Holiday Art Activities for Healing Trauma

Holiday Trauma Triggers: Art Activities for Healing By Erica Curtis LMFT, ATR-BC Holiday traditions. Smells and tastes. Sights and sounds. Familiar sensory input paves a superhighway to the past, ushering in a host of memories and associated emotions – whether joyous, taxing, or dreadful. For those who have experienced loss, illness, conflict, abuse, or other . . . Learn More

December 14, 2017

This is Your Brain on Music

Don’t miss this free special lecture by neuroscientist, musician and author Daniel Levitin, PhD, MSc.

October 3, 2017

Techniques for Facilitating Therapeutic Writing

This one-day training will help anyone start a full Pongo Model project to help distressed teens understand and express their issues and feelings through poetry. 10/14 • Seattle, Washington. Find dozens of free writing prompts on the Pongo website as well.

October 3, 2017

Free Weekly Racial Justice Dialogue Series

Sponsored by the North American Drama Therapy Association, these calls are open to fellow creative arts therapists and mental health professionals from diverse disciplines. Click here for more information, and to register.

October 3, 2017

Trauma Recovery through the Arts

From community violence to hurricane devastation, we are reminded of the need to address trauma. However, trauma is far more prevalent than we may realize; for example, current statistics suggest that 15-27% of our population has experienced trauma in the form of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse (Chiu et al, 2013). And nearly 2/3 of . . . Learn More

September 1, 2017

The Dancing Brain

Physical exercise has an anti-aging effect on the hippocampus region of the brain — an area that controls memory, learning and balance. A new study, comparing different forms of exercise — dancing and endurance training — undertaken by elderly volunteers for eighteen months, shows that both can have an anti-aging effect on the brain, but . . . Learn More

August 31, 2017

UCLA Medical Students Bring Therapeutic Arts to Patients

“As first and second year medical students, we rarely have the opportunity to interact with patients outside of the clinical setting. Being a part of TAG allowed us a space to develop our rapport building skills and provide a dual therapeutic benefit for both the patient and the students.” — UCLA Medical Student “I felt free to . . . Learn More

August 31, 2017

Call for Proposals: Stanford International Health Humanities Consortium Conference

Stanford’s International Health Humanities Consortium Conference seeks proposals by 11/1 for their annual conference. The conference is part of Stanford’s Medicine & the Muse program, which is the home for the arts and humanities at Stanford Medical School, with programs that integrate the arts and humanities into medical education, scholarly endeavors, and the practice of . . . Learn More

August 30, 2017

Creative Solutions for Students AND Teachers

A report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Teacher Stress and Health: Effects on Teachers, Students, and Schools documents the value of social-emotional learning for students and teachers.  Students show improved behavior and academic achievement. Teachers show increased productivity and well-being. In addition, teachers who use mindfulness practices gain both personal and professional benefits. . . . Learn More

August 30, 2017

Call for Proposals: International Congress for Integrative Medicine and Health

The 2018 International Congress for Integrative Medicine and Health—to be held in Baltimore, MD on May 8-11, 2017—is accepting proposals through 10/11, and welcomes arts-based submissions. This year’s theme is “Collaboration in Action: Advancing Integrative Health through Research, Education, Clinical Practice and Policy.” For more information, visit: Helen Lavretsky, M.D., M.S., of UCLA is one . . . Learn More

August 24, 2017

Music Therapy Grants Available!

The Music Man Foundation (The Meredith and Rosemary Willson Charitable Foundation) is pleased to release an open application for non-profit organizations delivering music therapy* services to individuals in their communities. Grants will support organizations with a demonstrated commitment to delivering music therapy to their constituents and a thoughtful plan for expansion of and/or innovation based . . . Learn More

August 24, 2017

Make Creative Arts Therapies Accessible to All

Apply to participate in a national effort to provide healing for all through integrative medicine. Integrative Medicine Access is recruiting practitioners across the nation to provide healing for all via a new web exchange. “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really . . . Learn More

August 23, 2017

Art Break Ideas: Make Art with the World

Try one of these ideas on Art Break Day, Sept 1. Or host a free art making event for your community. Art Break Day ( takes place annually on the FIRST FRIDAY in September. Art Sites are set up in cities around the world and everyone is invited to sit down, take a break, and . . . Learn More

August 15, 2017

Save the Dates for Our 2nd Annual Conference!

