Process Not Perfection: A New Book from IEATA Member Jamie Marich

Dr. Jamie Marich has a new book out–congratulations!  You can learn about the book through the blogging and podcasting she is doing (click on the links below).

WHEAT Institute

Guest Blog Post by Stephanie Scott 

The Winnipeg Holistic Expressive Arts Therapy (WHEAT) Institute offers top quality training in Art Therapy, Expressive Arts, Expressive Arts Therapy and Therapeutic Clowning in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Darci Adam, WHEAT Director, is a Registered Art and Expressive Arts Therapist with Masters’ Degrees in Drama and Educational Psychology (Counseling), as well as Diplomas in Education and Art Therapy. She is the Regional Representative for IEATA and the Manitoba Representative for the Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association Creative Arts Chapter.

WHEAT is committed to using the universal language of the arts for healing, self awareness and social justice. There are currently more than 30 students enrolled in diploma and certificate programs, plus dozens more whom drop in to select courses for professional development. Last fall WHEAT celebrated the first graduating class of Art Therapists in central Canada! WHEAT also co-hosted the 2017 IEATA Conference on Indigenous Roots of Expressive Arts in Winnipeg.

WHEAT is located on Treaty One Territory, the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. WHEAT acknowledges current and past injustices committed against Indigenous peoples in Canada and globally and is committed to actively working towards reconciliation as an institute that respects, learns from and celebrates Indigenous peoples, Indigenous languages, Indigenous knowledge, and Indigenous knowledge keepers.

WHEAT classes are provided in a gorgeous urban retreat wilderness area at the St. Norbert Arts Centre in the Guest House at the Trappiste Ruins in St. Norbert, as well as at the Arthur Street Studio in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District.

WHEAT offers two-year diploma programs in Art Therapy (CATA) and Expressive Arts Therapy (IEATA), a 220-hour Expressive Arts Certificate, and is currently developing a comprehensive Therapeutic Clowning program with four of the top Therapeutic Clowns in Canada.

WHEAT invites American and international students to drop in to the magical, sensory world of healing through the arts and discover the arts’ playfulness and transformative power. There are exciting opportunities to train with internationally acclaimed faculty in Winnipeg this summer! Taking place in the tranquil, historic, natural setting of the St. Norbert Arts Centre these training opportunities are perfect for school counselors, resource teachers, educators, clinicians, therapists, healers and artists. Professional development and Expressive Arts certificate courses are open to international students. Course hours can be used towards registration as professional members of IEATA.

Register this spring to confirm your spot before classes fill up! Visit  and email info@wheatinstitute to learn more.

Expressive Arts Therapy Studio II with Dohee Lee Tamalpa-trained Korean-American performance artist July 22-25, 2019

Clowning in Expressive Arts Therapy with David Langdon Winnipeg’s most experienced Therapeutic Clown July 29 – 31, 2019

Working with Trauma using Expressive Arts with Kate Donohue (Master Teacher & Therapist and co-founder of IEATA) August 3-6, 2019

Expressive Arts Therapy: Psychopathology and Developmental Psychology with Kate Donohue August 8 – 11, 2019

Indigenous Ways of Knowing through the Arts with Victoria McIntosh (Indigenous artist, teacher & Elder) August 13 – 15, 2019

IEATA’s Expressive Arts Therapy Conference this Feb 28-Mar 3, 2019

Why should I attend a conference and especially the IEATA conference?  That is a question I ask myself every time I consider attending any conference.  Especially as a clinician in the expressive arts field working for myself this is an important consideration.  One thing I always focus on in any training that I am going to pursue is how this is going to support the work I am doing and what benefits I am going to get from it.

Rise UpThis conference in particular only happens every 2 years and this year we are honored to be having it in Berkeley, CA. This year’s conference topics are also focusing on very relevant topics  today’s struggles that most of our clients and we ourselves are dealing with on a daily basis in our culture locally and globally.   This conference’s theme of “Rising Up: The Evolution and Revolution of Expressive Arts,”  is focused on the education, support, and advocacy of the underprivileged, marginalized, and discriminated-against populations with the use of the creative arts to explore these meaningful and hard topics.  Allowing for a safe, nurturing, and passionately creative environment to learn, grow, and tend to our own needs as clinicians, students of this field, and conduits of change.

