Course Description

Trauma’s impact often requires approaches that address the sensory-based experiences many survivors report. Expressive arts therapy—the purposeful application of art, music, dance/movement, dramatic enactment, creative writing and imaginative play is a largely non-verbal way of self-expression of feelings and perceptions. More importantly, they are action-oriented and tap implicit, embodied experiences of trauma that can defy expression through verbal therapy or logic.

In this foundation course you will learn through discussion, readings, films, resources, and hands-on, interactive experiences just how expressive arts therapy helps individuals of all ages "come to their senses" in order to repair and recover from traumatic experiences. This five-session live webinar focuses on one of the four functions of expressive arts therapy: how arts-based methods can help us to self-regulate, become aware of our bodies, reduce distress, and restore the self through expressive approaches to health and well-being.

Topics and expressive arts therapy experiences include:

  • The MSSS Model for expressive arts-- movement, sound, storytelling, and silence--and how to integrate it in psychotherapy, counseling, education, and coaching.
  • The seven principles of Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy as a trauma-sensitive practice.
  • How the Expressive Therapies Continuum inform the use of expressive arts in psychotherapeutic and counseling practice.
  • How to integrate arts-based, play-based, and imagination to support restoration of the self.
  • BLS [Bilateral Stimulation] in the expressive arts as a form of self-regulation and co-regulation with traumatic stress.
  • Expressive approaches to grounding and anchoring as key elements of trauma intervention.
  • Integration of somatic practices with expressive arts therapy.

We continually update our live webinar course content with readings, resources and links to relevant material. This live webinar course is given in a "drip format"-- each week you will have access to a new set of materials as we proceed through the topic, session by session. 

This course includes a Certificate of Completion for Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level One for 18 hours of Continuing Education/Professional Development-- see information below.

Course Meeting Dates [Tuesdays]:

August 17

August 24

August 31

September 7

September 14

All meetings are held from 4 pm--7 pm, Eastern Time/New York Time; since we have participants from around the world, please be sure to check your time zone. 

There are limited recordings available for this course. All material covered in this course is also on the course site in the form of readings and resources and experiential assignments and discussions. By registering for a live webinar you do not have to take an extensive and required examination for continuing education. You are also required to keep your camera on so that the instructors can verify attendance; permission to have your camera off during the course must be for reasons of emergency or other acceptable reason. 

This course site closes 30 days after Session Five. Please be aware that you will no longer have access to the site after that time. Please be sure to download and save all resource materials before this end date and complete course at 100% in order to receive and download certificate for CE/PD credit.

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.

The hours accumulated in this course can be applied to achieving the EXAT or EXA-CE designations. 

Expressive Arts Therapist--Trauma Informed [EXAT] is a continuing education program designed to help you acquire the competencies necessary to apply Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy within the context of psychotherapy and counseling. To be admitted to this program and participate in the courses and practices to achieve this designation, applicants must be hold a master's degree or higher and be licensed or board certified mental health professionals including psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurses and addictions counselors. 

Expressive Arts Coach/Educator--Trauma-Informed [EXA-CE] is a continuing education program designed to help individuals in a variety of fields acquire the competencies necessary to apply trauma-informed expressive arts in your work. Applicants for this designation include individuals with degrees in the arts, humanities or education, health or other types of coaches, nurses and nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, physical therapists, emergency medical workers, acupuncturists, bodyworkers (massage therapists, Rolfers®, Craniosacral and Polarity therapists, Feldenkrais practitioners, yoga practitioners, and others), first responders, crisis center staff, educators, mediators, clergy, and chaplains.


Supplemental Text to Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level One

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


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.

Entire Course Curriculum Available on July 31st, 2021

Early Registration $259 Open Until August 7, 2021; Regular Registration $299

Trauma’s impact often requires approaches that address the sensory-based experiences many survivors report. Expressive arts therapy—the purposeful application of art, music, dance/movement, dramatic enactment, creative writing and imaginative play is a largely non-verbal way of self-expression of feelings and perceptions. More importantly, they are action-oriented and tap implicit, embodied experiences of trauma that can defy expression through verbal therapy or logic. The course hours can be applied to either the EXAT or EXA-CE designations.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to Level One Live Webinar Series

    • Syllabus, Goals and Objectives of this Course

    • Walkthrough this Live Webinar Site and Its Features

    • ▶️ ZOOM LIVE format: notes and tips!

    • Special Note About Art Materials and Expressive Arts Assignments!

    • Guiding Principles

    • What is Expressive Arts Therapy?

    • Disclaimer

    • A Brief Overview of Expressive Arts Therapy and How it Works

    • Bonus: Why Play Therapy with Traumatized Children

    • Bonus: Can Art Be Medicine? Film Presentation

    • Introduce Yourself Here!

  • 2

    Session One: Introduction to Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy

    • ▶️ ZOOM link!!!

    • Suggested Reading for Session One

    • What is Trauma-Informed Practice?

    • Trauma-Informed and Non-Trauma-Informed

    • What is Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy?

    • Healing Engagement Qualities of Expressive Arts Therapy

    • Introduction to the MSSS Model of Expressive Arts

    • Bilateral Drawing and Self-Regulation

    • Bilateral playlists from session!

    • Bilateral Drawing Instructions

    • Evidence-Based Study on Music, Rhythm, and Trauma

    • Evidence-Based Study on Creative Arts Therapy and Stress Management

    • Can Doodling Be Mindful? Some Research and Approaches

    • Know Your Window of Tolerance: Charts and Graphics

    • Calm Down and Get Your Zentangle On

    • Tangle Doodle Playlist from Session!

    • Let's try it out: Tangledoodle

    • Tangle Doodle Cheat Sheet!

