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Cathy Malchiodi, PhD

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD

$625.00 Regular Price
$575.00Sale Price

Expressive arts therapy integrates the arts—movement, music/sound, drawing, storytelling, improvisation, dramatic enactment, play, and creative writing – within the practice of psychotherapy and counseling. It is a multi-modal approach to trauma treatment that goes beyond what language and traditional talk therapy can capture to access implicit, sensory-based experiences of trauma. Although expressive arts can tap actual implicit and explicit memories of trauma, recall through the arts also call forth and release pleasant and enlivening memories. This takes us beyond the “window of tolerance” to expanding a “circle of capacity” (Malchiodi, 2021). Ultimately, it is this reparative nature found in expressive arts that helps individuals “resensitize” their minds and bodies to positive sensations rather than learning to endure reactions. It also helps clients to begin to live in the present, rather than remaining stuck in the distressful sensations of past events.  


Expressive arts therapy is part of the current forefront of emerging methods that incorporate both neuroscience (brain-wise) research and somatosensory (body-wise and sensory-oriented) findings within the contemporary treatment of traumatic stress. Material presented in this course draws not only from the healing components of the arts themselves, but also from polyvagal theory, social engagement system, bilateral work and sensory integration, mindfulness practice and narrative approaches. Participants will learn a four-part expressive arts model, the Circle of Capacity Model and a bottom-up/top-down framework that explain how to develop, initiate, and apply arts-based, creative interventions when working with traumatized clients. The emphasis is on establishing internal safety, supporting self-regulatory and co-regulatory skills, and communicating the implicit and interoceptive experiences of trauma in the body through simple expressive arts experiences. 


Each session includes lecture, media, films, hands-on experientials, break out sessions, and group discussion. The goal of this course is to demonstrate why expressive arts should be a key part of clinical practice when it comes to trauma. Based on the book Trauma and Expressive Arts Therapy, participants will learn numerous methods and approaches that can immediately be applied in their work with children, adults, families, groups, and communities experiencing traumatic stress. No previous arts experiences are required; just come prepared to engage your capacity for creativity, play, and imagination.


Special Note: This course qualifies master’s and doctoral level participants for a certificate of completion in Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Level One from the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute. Continuing education hours can also be applied toward the Expressive Arts Therapist EXAT or Expressive Arts-Coach Educator EXA-CE designations.

  • About

    Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT is a psychologist and expressive arts therapist specializing in the treatment of traumatic stress. She is the executive director of the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute dedicated to providing somatosensory, expressive, and trauma-informed learning for psychotherapists, coaches, educators, and facilitators. Cathy has authored 20 books, 50 chapters and refereed articles, and given over 600 invited keynotes and workshops around the world. Widely interviewed by a variety of news outlets, she has been featured in Time Magazine, CNN, Cosmopolitan, Natural Living, Marie Clare, Australia Childhood Foundation, US News and World Report, and VICE, among others. Cathy is a contributing writer for Psychology Today and has a readership of approximately 5.8 million. Her latest book is Trauma and Expressive Arts Therapy: Brain, Body and Imagination in the Healing Process; Handbook of Expressive Arts Therapy and her bestselling book Understanding Children’s Drawings will be in its second edition in late 2022.

    We are excited to welcome Cathy Malchiodi to her first teaching appearance at the Cape Cod Institute!

  • Course Title

    Expressive Arts Therapy: Integrating Body-Based and Sensory-Oriented Approaches to Heal Traumatic Stress

  • Course Agenda


    The MSSS and Circle of Capacity Models for Trauma Recovery

    • The four-part model Movement, Sound, Storytelling, and Silence (MSSS) for trauma reparation and recovery in psychotherapy and counseling 

    • Circle of Capacity Model for resensitizing the body, mind, and spirit, post-trauma

    • Applying the MSSS to facilitate attunement, synchrony, rhythm, sensory integration, and social engagement


    Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) as a Brain-Wise Framework

    • Applying a bottom-up/top-down model to address trauma through expressive arts and facilitate the body’s natural resources for repair and recovery

    •  The role of exteroception, interoception, neuroception, and the “felt sense” in arts-based approaches to traumatic stress


    Self-Regulation and Co-Regulation: Expressive Approaches to Stabilization

    • Combining breathwork and expressive arts to support grounding and anchoring through somatosensory regulation

    • Arts-based approaches to generate and support non-verbal communication and co-regulation


    From Implicit to Explicit: Working with the Body’s Sense of Trauma

    • Facilitating expression of somatosensory experiences through expressive arts

    • Applying the ETC framework and Subjective Maps of Feelings in psychotherapy and counseling with individuals with traumatic stress  


    Play and Imagination: Reestablishing a Sense of Aliveness in Brain and Body

    • The Three R’s—re-experience, resensitize, and reconnect—as key principles in trauma-informed expressive arts therapy

    • The transformative role of play and imagination in work with individuals, groups, and communities experiencing traumatic stress

  • Course Objectives

    Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

    1. Identify five psychotherapeutic principles of Expressive Arts Therapy
    2. Define the role of four basic components of the MSSS Model [movement, sound, storytelling, and silence] in psychotherapy and counseling
    3. Identify the seven principles of Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy
    4. Describe Herman’s Model for trauma and recovery as a foundation for Expressive Arts Therapy in trauma recovery
    5. Define the Circle of Capacity Model and how it differs from a “window of tolerance”
    6. Identify why synchrony, rhythm, and sensory integration support client self-regulation and safety
    7. Identify at least three ways to apply arts-based approaches to facilitate therapist-client attunement, co-regulation, and psychotherapeutic engagement
    8. Describe somatosensory, affective and cognitive forms of implicit, non-verbal communication
    9. Apply a bottom-up, brain-wise framework for Expressive Arts Therapy in clinical practice
    10. Describe the roles of exteroception, interception, and neuroception in arts-based approaches to traumatic stress
    11. Combine breathwork, mindfulness, and arts-based approaches to support grounding and somatosensory regulation
    12. Define Subjective Maps of Feeling and their role in somatically-oriented, trauma-focused work
    13. Apply a three-part arts-based process to address with the body’s sense of trauma
    14. Define why the Three Rs—re-experience, re-sensitize, and re-connect—are key to trauma recovery via Expressive Arts Therapy
    15. Define the transformative roles of play and imagination in work with groups and communities experiencing traumatic stress