If you are not familiar with expressive arts therapy this is the place to be to learn and educate yourself on the research and modalities within the expressive arts that are beneficial tools to all practitioners in the field hoping to find new and/or different tools and skills to share with their clients. It’s a place of building not only knowledge, but rekindle passion or ignite it for the first time. It’s a place to meet others that work with similar modalities  and populations and/or to try something new that you have always wanted to explore.  It’s also a place to make connections that will last a lifetime. 

There will be pre-conference events and post-conference events along with three full days of the conference itself.  These conference days include key note speakers and breakout sessions to participate in the experiential’s themselves.  There will be time to explore research that is happening in our field with a poster session and a group think tank. Consider joining us not only for your exploration and continued support of your own education, but to connect to others in the healing field creating the energy behind the revolution that inevitably will come when we ban together. 

The IEATA Expressive Arts Therapy Conference takes place Feb 28-March 3, 2019 at the Doubletree Berkeley Marina, CA, U.S.A.

Early Bird Registration includes a discount for the conference and ends December 31, 2018. 

Check out the conference website!                     Check out the Facebook Page!

Yours sincerely,

Alynne Davis, M.A., LPCA, CMP
Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Expressive Arts Therapy; Certified MARI Practitioner




EXA Practitioner: Jamie Marich

I say “go with that” quite a bit in my clinical and teaching life. In EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy, “go with that” is a commonly used phrase. The invitation encourages clients to notice what they are experiencing—without judgment—and allow the process to move forward.  As an expressive arts therapist, facilitator, and trainer, I invite people to approach their creativity in a similar fashion. In both EMDR therapy and expressive arts therapy, outcomes are not forced. Rather, being in process in as mindful and as intentional way as possible, more can be revealed along the healing path.

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            When I mention that I am both an EMDR therapist/trainer and an expressive arts therapist/trainer and that my passion is to blend the two modalities, I get some puzzled faces in response. For me, the fusion of the two approaches is natural due to the power of process. In graduate school I was struggling to manage empathy and feelings of being overwhelmed when working with young people I viewed as mistreated by the system. The same young people were my first clinical expressive arts students, and one of the many jobs I had during my graduate training was as a performing singer-songwriter. It’s no wonder that when I began my first round as an EMDR client, I ended up writing an album of new material! Cleaning traumatic blockages in the manner that EMDR therapy facilitates cracked open my expressive process.

           Many clinicians trained in EMDR are technical purists, only having experienced or heard of the strict “protocol” that EMDR therapists must learn in training, are surprised to hear that the work I do is even possible. Yet the founder of EMDR therapy, Dr. Francine Shapiro gives more permission than ever for the fusion of expressive modalities in the latest (2018) version of her core textbook, especially when they are well-trained to use them. In  EMDR if a client gets stuck in the traditional flow of applying eye movements or other bilateral/dual attention stimulus like audio tones or tactile sensations, clinicians are allow to use prompting questions, often called cognitive interweaves, to move the processing along in as natural a way as possible. These can also be perfect opportunities to use gush art with materials available or invitations to movement to literally move the stuck energy through when a client is blocked or otherwise has difficulty processing. Once the expressive art reaches a natural completion or seems to have gotten the energy moving, the transition back into the standard EMDR protocol can be seamless.

            Training clients in expressive arts practices of all kinds as part of their preparation in affect tolerance for the wider range of emotions and experiences that EMDR therapy can open up in later phases is also an option. Shapiro has written quite a bit in her book about the importance of keeping a log in between sessions to help clients track their progress and make notes about shifting experiences for their clinician. Although traditional journaling can work for this process, I’ve invited and witnessed beautiful extensions in the form of poetry writing and short stories. Art journaling allows clients to take this work to a visual place if needed, and making playlists (for listening or for moving) in between sessions are also beautiful options.

