Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute Faculty

Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level One Course with Cathy Malchiodi PhD
Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level One Course

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


Institute Faculty provide learning experiences based on principles of expressive arts therapies, embodied awareness concepts and best practices in psychotherapy and counseling. These principles are informed by contemporary research in trauma-informed intervention, neurodevelopment, mindfulness, mind-body approaches, positive psychology and related fields. Founded by Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, the Institute's mission is to promote understanding of how expressive arts therapy mediates traumatic stress. Courses include experiences in expressive arts, movement-based practices such as yoga; mindfulness and breathwork; narrative work; and play and imagination. Our courses and materials are developed and taught by practitioners who hold credentials in arts, play and/or expressive arts therapy and have advanced experience and clinical expertise in the application of these approaches to trauma intervention with children, adults, families, groups and communities.

Institute Faculty

Cathy A. Malchiodi, PhD, ATR-BC, LPCC, LPAT, REAT, holds a Doctorate in Psychology with a specialization in research and health psychology, expressive arts therapist, and art therapist who has spent over 30 years working with individuals with traumatic stress and studying how the arts support reparation, integration and recovery from trauma. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute that trains mental health and health care practitioners in medical, educational, and community settings and assists in disaster relief and humanitarian efforts throughout the world. Cathy has given more than 500 invited presentations in the US, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia and has published numerous articles, chapters, and more than 20 books, including Trauma and Expressive Arts Therapy: Brain, Body and Imagination in the Healing ProcessUnderstanding Children’s Drawings, Handbook of Art Therapy, Creative Arts and Play Therapy for Attachment Problems, and Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children. She has received numerous awards for distinguished service, clinical contributions and lifetime achievements, including honors from the Kennedy Center and Very Special Arts in Washington, DC. A passionate advocate for the role of the arts in health, she is a contributing writer for Psychology Today Online with more than 5 million readers and a visual artist and occasional ukelele and hulusi musician.



Emily Rae Johnson Welsh, MA, LPAT, LPCC, ATR-BC. As an art therapist and yoga instructor, Emily finds joy in connecting and sharing her love of creativity, breath, and mindfulness. Emily works with families in the hospital setting and feels fortunate to use both artmaking and yoga to meet their wellness needs during medical experiences. In her art studio you can find an array of textures, from faux fur to resin, and endless jars of mixed media treasures.  On her yoga mat you can find her smiling, breathing, and flowing, preferably in a hot room. Next to her bed you can see her new books and a growing collection of research on trauma, the body, and yoga. When not in the hospital or yoga studio, she prefers to be making a mess in the kitchen (cooking), playing with dirt (gardening) or snuggling with her loves (aka dogs, cat, and a husband).


Elizabeth Warson, PhD, LPC, ATR-BC, is the Director and Founder of American Indian Art Therapy and has numerous years of experience in graduate level art therapy, counseling and interdisciplinary teaching. Her expertise includes research design in art therapy and expressive arts therapies, publication and intergenerational and culturally responsive trauma intervention.

Expressive Arts Therapy Faculty at Related Institutes

Because it is important to understand the full-range of what expressive arts therapy has to offer in trauma-informed practice, we often work in tandem in presentations and trainings with these training institutes and their faculty:

Laury Rappaport, Ph.D., MFT, REAT, ATR-BC is a Professor and Director of the Mind-Body Dept. at Five Branches University and has  over 30 years experience teaching in graduate schools, including Lesley University, Notre Dame de Namur University, Cambridge College. She regularly presents internationally and has extensive clinical experience with individuals. couples. families, groups, and organizations in a variety of settings.  Laury is a Certifying Focusing Coordinator/Trainer and Founder/Director of the Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute,  author of Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy: Accessing the Body’s Wisdom and Creative Intelligence and editor of the forthcoming book, Mindfulness and the Arts Therapies. For information of the Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute, see