Visual Journaling Level One at Historic Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico | November 7th through 9th, 2018

Visual Journaling and Expressive Arts: Arts-Based Narrative Approaches to Self-Regulation and Stress Reduction-Level One Certificate. 


Institute Faculty: Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT and Elizabeth Warson, PhD, LPC, ATR-BC


Visual journaling [also called art or drawing journaling] has been identified as both an important and accessible approach in expressive arts therapy, counseling and psychotherapy. It is not only an effective method for stress reduction, but also is considered a creative way to express personal narratives and life stories as well as make meaning through images, creative writing, imagination and storytelling. 


In this three-day Level One course, participants will experience a variety of visual journaling approaches that are grounded in emerging research and based on historical foundations of journaling for emotional reparation and wellness. Course content focuses on three basic areas--methods, materials and mind-body-- to demonstrate and illustrate how visual journaling can be adapted to support self-regulation, emotional expression and narratives within person-centered expressive arts and counseling, narrative therapy and therapeutic frameworks. While this course is mostly "hands-on," participants will also learn how to design developmentally-appropriate, trauma-informed and culturally responsive visual journal interventions through lectures, readings and group discussions. Specific content includes, but is not limited to the following:


1) Historical and traditional visual journaling methods in the fields of art therapy and expressive arts;

2) Warm-ups to begin visual journaling sessions with children, adolescents, adults and groups;

3) How to create "person-centered" visual journals with clients;

4) The role of the Expressive Therapies Continuum in applying visual journaling methods for self-regulation, emotional expression and storytelling;

5) The impact of specific visual journaling approaches on health and well-being based on EMDR, DBT and Mindfulness-Based approachs;

6) Integrative methods of visual journaling, creative writing, and storytelling;

7) The role of culture and personal worldview in developing culturally-appropriate visual journaling methods;

8) The role of evidence-based research in developing visual journaling methods to address mood, health and quality of life. 


Participants will learn a variety of visual journaling approaches each day that can be immediately applied to work with a variety of individuals of all ages and be able to also use these principles in their own self-care as practitioners. Because of the format of this course, you will also takeaway dozens of approaches to add to your toolbox of interventions. 


This course is part of the new Visual Journaling 4 Healing® Certificate to provide expressive arts therapists, mental health professionals and expressive arts facilitators with well-grounded visual journaling practices to apply to their work with individuals of all ages. Content is based on best practices in expressive arts therapy, art therapy and trauma-informed concepts key to health, well-being, reparation and recovery through arts-based methods.


Level One: The Foundations of Visual Journaling and Applications for Self-Regulation, Emotional Expression and Narrative Work

Level Two: Altered Books, Altered Stories: Creative Approaches and Prompts to Explore Personal Narratives

Level Three: Advanced Methodology in Visual Journaling: Applications and Interventions 

Registration Information:

Open to counselors, social workers, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, expressive arts therapists, expressive arts facilitators, creative arts therapists and graduate students. Objectives and Agenda to follow soon! Right now, you can register to secure a space as seating will be limited. 


To Register, please visit the Ghost Ranch November 2018 webpage.

What to Bring to the Course: We will be updating this section over the summer, so please check back. Once we get closer to the dates of the courses, if you are registered you will receive a number of emails to let you know what to bring as well as readings and other information.


To be announced! We will begin each day at 9:00 am and end at 4:30 pm with a 1 1/2 hour lunch break; Ghost Ranch has food available for purchase at the location. Bodhi's is also a popular place for lunch and is about 10 minutes from Ghost Ranch [excellent posole, salads and sandwiches; you can also shop for food items and locally-made gifts at their marketplace].


Be sure to dress comfortably and in layers; temperatures can vary at this time of year, but are on the cool side especially at night. Also, be sure to bring a water bottle; drinking plenty of water is important at this higher elevation.


Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center

Ghost Ranch | Education and Retreat Center

280 Private Drive 1708, Abiquiu, NM 87510

Learn more about Abiquiu New Mexico at this website; there are accommodations at Ghost Ranch but please make your reservations early in order to secure your preference of room. AirBnB is another option to rent apartments, homes or rooms in the area. The Abiquiu Inn is about 10 minutes from Ghost Ranch for those who have transportation [since some participants stay at the Inn, there are often course-takers with cars who are willing to provide rides to the Ranch each day]. Santa Fe, Ojo Caliente and Taos are nearby, but is a bit of a drive each day-- but you may prefer to stay there as there are more options for accommodations and restaurants.