            To read more about my work in both EMDR therapy (plenty of demo videos available) and expressive arts therapy, please go to the website of the Institute for Creative Mindfulness.

IEATA Interviews: Sofia University

IEATA Educational Resources Committee member Martha McCaughey communicated with faculty and staff at Sofia University about their Creative Expression programs.
imagesMartha McCaughey:  What is your Program’s vision?
Sofia University: Creative expression is a powerful transpersonal and transformative vehicle for growth, healing, and wholeness.  
MM: Tell us about your educational programs.

Sofia:  At Sofia University, students can specialize in creative expression within two academic degree pathways: (a) Masters of Arts in Transpersonal Psychology and (b) Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology:

These pathways provide an educational background that supports application for the REACE or REAT credential.

Students have the option of choosing a residential, hybrid, or online master’s degree program.  Students are encouraged to use creative expression as part of their personal journey, to develop a creative exploration toolbox, and to apply it to their distinct professional callings.  Applications might include the arts, leadership, coaching, clinical practice, healthcare, education, global communication, research, or entrepreneurship.

A Certificate in Creative Expression for qualified non-degree student applicants is also offered.
We also offer a stand-alone Certificate in Creative Expression through the online master’s program, open to those with an undergraduate degree in a psychology-related field.

MM: Is any part of your programming open to the public as well as to students?

Sofia: The public is invited to attend one-day creativity offerings during the Global Master’s program seminars in the fall and spring quarters.  Workshops have included mask-making, mandala work, poetry, intention boxes, and community singing.  These workshops are set at retreat centers that offer both an indoor academic environment as well as beautiful outdoor, natural environments.  When enrolled in an online/hybrid program, students are required, as part of the online coursework, to engage with their community and to spend time outdoors.

The following video highlights alumna Elisha Sciscioli’s journey through the creativity and innovation specialization in the MATP program.
MM: What is unique about creative expression at Sofia University?

Sofia: The MATP and MACP programs at Sofia University invite passionate, dynamic learning that fosters creative exploration and multiple ways of knowing while embracing diverse paths of spiritual practice and personal development. The programs include heart-centered and earth-centered practices, and are grounded in transpersonal and spiritual psychology. We are committed to academic excellence, authenticity, inclusivity, cultural humility, ecological stewardship, and service to others.  Sofia University promotes six areas of inquiry: intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, and creative.  We value ecological consciousness and diversity.  

Students in these programs explore creative expression experientially and theoretically in an intermodal fashion.  The academic experience is continually deepened through creative connection.  Students learn to embody the creative spirit and weave it into their personal and professional lives.  Coursework includes creative applications to specific content areas such as dreamwork and eco-spirituality, practicum experiences, creativity-centered scholarly writing, and showcase portfolios that highlight philosophy and applications of creativity.

A Sofia education invites students to explore and discover how creativity facilitates personal growth, authenticity, and imagination, while influencing professional and community well-being.

MM: Would you like to write a blog post?

Sofia: Yes, twice a year.  


Sofia University

PALO ALTO, CA and the World (online)

Admissions at Sofia University



Nancy Rowe, PhD


Prayer Arrow & Earth Day Meditation

an EXPRESS Earth Day activity

by Dr. Roxanne Daleo, Co-Chair, Educational Resources Committee, IEATA

Age Level: Preschool to Adult

EarthDay Meditation for Kids.jpg


  1. To acquaint children to the elements of the planet Earth
  2. To use ritual in facilitating a reverence for the Earth in the heart and minds of children
  3. To illustrate the interconnectedness of all living things
  4. To make a personal prayer to heal the Earth and ourselves

Materials Needed: Pines cones, feathers, seashells, straight tree branches, various colored yarns


STEP 1. Gather in a circle round to share with the group the activity of creating a prayer arrow in honor of Earth Day.

STEP 2. In the center of the circle place a single basket of earth elem

ents or separate baskets for each of the elements

STEP 3.  Invite children to choose objects representing land, sea and sky to tie onto their prayer arrow.