Learn arts-based tools for facilitating communication, building connection, promoting positive emotions, fostering engagement, reducing stress, and managing the impact of trauma at our second annual experiential training conference on the theme of “Creativity & the Arts in Healing.” This year features four amazing plenaries—kicking-off with Dan Siegel, MD (4/26), followed by Robert Duke, PhD (4/27); . . . Learn More

August 11, 2017

Storytellers Wanted!

SHINE Storytelling seeks submissions from storytellers, actors, and writers for their events. We have partnered with SHINE for over four years to bring Los Angeles audiences inspiring true stories. Shine is now reaching out to the UCLArts & Healing community to personally invite you to tell your stories at SHINE! If you have a story . . . Learn More

August 11, 2017

Inspirational Videos: Poetry as Therapy

From the Middle East to medical school, watch the power of poetry to reveal and release what is within. Poetry in Medical School Doctor and poet Rafael Campo of Harvard Medical School thinks medical school distances doctor and patient at the cost of human understanding. A possible cure? He uses poetry to help close the . . . Learn More

August 11, 2017

Inspirational Videos: Drama Therapy

Get inspired for our inaugural experiential conference! This month’s feature: drama therapy video clips. Witness the inspiring enactments of stories from San Quentin State Prison, offered by the drama therapy program of Marin Shakespeare Company, which engages inmates in a half year of Shakespearean studies, followed by a half year of developing their own “parallel . . . Learn More

August 10, 2017

Inspirational Videos: Dance/Movement Therapy

Get inspired by remarkable clips showing how the arts are used in healing. The American Dance Therapy Association has produced a series of ADTA Talks on various applications of dance/movement therapy.  In this video, Nana Koch, EdD gives a good basic introduction to dance/movement therapy: An Introduction to Dance/Movement Therapy Watch dance/movement therapy in action . . . Learn More

August 10, 2017

Inspirational Video Clips: Music Therapy

Get inspired by remarkable clips showing how the arts are used in healing. The Healing Power of Music In this video created by PBS NewsHour, correspondent Spencer Michels reports on the versatility of music and music therapy in a medical setting.  Click on the title above to view the it. The Rhythm Tree Music therapist . . . Learn More

August 10, 2017

Inspirational Video Clips: Art Therapy

Get inspired by remarkable clips showing how the arts are used in healing. Art Therapy Has Many Faces With images of clinicians from all over the world serving a wide variety of people, the film shows what art therapists do to help people to create and reflect and some of the reasons art therapy has . . . Learn More

August 10, 2017

Empathy Training for Teachers Reduces Suspensions

A Stanford study shows that empathy training for teachers cuts suspension rates in half. In a study conducted by Okonofua et al, published in 2016, teachers were given empathy training as an alternative to traditionally accepted methods of discipline. The training largely consisted of learning to understand: the psychobiological conditions affecting student lives, student needs . . . Learn More

August 10, 2017

The Unloneliness Project

In response to the growing public health concern of social isolation and loneliness, the Foundation for Art and Healing is pleased to launch the UnLoneliness Project. The goal of this signature initiative is to broaden public awareness of the negative physical and mental health consequences of loneliness associated with a wide range of life conditions . . . Learn More

August 10, 2017

Journaling Tips and Writing Prompts

The Center for Journal Therapy, founded by Kay Adams, LPC, offers suggestions on how to get started. Click here to view 14 writing techniques for your journal. Click here to view 3 poems of the month and therapeutic journal writing prompts. Click here to view 7 refrigerator mini-prompts. Click here for more resources for personal benefit or professional development, including . . . Learn More

August 10, 2017

How Poetry Literally Saved a Life Behind Bars

Read the inspiring story of award-winning poet Jimmy Santiago Baca’s journey from using books for physical self-protection behind bars to winning the Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award and serving as judge for an annual poetry contest for youth in juvenile correctional centers. Click here to read the NPR story. Click here to read poems by . . . Learn More

