Earth Day & the Expressive Arts

earthday800The International Expressive Arts Therapy Association EXPRESS Earth Day 2016

Be the world together!

Online event

April 22, 2016


So much has happened in the field of expressive arts since the first Earth Day 1970:

  • Encouraging artistic expression among the veterans with PTSD – Vets are finding relief in artistic enterprises.
  • Research in psychoneuroimmunology has demonstrated the interrelationship between the mind and body with evidence that the brain releases neurochemicals prompted by a person’s beliefs and attitudes that directly affects our immunune systems. This mind-body connection directs healing from within and evolves the field of expressive arts therapy.
  • More research has proved that visualizing health through art, music, and guided imagery techniques empower adults and children: an image held in the mind’s eye can and does literally affect every cell in the body.

I have especially focused on the role of art in nature and the outdoors with my clients who are anxious children. My personal experience has been supported by the emerging field of ecopsychology and studies of the effects of the natural environment on the brain and stress reduction.

Just as our planet is constantly undergoing change, so is our field of expressive arts constantly evolving. From this perspective, I greet Earth Day with more enthusiasm than ever!

The power of expressive arts therapy is as a catalyst for psychological, physical, and spiritual change, healing, and wellness.

Essential to—and at the core of—all healing is spirit. The reclaiming of our spirit is not dependent on the outside world. It is our essence, our true inner nature, that defines us. It is not bound by culture or language. It is universal and unique.

Dr. Roxanne Daleo –

2016 EXPRESS Earth Day

earthday800The IEATA Educational Resources Connection BLOG interactive platform is hosting the first online global event of EXPRESS Earth Day!  April 22nd noon – 1:00pm (EST)

Join us – be the world together at the same hour to creatively express a moment of global community without borders, not bound by language, to honor our planet Earth using the power of the expressive arts.

We do this together, through the expressive arts of world traditions, in a variety of artistic performance and art forms. We begin with a meditation, opening to the Presence of the Earth spirit and our human spirit as we pray to preserve, protect and promise Earth Mother that our children and our children’s children for seven generations will enjoy the beauty and bounty of the natural world.

Please join us with your ritual of EXPRESS Earth Day. Register your organization to participate in this premier event.

Registration is now – sign up using the comment box below!

IEATA Interviews: CELA

In-between snow storms, I interviewed Roselle O’Brien, LMHC, REAT, Director of CELA – The Center for English Language & Creative Arts.


Dr. Roxie: What is your vision for CELA?

Roselle: In the broadest sense, CELA’s mission is to offer educational and support services to enhance personal growth, promote healing, and transform lives. The vision for the certification programs is multi-layered. I wanted to create a program that was accessible financially and academically for students. Too many times dreams for career directions and personal dreams get de-railed by tuition costs and expenses that many people can’t afford. Accessible also means do-able–for people who may be working full time, be raising families. We–all of us–have many demands on our resources: time, energy, wallet. My vision for CELA and the certification programs, bottom line, is providing an opportunity and the necessary supports for people to not only acquire training they may want and need, but also to successfully complete the program and be empowered to move their lives in the direction they want while inspiring and supporting others through the creative arts.

Dr. Roxie: Is your program open to the public as well as students?

Roselle: Oh, yes. You don’t have to be enrolled in a certification program to take classes.

Dr. Roxie: What are your training programs, their levels, and lengths of time?

Roselle: The first important thing is that CELA’s programs are online. All of the courses are offered online through CELA–and we do accept transfer credits for classes. It’s truly an international program. You can take it from wherever you live. Supervision for the internships are provided virtually, by telephone, email, in-person, and in combinations.

CELA offers two levels of certification: Intermodal Creative Arts Facilitator (ICAF) and Intermodal Creative Arts Therapist (ICAT). The main difference between the two programs is that the ICAF– Facilitator level–is for educators, facilitators, artists, and professionals  who would like to use Creative Arts Therapy approaches in their work. Facilitators are not therapists but are trained in understanding and working with their arts areas and the therapeutic effects and benefits many people experience through the creative arts. The ICAT–Therapist level–is Creative Arts Therapy training for therapists and requires the student to have independent licensure in their state or where they live, prior to enrolling in the program. The independent licensure could be as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, Nurse, Psychologist. The training components for both programs include general education coursework, arts area coursework, required reading, and the supervised internship.

Dr. Roxie: Tell me more about the creative arts and how they fit in your programs.

Roselle: The certification programs are both intermodal–which means each student chooses a primary arts area and two additional, secondary, arts areas within which they will focus their work and studies. One student may choose visual arts for their primary arts area and music and language arts for their secondary arts areas. Another student may choose music for their primary arts area and culinary arts and dance and movement for their secondary arts areas. The students focus their internship work on their three chosen arts areas, moving among them in the work they do with their clients. Their supervisor supports their learning. We’ve been very successful at matching up students and their arts areas with supervisors whose work and experience share those creative arts areas.