STEP 4.  As the child wraps various colors of yarn around their branch. Ask them to repeat the prayer intention with each of three colors. For example, with this yarn of green “I send peace to all the animals and plants on the land.” With this yarn of white,”I send peace to all the birds that fly.” With this yarn of blue, I send protection to all the fishes and plants in the sea.”

STEP 5. Gather all the prayer arrows and children in the circle and have them stand to fully express their wishes about Earth Day.

STEP 6. Take the group to an open space in nature to “plant” their prayer arrows.

STEP 7. Regroup in a circle, using a drum beat, lead the meditation.

We all need to know we are connected to every living thing-

the soil, the water, the wind, the sun. 

We are the stewards of the EARTH. When we get in touch with 

this truth, we discover the power of nature within ourselves..

Let’s send love and appreciation to all that is-

Keep it simple, find a pine cone, feather, sea shell, flower

tie each onto a straight stick using a piece of colored yarn.   Now say:

This is the beginning of a new day, the Universe has given me this day

to  use as I will. In each moment there is power to choose. In each moment

I am exchanging a day of my life for it.

I want it to be love, not fear; goodness not meanness 

in order that I shall not regret what I have 

given. This is the beginning of a new day.

Now, place the stick in the ground as a promise to the Earth

to be a mindful steward so other children can walk with Beauty 

before them on this planet Earth.

EXPRESS Earth Day 2018!


We are collecting your ideas for expressive arts activities to heal, educate, and make change for Earth Day 2018.  Here’s an example of a previous exercise submitted to us last year by Natalie Hogg.  Between now and April 30, we invite you to submit* your EXPRESS Earth Day activity in the following format:

Title or Name of Activity
Your Name
Population Activity is Best Suited for (eg, age range, etc.)
Materials Needed
Special Considerations/Adaptations 
To submit, just use the comment box above on this page!  Our IEATA Educational Resources Committee will compile the wonderful expressive arts activities to share with IEATA members.   
*In submitting your activity, you are consenting for us to share your activity with and through the IEATA organization.



IEATA Interviews: Tamalpa Institute

IEATA Educational Resources Committee member Naomi Kimmelman had the pleasure of speaking with Daria Halprin of the Tamalpa Institute in San Rafael, California, U.S.A. on Jan. 16, 2018.  

Tamalpa Institute Website

  1. What is your Institute’s vision and philosophy?

The vision of the institute is to make accessible to a diverse public with diverse interests and needs the healing power of movement and the expressive arts. Tamalpa is interested and passionate about serving its local community and international communities.

Part of the Tamalpa Institute mission is to reach out globally as an educative but also as a healing force in the community. Embedded in the mission is Tamapla’s social engagement and social justice program (Tamalpa ArtCorps). See more about the Tamalpa Institute ArtCorps below.

“Dance and healing arts are for everyone – Tamalpa wants to make their approach accessible to everyone. We want to train people to be stewards of this work all over the globe.”

Tamalpa Institute is also about to celebrate 40 years of being a school/training center! The Tamalpa Institute was formed in the late 1970’s and is one of the earliest training institutes for movement and expressive arts! Before that, the Institutes methods and philosophy in dance and expressive arts were informed in the early 1950’s by Anna Halprin.

Tamalpa Institute

Tamalpa Institute

  1. Is your programming open to the public as well as students?

Yes! We offer public workshops, classes and an intensive training program comprised of three levels of training. We also have several international branches! Our main home and studio is located in the North Bay Area of California.

But, we have centers in France, Germany, South Korea, and the U.K. where you can engage in the first level of training for the intensive training program, and we have lots of chapters of Tamalpa graduates all over the world.

  1. What are your training programs; Their levels and length of time?

We offer a three level intensive training program. Level 1 is the Personal Embodiment segment of the training which teaches what our work is all about. The Level 2 training is our leadership and teacher training portion of the work and the Level 3 Training is our fieldwork segment of the training in which students bring this work out into the community, putting the work into practice.