August 10, 2017

Free Writing Prompts for Teens

The Pongo Teen Writing Project, in Seattle, Washington, inspires incarcerated youth and offers guidelines on working with them. Founded by Richard Gold, the Project offers support through poetry for youth in detention centers, to help them articulate their emotions and instill hope.  The website offers numerous free writing prompts for teens with some guidelines for . . . Learn More

August 10, 2017

Visual Narrative Activity for Traumatized Youth

Leading art therapist researcher Linda Chapman, MA, ATR-BC shares a technique that she finds increasingly valuable in art therapy with children and teens with a history of developmental or complex trauma. It requires very little media, space, and can be worked on at the child’s pace of comfort. Autobiographical Life Narrative Creating an autobiographical life . . . Learn More

January 6, 2015

Finding Meaning through Music at the End of Life

In this heartfelt and impassioned TED Talk, entitled, “When Meds Fail: The Case for Music Therapy,” board certified music therapist Tim Ringgold shares how he got to be the musical transformation for his young daughter’s passage into and out of this world. Tim says: “When meds fail, the docs prescribe music.” In describing his work with patients:  “I . . . Learn More

January 6, 2015

A Dying Child and His Parents: a Moving Connection

The creative arts can enable meaningful communication and connection at significant transitional moments in life, when there is no other way to communicate. The following touching vignette, based on true events, was written by licensed clinical psychologist and board certified dance/movement therapist, Lori Baudino. “Patient Brad is approaching end-of-life, a fact that he and his . . . Learn More

January 6, 2015

Arts in Palliative Care: Federal Grant Opportunity

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has issued a request for proposals on the topic of “arts in palliative care”. Click here for details. Applications being accepted starting September 5, 2014. Deadline for submission is according to  standard due dates on the National Institutes of Health website. UCLArts and Healing obtained the power point presentation from . . . Learn More

January 6, 2015

A Gift For You and How You Can Help

Deepen the meaning of the holidays with our gifts to you. Gifts from the Heart – Art Activity 2014.pdf Gifts from the Heart – Writing Activity 2014.pdf Select us on AmazonSmile and receive 20% off your next UCLArts and Healing purchase.* Amazon Smile is the same as Amazon, only on this site Amazon will donate .5% of . . . Learn More

January 6, 2015

Support Us By Shopping On Amazon Smile

Help us transform lives through creative expression for self-discovery, connection and empowerment. Register the Arts and Healing Initiative* on AmazonSmile, and 0.5% of your purchase will be donated to our non-profit. Simply: Log onto AmazonSmile using your existing Amazon account. Enter “Arts and Healing Initiative” when prompted to select the charitable organization to support.  You only have to make this . . . Learn More

January 6, 2015

Send Us Your Stories, Images and Videos

The process of transforming lives creatively is most easily understood when experienced. UCLArts and Healing is calling for stories, high quality still images and video footage that reflect this work for our brand new website that will be launched by the new year. We especially encourage submissions from creative arts therapists. Please send contributions to . . . Learn More

January 6, 2015

Improvisation Sparks Communication

Life is an improvisation. No one hands you a script at the start of your day. Dan Klein is an expert in improvisational communication and creative problem solving.  In this video, Going Beyond “Hello,” he explores the improvisational principle of “yes-and,” or accepting the offers of others, and how it applies to our daily lives. He describes . . . Learn More

July 8, 2014

Dance/Movement Therapy for Hospitalized Kids

Lori Baudino, PsyD, BC-DMT is a licensed clinical psychologist and board-certified dance/movement therapist who brought the first dance/movement therapy programs to Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles through funding by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation (for Dréa’s Dream pediatric dance therapy programming). Click here to view a TED-style talk by Dr. Baudino describing the . . . Learn More

July 8, 2014

Music Improves Behavior and Memory in Alzheimer’s Patients

The UCLA Tunes for Alzheimer’s Patients program provides music to residents of nursing homes to improve memory and behavior, such as depression, apathy, agitation frustration, poor eating, and difficulty sleeping.   This program is a collaboration between the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA and a national nonprofit organization, Music & . . . Learn More

