experiences of collective grief and trauma;
  • Applications that demonstrate integration of these practices to support regulation, co-regulation, exploration, and restoration;
  • Understanding and recognition of the intergenerational, transgenerational, and historical grief and trauma that are central to collective and communal experiences of loss and traumatic stress;
  • Development of awareness of social justice issues and individual lived experiences that are central to the grief and trauma experienced during this time period.

A Continuing Education and Professional Development Program Presented by Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute

 Participants in Creating a Culture of Collective Hope, Healing, and Resilience in
 a Traumatized World: Collective Grief and Trauma Conference 2021
will receive the following as part of their registration fee:

  • A Certificate of Completion in Expressive Arts and Somatic Approaches to Collective Grief and Trauma.
  • Up to 18 hours of education that can be applied to the Institute’s training program designations as an Expressive Arts Therapist-Trauma Informed (EXAT) or an Expressive Arts Coach Educator-Trauma Informed (EXA-CA).

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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. 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. If you are licensed as an art therapist in your state, please check with your state board to verify what types of CE activities are acceptable for license renewal.

Art Therapists, Music Therapists, Drama Therapists and Dance Therapists. Please check with your credentials board or state license board to ensure that any courses you take can be applied for credential renewal.

California Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers, Educational Psychologists 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 entirely through self-study and distance learning. 

International Conference Faculty

Multiple Faculty

Join an international group of experts in the areas of collective grief and trauma and expressive methods and somatic approaches to restoration of the self and communities.

Event Information

Please Check Back for Updates and Resources

See You at the Conference!

Join us to learn practices to address collective grief and trauma in our clients and in ourselves. Tickets on sale soon.

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The contents of any page of this website and resources do not constitute medical advice, are not intended to be a substitute for medical advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek Medical advice or other professional advice in relation to any particular matters or concern that you may have. More importantly, mental health conditions are complex, people differ widely in their conditions and responses, and interactions with other conditions and treatments are best evaluated by a physical examination and consultation with a qualified clinician.

While we make every effort to ensure that material included on this website and the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy resources and courses available are accurate and up to date (unless denoted as archived material), such material is theoretical and as such is designed and intended to inform and explain concepts pertaining to Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy in terms of professional development as they are now in 2021, and as with all contemporary practice is subject to change and development in keeping with current theory.