Dr. Roxie: How long does it take to complete the program?

Roselle: The length of time it takes to finish a certification program depends on what transfer credits, if any, a student many have when they begin. The CELA review process is highly individualized. For example, within the field of nursing there are different levels of training for an RN. An RN could have gone to a hospital school, could have an Associates Degree, or a Bachelor’s, or a Master’s. The prerequisite for ICAT is for the candidate to have independent licensure prior to applying. We really examine closely the training, the completed coursework if any, and the work experiences of each applicant to make a determination.

The CELA school year is divided into four 10-week sessions. It starts on or about September 1st of each calendar year and runs through June of each year. If a student began the certification program with no transfer credits it would take one academic year full-time, (which is four classes per session,) September through June, to complete the required coursework. And then it would take an additional 6-8 months to complete the internship–but that’s based on doing 20 hours per week for the internship. It can take less time if a student spends more hours per week at their internship (if, for example, their internship site is also where they work.) The internship could definitely be completed in less time than the 6-8 months. Everything is all about the student, their schedule, their needs.

Dr. Roxie: How much do your programs cost to complete?

Roselle: The program costs for someone with more approved transfer credits will be less than for someone with fewer or no approved transfer credits. If someone were to begin a certification program with no transfer credits at all, the total cost for the certification program including the supervision for their internship, is $4,300.00. That doesn’t include  books.

Dr. Roxie: Are you open to new mentoring opportunities?

Roselle: Yes.

Dr. Roxie: Are you interested in social media outreach?

Roselle: Absolutely! Those are the communication platforms that reach the most people. You have to go to the places where people connect and join in the conversations!

Dr. Roxie: Is there anything else you would like to include for the blog or any suggestions for the IEATA Committee for Educational Resources?

Roselle: I think it’s huge having the information that Educational Resources and the other Committees present on IEATA’s website. I remember, when I first discovered IEATA, going to the website to learn more about the organization and the people who are involved. I read through everything, but especially lingered on the information provided by Educational Resources (and the Artists’ Gallery.) It’s a wonderful service you provide and more people and agencies need to take advantage of the connections and the opportunities.


IEATA Interviews: Expressive Arts Florida

I headed to Florida to interview Kathleen Horne, MA, LMHC, REACE, Director of Expressive Arts Florida.

The unique and beautiful people and space of Expressive Arts Florida definitely imbibe their mission: Life Skills for Personal, Professional and Social Change. The center is located in Sarasota—the beach, sun, and tropical weather are utilized as much as possible for classes and special events. A real treat if you are coming for training from parts of the world with cold weather!


Dr. Roxie: What is your vision for the Expressive Arts Institute Florida?

Kathleen: Well, we believe in the positive power of every person’s creativity, and we like to see ourselves as an asset to the community through our educational programs. We offer vital creative expression to diverse people of all ages…fostering well-being, community building, and global exchange.

Dr. Roxie: Are your training programs open to the public as well as students?

Kathleen: Yes, we are both a business open to the public and an Expressive Arts Institute, and there is some overlapping of programs. Our training program is a certificate program in Expressive Arts.

Dr. Roxie: What are your training programs; their levels and lengths of time?

Kathleeen: The Institute’s schedule for certificate training is October, January, April. We offer two levels: Level 1 consisting of three intensives and Level 2 consisting of three intensives and a six-week internship or supervised clinical practicum. Our certificate program students are drawn from all over the United States and Canada. Our students range in age from 20s to 70.

Dr. Roxie: About how many students go through your programs?

Kathleen: In our certificate programs, there are 50 students with 10-12 in each class. We have 15-18 graduates of Level 2 each year.

Dr. Roxie: Are you open to new mentoring opportunities?

Kathleen: Yes.

Dr. Roxie: What kinds of space do you have, and is it both indoors and outdoors?

Kathleen: We have  a beautiful courtyard space, but now an outdoor space since our institute is situated in a business area. However, we do use the beach for classes and special events.

Dr. Roxie: As a newly appointed co-chair, 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?

Kathleen: Yes, I feel it is a very good way to connect and gain visibility; learn about each other.

Dr. Roxie: Is there anything else in particular you would like to include for the blog?

Kathleen: In addition to our certificate programs, we offer local workshops and advanced specialty trainings. We have a Kindle book, Ten Steps to a Personal Expressive Arts.

Expressive Arts Florida is directed by Kathleen Horne, MA, LMHC, REACE. She is joined by her associates Victoria Domenichello-Anderson, MA, REACE, and Tamara Teeter Knapp, BA, Certified K-12 Art Teacher.

Expressive Arts Florida