July 8, 2014

Movement and Music Therapies for Autism

The American Dance Therapy Association is building a Youtube channel that will include TED-type talks about dance/movement therapy with different populations. The first of the videos was posted in honor of Autism Awareness Month: a 12-minute talk about dance/movement therapy and autism by Christina Devereaux, PhD, LCAT, LMHC, BC-DMT, NCC, who eloquently describes the capacity . . . Learn More

July 8, 2014

  Rhythm for Relaxation and Renewal by Christine Stevens, MSW, MT-BC We are incubated in rhythm. Our mother’s heartbeat is the soundtrack of our first concert in the womb. Rhythm is everyone’s homeland. Perhaps these inner rhythms are why we can be driven by rhythm in two primary directions: to energize and revitalize or to center . . . Learn More

May 29, 2014

The State of the Art and Science in Creative Arts Therapies—with a Focus on Treatment of Trauma

View the panel presentation on “The State of the Art and Science in Creative Arts Therapies—with a Focus on Treatment of Trauma” orchestrated by UCLArts and Healing for the major International Research Conference on Integrative Medicine and Health in 2012: Click here to view the video. This panel discussion, which took place at the 2012 . . . Learn More

April 1, 2014

View Creativity Conference Videos from Spring 2013

Click on the link below to view footage in 18 labeled segments from our April 7, 2013 conference entitled, “On the Edge of Chaos: Finding Flow and Resilience through Creativity & the Arts”. On the Edge of Chaos: Finding Flow and Resilience through Creativity and the Arts

February 21, 2014

Connect to Your Heart Daily Through Song

Renowned music therapist Christine Stevens, MSW, MT-BC, MA offers us a simple way to connect to our heart daily through song. HeartStrings – A Guided Practice for Self-Care and Healing through Song – Christine Stevens.pdf Christine Stevens, MSW, MT-BC, MA holds masters degrees in both social work and music therapy. She is author of Music Medicine, The Healing . . . Learn More

February 21, 2014

Doctor Dances in Operating Room Right Before Her Own Double Mastectomy

San Francisco gynecologist Deborah Cohan gets her entire surgical team dancing with her to the music of Beyonce at UCSF Hospital before her double mastectomy, and asks others to submit videos of themselves dancing to Beyonce for her to view during recovery.  Cohan specializes in treatment of pregnant women with HIV. From the article: “I was . . . Learn More

January 26, 2014

Experience Your New Year Intentions as Reality

Experience your new year intentions as reality through this self-guided activity on your metaphorical home.  This activity is offered by Mimi Savage, Registered Drama Therapist and Doctoral student in Expressive Therapies. Click on the link below to view the activity. Gifts from the Heart – New Year Narradrama Activity – January 2014.pdf

January 9, 2014

Gifts from the Heart: Self-Guided Arts Activities

As our holiday gift to you, three creative arts therapists have provided activities centered on the topic of giving that can be done individually, or with family and friends. These self-guided activities are intended to help deepen the meaning of the holidays and reduce stress.  They also demonstrate how the process of creative expression can be used . . . Learn More

December 17, 2013

Inspirational Video on Creative Leadership

Benjamin Zander uses his experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic since 1979 to illustrate our responsibility as leaders: to awaken the sense of possibility in others – which empowers them to be their best – and to give them the “shining eyes” that mark that sense of possibility.  And he leaves us with a very . . . Learn More

December 17, 2013

Wesleyan Student Wins Award at College National Poetry Slam and Bears Witness to Societal Repression of Women

Lily Myers, a student at Wesleyan University, performed “Shrinking Women” at the 2013 College National Poetry Slam Invitational at Barnard College and was awarded with Best Love Poem at the competition.  Her poem, which has gone viral,  passionately and movingly articulates in three minutes the societal repression of women and the power of spoken word . . . Learn More

October 23, 2013

Founder of Invisible People Captures Stories of the Homeless for Social Change, Using Only Social Media and iphone

Caution: Some content may be offensive. Our hope is you’ll get mad enough to do something. Mark Horvath refers to himself as “Invisible People Founder, Chief Evangelistic Officer, Do-Gooder and Loud Mouth”.  Since its launch in November 2008, Invisible People has leveraged the power of video and the massive reach of social media to share . . . Learn More