The Level 3 training dovetails into the ArtCorps which is a student developed fieldwork project for social justice and work in the community.  The ArtCorps is similar to a peace core concept but grounded in expressive arts. ArtCorps programs are sponsored by Tamalpa and Tamalpa’s sponsors to take our work to folks that wouldn’t have access.

We have an immersion program which is full time (M-F) for two full semesters (9 month cycle). Students write papers, do research and engage in movement and expressive arts training.

We also have a weekend training program (Friday through Sunday) which is one weekend each month for two years.

We generally have four concurrent training programs running at a time and in the Summer, we offer training for students from the international branches–to come to the Mountain Home where this work began.  

  1. About how many students go through your programs?

We have approximately 50 students in the intensive training program every year. Workshops are probably about 100 people a year through Tamalpa Mountain Home in San Rafael. There are hundreds of people every year that participate in the wide reach of this work.  

For the intensive training programs, the first level training often starts with approximately 20 people give or take in each cohort (1st level). Gap years between levels is okay and there are often 12-16 people in 2nd/3rd year trainings at a time.

  1. Who goes through your programs? What is the population like?

We have a real mix of folks who come through our programs. In age, anywhere from folks in their early 20’s to 60’s is common.

People who come to train with us are artists who are looking to use art in a way that is educative or more actively engaging with and helping out in the community. We also get therapists wanting to learn more embodied somatic practices.

Our faculty represent these different interests. We employ educators, therapists and artists. We take an interdisciplinary approach.

  1. What kinds of space do you have and is it both indoors as well as outdoors?

We have a beautiful, historic indoor/outdoor studio. It’s one of the most renowned indoor/outdoor dance studios in the world. Public workshops are also offered at the local mountain home studio.

However, graduates are invited to bring this work all over! Individuals who have gone through our trainings teach at CIIS, Meridian University, travel all over Europe, EGS faculty, Saint Mary’s Faculty, and bring the work to different spaces in San Francisco and Berkeley to present our work in urban centers.

  1. As part of the ed resources committee, we are discussing the advantages of using social media technology for our educational resources section on the IEATA website. Would you be interested in social media outreach?


  1. Is IEATA posting the information you need?

YES, I’ve been a member since the beginning. For me the conferences are really important.

  1. Do you have any suggestions for the IEATA Committee for Educational Resources?

Another association that may be of interest to you marketing wise is the International Somatic Movement Therapy and Education Association. They do a quarterly email strain – in which people can place ads through them and post listings. The organizations that place ads need to be members of the association and need to meet a standard for excellence. This gives the quarterly email announcement substance and lists notorious substantial players and programs in the field. Its essentially advertising amongst joined associates and you need to meet a certain bar which focuses on institute/or well know practitioners and or pioneers.




IEATA Interviews: Appalachian State’s Expressive Arts Therapy Graduate Certificate Program

August, 2017

Educational Resources Committee Member Martha McCaughey interviewed Melia Snyder, Director of the Expressive Arts Therapy Graduate Certificate Program at Appalachian State University


Program website:

1. What is your Institute’s/Program’s vision?
The Appalachian Expressive Arts program educates and trains caring professionals to integrate all of the arts into their work and way of being in order to support human growth, development, and healing.

2. Is your programming open to the public as well as students?
We offer expressive arts workshops hosted by our honor society, Orchesis, which are open to the public.

3. What are your training programs levels and certification?
We offer a graduate certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy, which is
available to students currently enrolled in a related Appalachian State
Master’s program. We also offer a post-graduate certificate available to
those who have already received a related Master’s degree.

4. About how many students go through your programs?
Our enrollment varies, but we have approximately 20 students per year
who complete the certificate.

5. Are you open to new mentoring opportunities?
Yes! Our students and faculty value the larger web of expressive arts
that extends beyond the walls of our classrooms.

