Welcome to Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute and Learning Center

Trauma-Informed Art Therapy® and Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy® are approaches developed by Dr. Cathy Malchiodi that integrate trauma-informed practices, "brain-wise" arts-based interventions, and mind-body research. The Institute is dedicated to professional education and distance learning on creative, trauma-informed practices that focus on the expressive arts.


Participants at Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy® Level One Educational Session in Hong Kong
Participants at Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy® Level One Educational Session in Hong Kong

The Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute is dedicated to providing professional education that promotes greater understanding of creative, trauma-informed practices. The Institute offers continuing education live courses/workshops and distance learning courses for mental health professionals and master's and doctoral students. Courses emphasize approaches that are based on best practices, integrative methods and current research in expressive arts, creative arts, and trauma-informed care and complement mind-body, somatic, sensory integration and neurobiology-informed methods of trauma intervention. We believe that the expressive arts approach [the integrated use of multiple arts forms] in particular is essential to many individuals' trauma recovery and are an important part of integrative health care. The Institute supports a vision for advanced understanding and education in creative methods of therapy and promotes the value of these approaches as complementary to mind-body, sensory-integration and neuropsychology approaches to trauma-informed care, psychotherapy and wellness.


If you are new to this website, visit the Resources page to learn more about expressive arts therapy, creative arts therapy, mind-body approaches and trauma-informed practice. You can also download a variety of information on the Articles page and see a gallery of presentations and event on the Past Courses | Presentations page. If you want to be notified about upcoming courses, new articles or general Institute updates or have a specific question about distance learning and educational offerings, please go to the Contact Page to send us an email.


To learn more about the Institute, please click on "About the Institute" and the various topics on the main menu to read more about trauma-informed care, expressive arts therapies, creative arts therapies, and play therapy, and related approaches to trauma integration and integrative health care.


Do you want to register for an online/distance learning course? We have participants in our distance learning program from all over the world and in every continent. Visit "Online Courses" to read about the various educational offerings through our Learning Center and the information we need from you to enroll you in courses. If you are interested in taking several courses to supplement your knowledge of trauma-informed practice and expressive arts therapy, you can find out more information about recommended courses at Certificate Programs


Do you need continuing education credit to renew a license or certification? Review the "Continuing Education" page for more 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. 

Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT) | International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA)

For more information about Expressive Arts Therapies credentials, please contact the International Expressive Arts Therapies Association [IEATA] for information on their registration process at http://www.ieata.org/reat-standards-and-requirements.html. IEATA has recently updated their standards for applying for the REAT credential that has helped to make the REAT more accessible to more practitioners around the world. Our Institute provides coursework that is applicable toward the REAT credential. We have set up a webpage with basic information on this credential process here. We also highly recommend that if you are interested in becoming a REAT that you should also become a member of the IEATA to add to your educational experience and professional standing.

For More Information on Credentials in Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance/Movement Therapy, Drama Therapy and Play Therapy:

About Trauma-Informed Art Therapy® and Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy® Continuing Education Courses. The courses we offer are for continuing education and enrichment purposes only in creative, action-oriented and sensory-based trauma-informed practice, counseling, and psychotherapeutic approaches with children, adolescents, adults, families and groups with an emphasis on Expressive Arts Therapy, the integrated application of the arts for health and well-being.


If you are interested in obtaining a credential in art therapy, music therapy, dance/movement therapy, drama therapy or play therapy, please consult with the various credentials boards or organizations in your country, state, province or locality to determine what specific education is required to become a competent practitioner by law in your chosen field of practice. Depending on your location/country, these credentials require a master's degree from a university or other form of higher education. Additionally, some states regulate the scope and practice of art therapy, music therapy, dance/movement therapy and other creative arts therapies in the US; please review your state's regulations for more information about scope of practice and required credentials to practice in these fields.

Arts and Health on Psychology Today


Follow the Arts and Health on Psychology Today Online to learn more about current research, events, and current practice in art therapy, music therapy, dance/movement therapy, expressive arts therapy, arts in healthcare and creativity as a wellness practice. Articles emphasize the connection between neurobiology, mind-body approaches and the creative process for health and well-being. There are also a variety of postings that will get you started in bringing the arts into your life through visual journaling, music, movement, play and imagination. The column has been read by over 3.3 million worldwide!


© 2015 E.R. Johnson Welsh
© 2015 E.R. Johnson Welsh

ART THERAPY + HAPPINESS PROJECT 2015 was a huge success! The ART THERAPY + HAPPINESS PROJECT has run for three consecutive years--2013, 2014 and 2015--we hope to plan new projects in the future. It has been a unique opportunity for hundreds of individuals to explore connections between art making and well-being; best of all, no art [therapy] experience is required to participate.


Philosophy: We believe that art making can make us "happier" through four positive forces that help us to be more resilient when challenged by life events, big and small. These Four Positive Forces are: Connection, Compassion, Contribution and Courage. We all can use our own Creativity as a positive force that inspires and motivates us to deeply Connect with others, experience Compassion for others and ourselves, make Contributions that are meaningful and life-affirming, and have the Courage to tell our stories and speak our truths.



This online interactive workshop focuses on the four positive forces of wellbeing exploring new and old creative techniques. Art journaling, mixed media creations, mindful photography and yoga are all be part of the mix! It is a great format to experiment with new materials and techniques that you can then continue to use to increase creativity in your life. The Project's popular swaps enable everyone a chance to eeply connect with other creative friends from around the world. The Project also introduces participants to information that has been shown through research to increase wellbeing and full of fresh inspiration to fulfill your creative needs. For information on the past events, see this link. Please note: This course is not continuing education eligible, although art therapists may be able to apply hours toward credential renewal in some cases.