October 23, 2013

Violence Prevention Through Movement for Kids

Disarming the Playground: Violence Prevention through Movement teaches protective and proactive behaviors tailored for aggressors, targets, and witnesses of aggression through interactive movement games.  This is a comprehensive curriculum that engages body and mind as equal partners in developing skills for creating a safe world. Author Rena Kornblum, MCAT, BC-DMT, DTRL is a dance-movement therapist with unique expertise in developing . . . Learn More

October 10, 2013

Laughter Through Improvisational Games with Brief Instructional Videos

In Anatomy of an Illness, UCLA professor Norman Cousins (author, medical humanitarian and bearer of over 70 honorary medical degrees) documented his remarkable recovery from the incurable connective tissue disease called ankylosing spondylitis, using laughter and massive injections of vitamin C.  Before he passed away in 1990, he used to say that laughter was a metaphor . . . Learn More

October 10, 2013

Insight and Inspiration on Writing from Your Deep Coice

Inspirational remarks by Robert Carroll, MD, from his workshops on The Wisdom of Your Deep Voice through Writing: Turning Your Inside Out, August 2013. Smell is our most primitive and most finely tuned sensory modality.  Remembering smells evokes memories and images of our early lives like the smell of cooking in our family’s kitchen or the . . . Learn More

September 10, 2013

Free Audio Archive for Creative Arts Therapies

The audio archive for creative arts therapies, sponsored by the Expressive Therapies Summit & Expressive Media’s Institute of the Arts in Healing, gives voice to creative arts therapists and inspiration to students and consumers. Creative arts therapists may upload up to 2-minutes and 30 seconds of an inspiring story about what they do. Students and . . . Learn More

September 5, 2013

Four Air Force Captains Empower Afghani and Other Women by Creating a Nonprofit to Bring Their Artisan Handiwork to America

Artisan handiwork can change not only the lives of artists but also the people trying to help them. Four US Air Force captains, inspired by artisan widows in Afghanistan, have created the nonprofit, Flying Scarves, to empower women throughout the world. “In order to rebuild these communities, we’re going to have to empower people…And the people who . . . Learn More

September 5, 2013

If We Could See Inside People's Hearts

This is an absolutely touching video from the Cleveland Clinic entitled, “If We Could See Inside People’s Hearts.”   We each have important stories to tell, and knowing those stories fills us with empathy and compassion.  The creative arts can enable us to see inside people’s hearts, even without words. Click here to view the . . . Learn More

August 8, 2013

How Dance Therapists Work with Addiction

Photo credit: Kurt van Aert Moving Toward Recovery:  Dance/Movement Therapy is a brief and informative interview with two leading dance/movement therapists – Donna Newman-Bluestein, MEd, BC-DMT, CMA, LMHC and Emma Barton, MA, LMHC, BC-DMT, E-RYT – that describes how they help those suffering from addiction find their unique path to wellness.  We learn how body-based processes . . . Learn More

August 8, 2013

Creative Arts Therapies in a Nutshell: Video Clips of Experiential Demonstrations of Art, Dance/Movement, Drama, Music, and Poetry Therapies

At the 2013 UCLA Integrative Medicine Conference, UCLArts and Healing presented a panel of leading clinician/scholars from five creative arts therapy disciplines (in art, dance/movement, drama, music, and poetry), who each offered an experiential demonstration of the principles of their work, as well as explained the nature of their discipline and training requirements. Creative arts . . . Learn More

July 11, 2013

Dance for All joins UCLArts and Healing

Dance For All offers dance, yoga and performance opportunities for teens and adults with developmental disabilities to build a community that cultivates self-esteem and empowers individuals to find vision, voice and leadership.  Dance for All is now an official program within UCLArts and Healing. Dance for All teaches: Yoga Breathing and Movement – to help . . . Learn More

July 11, 2013

TED Talk on How Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

TED talk on how your body language shapes who you are This TED talk not only offers a well investigated, simple, and effective method for changing self-perceptions and perceptions of you by others, but also it offers an inspiring personal story of how Dr. Cuddy overcame her own life challenge.  Ping Ho, MA, MPH, UCLArts . . . Learn More