6. What kinds of space do you have; is it outdoors as well as indoors?

Due to our location in the Appalachian Mountains, we take full
advantage of the local landscape which informs our creative process.
Classes take place indoors in a studio type environment as well as

7. What would you say makes your program distinct? What are your
points of pride?
To our knowledge, we are the only Expressive Arts Therapy Certificate
program housed in a public university. Our emphasis on dreamwork,
ecotherapy, mindfulness, and ritual make our program unique.  We are
situated in the birthplace of four rivers flowing in the cardinal directions
and held by some of the most ancient and ecologically diverse
mountains in the world. This unique landscape inhabits our psyche and
influences and inspires our creative process.

8. What sorts of social media outreach do you engage in?
Facebook (Appalachian State Expressive Arts) and Instagram (AppStateExa).

9. Would you like to write a blog post for IEATA?
I would be interested in this.

10. Is IEATA’s website and/or blog posting the information you need?
We’d love to see more about the REAT/REACE process…specifically
support about the application and renewal processes.  That would be my
main suggestion for the IEATA Committee for Educational Resources.


Indigenous Expressive Arts Exercise Invitation IV

Collective Natural Element Mandala

Age Range: 3 to 100

Objective: To create a mandala or natural design as a collective group or family experiential. The objective is to connect to nature, seek natural elements found through a nature exploration, calling on a childlike sense of play and curiosity.

*This natural mandala can be created by an individual as well as with a group.

Inspirational quote: “Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life.”   –Pema Chodron

“The word mandala means ‘circle’. A mandala represents wholeness, a cosmic diagram reminding us of our relation to infinity, extending beyond and within our bodies and minds. The mandala appears to us in all aspects of life, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon and more obviously the circles of life encompassing friends, family and communities”.

Materials Needed:

  • A natural area to roam through and collect/gather natural elements
  • Bag with pouches to gather varying elements (wildflowers, sticks, leaves, rocks, pinecones, berries)
  • An surface to create your collective mandala (indoors or outdoors)
  • Native flute music or classical music if mandala is completed indoors (if desired)


  • Read the quotes above and meditate on your collective connection to the mandala and its meaning for you both collectively and individually.
  • Take a few moments to engage in nature by offering a group directive to connect to the natural environment. Take a walk as a walking meditation, following the breath in and out or noticing the sights, sounds, and scents as you connect to nature.
  • If desired by the group, take your shoes off and ground your body in the grass or dirt to feel the earth and charge your body.
  • Wander around and go where you feel led as individuals. Each person can follow their own inner guide to collect what they are drawn to. Allow yourselves to be with nature and go with the intention of gathering natural elements that speak to you.

* Be curious, turning things upside down and looking at nature anew!

  • Gather what’s beautiful, curious, forgotten, mystical, natural, wondrous, normally forgotten or perceived as devoid of beauty…
  • Once your family or collective community has gathered all the natural elements they desire, find a sacred circle or space to create the mandala.
  • In forming a mandala, it’s nice to commence and give order to the organic process by placing some elements in the center of the area to create from the inside out of the circle. (If you are outside by a small pond or waterfall, this may be the center of your mandala as well). The mandala can be large or small, symmetrical or asymmetrical.
  • Allow the group to work in its own rhythm, creating in silence to engage in a meditative and collective creative process. (There becomes a kind of order to the chaos, as is the nature of mandalas).
  • Once the last of the elements is placed, feel free to move around and observe the mandala from all angles.
  • After the process, a group or family discussion about the meaning and experience around this process can bring closure.

*I’ve led this activity with both my family as well as two different groups of colleagues. Each time, the process is different. Every result is beautiful and unique. There is a tremendous harmony that emerges in the group regardless of who engages in the process.

Special Consideration: When a group is forced to relocate the experiential due to weather or timing, etc., the energy and silence of the group can be severed. Bringing in meditative music or reading a quote about nature or oneness can create a holding space again and re-focus the group to create the mandala.

Group holding: Let go of rules, but create a small bit of structure and guidance for a group to help people feel playful and safe in the exercise.

Plan to be surprised! People who would not normally be inclined to do something like this can be very engaged and offer something very important to the collective. A child may create the order for the adults and an adult may bring the needed spontaneity. In the photo below, a child formed the word love from leaves with remaining earth elements.

Download the exercise!