    • Replay of First Hour | Session One | Expressive Arts Therapy Foundations

    • Replay of Part Two

    • Replay of Part Three

    • New! Playlists from Music Selections During the Two Expressive Arts Experiences

    • Bob Marley - One Love

    • After Session One...Share Just One Thing Here

    • Please UPLOAD an image from Today's session!

  • 3

    Session Two: Working with Traumatic Stress and the Expressive Therapies Continuum

    • ▶️ ZOOM link!!!

    • Suggested Reading for Session Two

    • Additional Information on Bilateral Drawing | Sensorimotor Art Therapy

    • Expressive Therapies Continuum: Three-Part Healing Harmony

    • Bottom Up or Top Down? An Expressive Arts Therapy Perspective

    • Perry's Learning Brain and the Three Rs-- Regulate, Relate, and Reason

    • Handy Brain Model

    • Neurodevelopment and Expressive Arts Therapy | A Chart Based on C. Malchiodi, Lusebrink, Gaskill, and Perry

    • Evidence-Based Article for this Session: Expressive Therapies Continuum and Brain-Based Connections

    • ETC and the BRAIN

    • Weather words!

    • Movement + Drawing: A Film Presentation on Embodied Expression

    • Try it out: Weather Exploration EXPERIENCE

    • After Session Two..Share Just One Thing Here

    • Please UPLOAD an image from Today's session!

    • Replay of First Part of Session Two

    • Replay of Second Part of Session Two: Experiential

  • 4

    Session Three: Working Traumatic Stress through Grounding--Expressive Arts Therapy Approaches

    • ▶️ ZOOM link!!!

    • Suggested Reading for Session Three

    • Expressive Arts Therapy and Self-Regulation

    • STOP Technique: Creating Space to Breathe

    • "Breathing Buddies" with Daniel Goleman

    • How We Respond to Stress and Trauma: Three Major Responses

    • The Four Bs-- Brake, Breathe, Brain, and Body

    • Attunement Experience Through Music, Movement, and Drawing Together

    • Clarification and Context of "Code Red" song from Israeli School

    • Just a Bonus Reading: Culture and Memory

    • Bonus Reading: The Cultural Foundation of Human Memory: Research Article

    • Grounding Wheel Protocol and Adaptation

    • The Four Elements: Metaphors to Use as Grounding

    • Traditional Grounding Protocols: Think About How We Can Integrate Expression!

    • Artmaking and Self-regulation: 45 minutes reduces cortisol

    • Please UPLOAD an image from Today's session!

    • Replay of 1st hour, Aug 31st, 2021

    • Replay of 2nd hour/Grounding Experiential, Aug 31,2021

    • After Session Three..Share Just One Thing Here

  • 5

    Session Four: Expressive Arts and Body-Based Approaches

    • ▶️ ZOOM link!!!

    • Suggested Reading for Session Four

    • Butterfly Hug Graphic: "Installing" a Positive Grounding Experience

    • Weighted Animals and Blankets Resource!

    • Yoga as an Embodied Practice with Bessel van der Kolk

    • Yoga: Transcending Trauma

    • Evidence-Based Articles for this Session: Studies on Body-based Practices!

    • Resensitizing the Body through Expressive Arts

    • More on "Trauma-Sensitive Yoga": principals and practices!

    • Glitter Jar video "Just Breathe"!!

    • Let's make shapes and breathe! A simple yoga practice.

    • Considerations: Yoga and Cultural Appropriation

    • Example of a Culturally Relevant movement session!

    • Powerpoint from Presentation!

    • Today's Experiential: Grounded Foot!

    • Break Out Rooms "Mail" Instructions

    • Bonus Videos from Yoga Presentation to learn more!

    • After Session Four...Share Just One Thing Here

    • Please UPLOAD an image from Today's session!

    • Bonus: Meadows Behavioral Health: Free Webinars and Resources

    • Replay Session Four Part One on Grounding

    • Replay Session Four Part Two On Yoga and Grounding Experiential

    • New by Request | Structured Grounding Protocol

  • 6

    Session Five: Building a Foundation for Safety through Expressive Arts Therapy

    • ▶️ ZOOM link!!!

    • Suggested Reading for Session Five

    • Polyvagal Theory and Feeling Safe: Film Presentation

    • Safety is the Essential Foundation in Expressive Arts Therapy

    • Proxemics: The Space Around Us and Between Us-- Film Presentation

    • Proxemics and Non-Verbal Therapy

    • Proxemics Circle | Thinking About the Space Around You

    • The Transformation is in the Expressive Arts Therapy Relationship

    • Expressive Arts Therapy and Window of Tolerance: A Review

    • Healing Arts After a Crisis

    • Printable Duck! Print Out for Experiential

    • Individual Questionnaire | All Fine Place for Your Duck

    • Group Questionnaire | All Fine Duck Community

    • After Session Five..Share Just One Thing Here

    • Upload Your Session Five Experiential!

    • Upload the Questionnaire Here

    • May Your Rubber Duck Be With You in Session Five

    • A Few Slides from Session Five-- Safety and Proxemics

    • Replay Session Five Part One

    • Replay Session Five Part Two

  • 7

    BONUS: Final Readings and Experiences

    • A 2020 Vision for Expressive Arts Therapy

    • Trauma, Play Therapy, and Research Evidence

    • Bonus Reading: Child Art Therapy-- How it Works

  • 8

    Congratulations on Completing Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level One!

    • Final Steps to Your Certificate

    • Course Evaluation

    • Regarding the Use of Material in this Course

    • Certificate of Completion Qualification

    • One Last Step

  • 9

    Post-Course Items

    • Brain Template

    • Optional: Share Your Email with Colleagues Here!

Level One Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy

Join Us from Anywhere in the World--Held Virtually and Access a Replay of Lecture Sessions Until 30 Days After the Course Ends