July 11, 2013

Acting, Body Language, and Authentic Self-Expression

By Stephanie Nash, MFA – Acting Teacher, Body Language Expert & Mindfulness Meditation Coach I’ve always been interested in body language – especially when I first encountered other cultures in my teens.   I was interacting with people who moved and related to each other physically in ways that were quite foreign to my WASP upbringing. . . . Learn More

May 28, 2013

An Inspiration from Boston: Making Sense of the Constantly Changing Scenery of Life

An Inspiration from Boston: Making Sense of the Constantly Changing Scenery of Life Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH, Founder and President of the Foundation for Art and Healing, eloquently distills the essence of a heartwarming video of a marine’s visit with two marathon bombing victims and makes clear the role of art and telling our stories . . . Learn More

May 14, 2013

Is it Art Yet?

Registered Somatic Movement Educator Marilyn McLaughlin, and creator of All Bodies Dance!, shares how freedom from perfection brings joy of creative expression. All Bodies Dance! is a simple accessible approach to teaching dance and body awareness that celebrates individual differences while also promoting creativity and personal expression. It is a synthesis of all that I . . . Learn More

May 14, 2013

Silent Drum: Tips for Rhythmic Meditation

Silent Drum: Tips for Rhythmic Meditation According to board certified music therapist, Christine Stevens, “Drumming may be the oldest form of active meditation known to humanity.” In this article, Christine explores the parallels between meditation and drumming, and shares her perspective on the added value of drumming.  She also offers tips on how to use . . . Learn More

April 12, 2013

Getting Out of the Way: Music for Special Needs

The creative arts therapies offer nonverbal strategies for motivating engagement in special needs populations.  Board certified music therapist Summer Mencher, offers insights on the use of music and music therapy with special needs children. The more training I get, the more songs I learn, the more instruments I acquire and the more interventions I put . . . Learn More

April 12, 2013

Music and Rhythm Boosts Empathy in Children

Music and rhythm boosts empathy in children by Ping Ho, MA, MPH – Founding Director, UCLArts and Healing Tal-Chen Rabinowitch and colleagues from University of Cambridge found that children ages 8-11 who were randomly assigned to participate in interactive games involving music and rhythm significantly increased in empathy compared to a control group that participated . . . Learn More

March 2, 2013

Writing in Medicine

Writing in Medicine This Wall Street Journal article describes how medical students use writing to reflect on their own experiences with such significant events as their first encounters with death or dealing with difficult patients, and also to understand the experience of the patient. Excerpt:  Instructor Hedy Wald, clinical assistant professor of family medicine at . . . Learn More

March 2, 2013

Spontaneous Enactment is Profoundly Empowering

Adam Blatner, MD, Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Certified Trainer of Psychodrama, explores the value of arts experiences that require spontaneous enactment, or improvisation, and rely on the self as the source of creativity. Recent efforts to present ways the arts can be therapeutic or health-promoting may be part of a trend . . . Learn More

February 8, 2013

Finding Poetry in Cancer

Finding Poetry in Cancer The bare bones of poetry help patients get to the core of how they are feeling. This short and powerful article includes examples of poetry by cancer patients and talks about Dr. Rafael Campo, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, who incorporates poetry into therapy groups and educational materials for . . . Learn More

February 8, 2013

Healthy Aging at the Burbank Senior Artists Colony

Healthy Aging at the Burbank Senior Artists Colony The Burbank Senior Artists Colony offers a vision for our future as older adults.  It is a mix of upscale hotel-looking market-rate and low-income apartments that offers all its residents an opportunity to have a longer and healthier life through art studios, a video editing room, a . . . Learn More

February 8, 2013

Music Therapy Sets the Tempo for Physical, Mental and Emotional Wellness

Music therapy sets the tempo for physical, mental and emotional wellness This article gives an excellent simple overview of the field of music therapy – the techniques, benefits, and how it works.

February 8, 2013

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Battles Obesity in the Inner City Through Grassroots Dance

At the heart of its anti-obesity campaign in the nation’s urban centers, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health is increasing physical activity in inner city neighborhoods through grassroots dance, such as hip hop, salsa, and Appalachian “talking dance”. Click here for details reported in the Los Angeles Times 10-9-12.

