Expressive arts therapy is an approach to psychotherapy with roots in indigenous cultures and a rich history of evolution within modalities such as Jungian, person-centered, and Gestalt psychotherapies. Defined by its emphasis on the multi-modal process of healing (exploring many combinations for creativity rather than relying on just one art form), the strategies of expressive arts psychotherapy can prove useful to trauma therapists practicing in a variety of modalities. In this dynamic, self-paced course, participants are oriented to the fundamentals of expressive arts therapy history and approach. Participants are then instructed in how to facilitate an expressive arts process to teach the clinical concepts of grounding and managing emotional affect through widening the window of distress tolerance. Both grounding and widening the affective window of tolerance are vital practices in trauma-focused care. Participants will develop an enhanced respect for how to foster client creativity in working with these concepts and their clinical intricacies. The role of creativity and the practice of making art are also discussed as mechanisms of action in processing traumatic experiences and promoting post-traumatic growth.

The content is then directly translated to EMDR therapists for implementing expressive arts strategies in EMDR therapy Phases 2 and 7 with specific focus on how dual attention stimulus can be used to strengthen connection to expressive/creative resources. The great volume of writing and case material on using creativity to developmentally tailor the standard EMDR protocol for children is also reviewed and referenced in this discussion. Participants will brainstorm how to implement content from the overall workshop to EMDR therapy case conceptualization and treatment planning within the scope of the AIP model.


After this course, participants will be able to...

  1. Describe the origins of expressive arts therapy (e.g., indigenous traditions, historical threads in Jungian analysis, person-centered psychotherapy, and Gestalt psychotherapy)
  2. Define expressive arts therapy and explain its nature as a multi-modal, multi-art process
  3. Explain the concept of grounding and why teaching it to clients is relevant in trauma-focused care
  4. Implement an expressive arts process to teach grounding in a clinical setting (individual or group), using at least three creative art forms
  5. Explain the concept of distress tolerance and why teaching it to clients is relevant in trauma-focused care
  6. Implement an expressive arts process to expand distress tolerance in a clinical setting (individual or group), using at least three creative art forms
  7. Develop a treatment plan appropriate for the clinical setting in which the participant works, utilizing expressive arts approaches alongside the participant’s primary approach to psychotherapy
  8. Implement at least three art forms in the expressive arts tradition in Phase 2 for the purposes of grounding and widening affective window of tolerance, strengthening skills with dual attention stimulus as appropriate
  9. Define mindfulness and explain the justification for teaching clients mindfulness skills as part of EMDR therapy preparation
  10. Apply no fewer than 4-6 mindfulness strategies to clinical practice, respecting the idea that expressive arts practices can be done mindfully for added creative variation in adapting to client needs
  11. Explain how mindfully applied expressive arts strategies can assist EMDR therapists in managing abreaction and dissociation within EMDR therapy sessions
  12. Briefly summarize the literature and case studies reviewed in the course on the value of implementing both mindfulness and expressive arts therapy strategies into execution of the standard protocol, especially as an assist in working with complex trauma
  13. Strategize how to include expressive arts therapy approaches into individualized closure (Phase 7) plans for clients, explaining how the process can be vital for managing affect in between sessions and overall distress tolerance/containment
  14. Explain and implement how creativity and expressive arts approaches can be used to developmentally tailor the standard EMDR therapy protocol for children

About the Instructor

ICM Founder & Director

Jamie Marich

Dr. Jamie Marich is the author of EMDR Made Simple: 4 Approaches for Using EMDR with Every Client (2011), EMDR Therapy and Mindfulness for Trauma Focused Care (with Dr. Stephen Dansiger; Springer Publishing, 2018) and five other books on trauma recovery and the expressive arts. Dr. Jamie's journey with EMDR began as a client in 2004 and she's offered EMDR as a clinician since 2006. An EMDRIA Certified Therapist, Approved Consultant, and Education Provider, Dr. Jamie was the EMDRIA Research Poster Award Winner in 2008 for her qualitative research on EMDR and addiction. Her doctoral dissertation on the use of EMDR in addiction continuing care was later published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, a major APA journal. In 2019, EMDRIA granted her the prestigious Advocacy in EMDR Award for using her public platform in media and in the addiction field to advance the cause of EMDR therapy and to reduce the stigma around mental health and addiction. Jamie travels internationally speaking on topics related to EMDR, trauma, addiction, and mindfulness while maintaining a private practice in her home base of Warren, OH. Dr. Jamie formerly volunteered for the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) as a logistics coordinator and a consultant. She is the developer of the Dancing Mindfulness practice, holds the credential of Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (IEATA), and is a Reiki Master teacher. Dr. Jamie is also a Certified Integrated Amrit Method (I AM) Yoga and Yoga Nidra Teacher (RYT-200) and has training in several other trauma-informed and recovery yoga approaches. Additionally, she developed the Yoga Unchained approach to trauma-informed yoga with Jessica Sowers. Dr. Jamie’s writing and work on Dancing Mindfulness was featured in the New York Times in 2017. She is the winner of the 2015 President's Award from NALGAP: The Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and Their Allies for her inclusive work in trauma and addiction. She also delivered a TEDx talk on trauma in 2015, available on YouTube.

This course meets the requirements for 12 Continuing Education credit hour by the CE approval bodies listed below:

The Institute for Creative Mindfulness is an approved provider of continuing education in EMDR Therapy by the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA). Course Approval: #10002-DL32.

The Institute for Creative Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute for Creative Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The Institute for Creative Mindfulness, #1735, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Institute for Creative Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this course.  ACE provider approval period: 03/16/2021 – 03/16/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 12 continuing education credits.

The Institute for Creative Mindfulness is an approved provider of continuing education by the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board (OCSWMFT) for counselors, social workers, and marriage/family therapists. Approval: #RCS091306

Course Completion and CE Certificate Information:

You will have 30 days from the time you first access the course to complete the requirements and download your CE certificate. Please make sure to download your CE Certificate when prompted for your records. You will not be able to access the certificate after the 30 days.

This is a hybrid, self-paced distance learning course, comprised of reading material and video content. This is an intermediate level course. Completion of all modules, a course evaluation, and post-test is required to receive CE Certificate. Course evaluations are administered after completing all course modules. The post-test is comprised of true/false and multiple choice questions and requires a passing mark of 75%, and is administered after completion of the course evaluation. Upon passing the post-test, participants are able to download their CE certificates.

This course was first published April 2019. Please contact us with any questions or concerns at