January 9, 2013

UCLA Student Brings Creative Arts Therapies to Those Affected by Mental Illness

Fifth year UCLA undergraduate, Kendra Knudsen, spearheaded the UCLA Creative Minds Project that has brought art therapy, drama therapy, expressive poetry and drumming to persons affected by mental illness at Step Up on Second, a nonprofit organization in Santa Monica. This sustainable program is served by art and drama therapy graduate students and UCLA undergraduate . . . Learn More

January 9, 2013

Out of the Box: Positive Development and Social Change through the Arts

“Out of the Box: Positive Development and Social Change through the Arts” has been published online by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, as part of its as part of its Kinder and Braver World Series.  The piece, written for the lay public by Ping Ho, talks about UCLArts and Healing’s flagship . . . Learn More

December 21, 2012

Landfill Harmonic - No Limits to Making Music

This piece about a Paraguayan orchestra assembled from recycled materials is an incredible demonstration of limitless possibilities for creativity and well-being.

December 11, 2012

Arts Participation Predicts Educational Achievement and Social Responsibility

New research by Dr. James Catterall and colleagues shows that arts involvement is associated with greater academic performance, educational attainment, civic participation, and volunteerism.  And a new study by Dr. Kelly LeRoux and colleagues shows that participation in the arts – even as a spectator ‒ is linked to social responsibility as defined by civic . . . Learn More

September 10, 2012

Alive Inside: Music Beats Meds - New Documentary Trailer on the Effect of Music on Alzheimer's Patients

A new documentary, “Alive Inside”, shows the powerful effects of ipod music on the memories of Alzheimer patients. Click here to view an older adult reacting to music from his era.

April 21, 2012

NEA Research Report Shows that Arts Education for At-Risk Youth Leads to Better Academic Results, Workforce Opportunities and Civic Engagement

The National Endowment for the Arts study reports these and other positive outcomes associated with high levels of arts exposure for youth of low socioeconomic status. Click here for the full report.

April 5, 2012

Music Therapy Enhances the Healing Benefits of Medicine

Music is becoming a more integral part of integrative medicine.  This article describes how music practitioners work with medical professionals to relieve pain, bring peace, stimulate movement, elicit speech, facilitate cognition, and offer self expression when words are not enough.  Improved treatment outcomes lead to cost savings. Click here to view the article.

March 27, 2012

Helping Kids Cope - One Drumbeat at a Time

UCLArts and Healing’s Beat the Odds drumming program was the featured article on the front page of UCLA Today, faculty and staff news, for a week beginning January 26, 2012.  The article received top billing by UCLA Media Coverage for the first report of the New Year. Click here to view the article.

January 29, 2012

National Endowment for the Arts Announces New Federal Interagency Task Force to Promote Research on the Arts and Human Development

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced a new federal interagency task force to promote research on the arts and human development. The Department of Health & Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Education are among 13 federal agencies and departments seeking to advance research on the arts and . . . Learn More

January 16, 2012

Drumming Out Fat in the New Year -

A article published Monday Jan. 2 about a new fitness program combining aerobic exercise with drumming referenced research on the benefits of group drumming by Ping Ho, founding director of UCLArts and Healing, who is quoted. Click here to view the article.

January 8, 2012

So You Think You Can't Dance

by Ping Ho, MA, MPH – Founding Director, UCLArts and Healing You’re thinking too much. The words of my longtime jazz-modern dance teacher, Reggie Brown, popped into my head as I tried to figure out the steps in a random Zumba class at the gym for the first time ‒ at times with two left . . . Learn More

February 27, 2011

UCLA Total Wellness Magazine features: "Healing the Mind through the Arts"

The Winter 2011 (volume 11, number 2) issue of UCLA Total Wellness Magazine, a student publication, focuses on integrative medicine and features an article entitled, “Healing the Mind through the Arts”.  The article (on page 31) offers an overview of creative arts therapies as a field as well as a synopsis of the specific realms . . . Learn More

February 10, 2011

UCLArts and Healing in TIME Magazine - December 9, 2010

“How Group Drumming May Improve Low-Income Student Behavior” by Meredith Melnick in TIME Magazine online – December 9, 2010

December 9, 2010

The Writer’s Inner Journey - an interview with Rachel Ballon, PhD, MFT

UCLArts and Healing instructor, Rachel Ballon, PhD, MFT, shares her perspectives on the writer’s inner journey in this brief transcribed interview: Writers Inner Journey Interview.

September 8, 2010

FiddleHeadFern Productions Films BEAT THE ODDS Intervention, Co-Developed by UCLArts and Healing

In 2007, UCLArts and Healing activities caught the attention of an independent film production company, FiddleHeadFern Productions, which sought to produce a film with positive social value in the arena of complementary and alternative medicine. They chose to capture the experience of fifth grade students participating in the drumming intervention aimed at social and emotional . . . Learn More

November 12, 2008

Personal Reflections on Writing to Heal from the Director of UCLArts and Healing

Personal Reflections on Writing to Heal from Ping Ho, Founder and Director of UCLArts and Healing After sitting in on 4 or 5 expressive writing workshops and 4 or 5 poetry workshops, I am starting to get it. The very first time I did stream of consciousness writing with Dr. Rachel Ballon, the ideas were . . . Learn More

September 6, 2007

Participant Reflects on How Writing Heals

When I was going through a crisis, at about four years sober, my friend, quazi sponsor, told me to write a journal. I don’t remember if it was her idea or mine but I decided to write to God. So, every night I would get into bed and start, “Dear God.” At first it was . . . Learn More

September 4, 2007

Elementary School Literacy Coach Responds to Drumming Experience

To build support for the drumming study at Napa Street Elementary School, we held a luncheon and drumming experience for the entire staff of the school at Remo Recreation Center in North Hollywood. Karen Stafford, Literacy Coach at Napa Street Elementary School, responded with the following feedback: I wanted to tell you how wonderful the . . . Learn More

May 4, 2007

Tai chi Benefits Headaches

A UCLA study citing the benefits of tai chi for those who suffer from tension headaches was highlighted April 28 by the Hindustan Times (India) and April 27 by United Press International. Dr. Ka-Kit Hui, director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, was quoted in the UPI story. “Tai Chi Helps with Tension Headaches” . . . Learn More

May 4, 2007

Art Therapy Helps Patients Cope with Cancer

Channel 7 Spotlights Art Therapy Group KABC-Channel 7 aired a May 2 story on the Healing Through Art Therapy group at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center. An exhibit will feature the works of 16 cancer patients and survivors who took part in the group, which is offered as part of the integrative oncology program at the . . . Learn More

May 4, 2007

Statement by Karen Timko, Coordinator of the Los Angeles Unified School District Program Improvement Primary Intervention, On the Power of Drumming as a Tool for School Counselors

Karen Timko, Coordinator of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Program Improvement Primary Intervention views drumming as a way to reach greater numbers of kids. She writes: “As a supervisor of a counseling program in the LAUSD, I am always looking for ways to motivate, support, and rejuvenate my staff who are deployed in . . . Learn More

December 26, 2006

UCLA Pediatric Pain Program Teams Up with Los Angeles Unified School District and Remo, Inc. on Pilot Study of Drumming with 5th Grade Students

Ping Ho, MA, MPH Principal Investigator Lonnie Zeltzer, MD, Jennie Tsao, PhD, Jeffrey Gornbein, PhD, Lian Bloch, MA Co-Investigators The UCLArts and Healing and the UCLA Pediatric Pain Program are collaborating with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Remo, Inc. on a pilot study of a cost-effective drumming program for fifth graders aimed . . . Learn More

December 26, 2006

Results of a One-Day Program for School Counselors in the Use of Drumming as a Therapeutic Tool - Counselor Perceptions of the Benefits of Drumming, the Likelihood of Implementing a Drumming Program on Campus, and Perceived Barriers to Implementation

In academic year 2004-2005, with support from the Salamander Fund, I initiated a free, monthly educational program in Arts and Healing at UCLA to explore ways in which various art forms can enhance emotional and physical health. The program on drumming was attended by 80 people despite one of the worst storms in L.A. history. . . . Learn More

December 21, 2006