frequently asked questions
Click on a category below to search questions in that subject area.

Please send additional questions to us at info@uclartandhealing.org.

general

Do you offer career advice?

We offer professional development programs [Link to Professional Dev. Programs landing page] and workshops [Link to Programs landing page] for the general public where you can learn specific ways of working with the arts to maximize the social-emotional and other benefits to those you serve. We suggest that you look at our program offerings [Link to Our Programs listing page] and sign up [Link to email signup form page] to receive our e-newsletter, which will keep you informed of programs and opportunities. We also recommend attending one of our upcoming programs, so you can get a feel for the profession as well as ask the instructor for advice. Launching Your Career in Social Emotional Arts [Link to Launching Your Career in SEA program info page in Prof. Development Section], one of our signature programs, was developed to specifically support the professional success of our trainees and those wanting to begin, or grow, their career in the field.

We also strongly suggest spending some time in our Resources section [Link to Resources landing page], where you can find conferences [Link to Conferences Search landing page], sponsored by a national organization or local chapter representing your field of interest that you might want to attend. You can find out from presenters at the conference where the ideal places are to get training or who the ideal mentors are for your areas of interest.

In the Resources area of our site, you can download free articles [Link to Download Materials landing page], research publications [Link to Literature search landing page], videos [Link to Videos listing page], and listserv [Link to Listservs search landing page], opportunities that may also be helpful in addressing your career-related questions. You can also search for organizations [Link to Organizations search landing page] in your area that may need assistance in your field of interest.

If you would like to speak with one of our staff members about your career, please know that we are happy to help. In an effort to maintain our focus in a rapidly growing organization with a small, but mighty, staff—and an enormous network of collaborators—we need to limit the time that we can spend on individual career consultation to ten minutes. If more time is needed, and the staff member can provide the additional assistance, we ask that you make a donation [Link to Donations page] for whatever amount reflects the value of the consultation or whatever you can afford.
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Where can I obtain services from a creative arts therapist?

You can easily search for practitioners [Link to Practitioners search landing page] by art form, age group, and region in our Resources [Link to Resources landing page] section. All practitioners must meet certain certification criteria before they can be listed on our website.

You can also search by organizations [Link to Organizations search landing page] to find local chapters of national creative arts therapy associations for art therapy, dance/movement therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, poetry therapy, and psychodrama.

If you don’t know enough about the creative arts therapies to know whether any are the right fit for you, search the internet for YouTube videos by creative arts therapist candidates or peruse our videos section [Link to Videos listing page], which includes a number of experiential panel presentations that we have held at conferences, which will give you further information about the various creative arts therapies.

There are also films from Expressive Media Institute (EMI), one of our collaborating partners, that show creative arts therapy sessions in action, with some footage of pioneers in the field.
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How can I get more information on becoming a creative arts therapist?

Creative arts therapists (i.e., art therapists, dance/movement therapists, drama therapists, music therapists, poetry therapists, psychodrama therapists) are trained in both psychotherapy and the arts—usually at the masters level—and they must complete internships and other supervision requirements, in addition to having the option of meeting certification or licensing requirements.

Many of our faculty members, particularly for our Social Emotional Arts Certificate Program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info page], are leaders in the creative arts therapies. And we list other recommended programs that are often taught by creative arts therapists. You could sign up for one of these programs to experience some of their processes and get further information. The nature of their group work will not necessarily reflect the kind of therapeutic relationship that goes on in individual psychotherapeutic work; however, many of the operating principles will be similar.

To nurture your interest further, we suggest spending some time in our Resources section [Link to Resources landing page], where you can find conferences [Link to Conferences Search landing page], sponsored by a national organization or local chapter representing your field of interest that you might want to attend. Conferences are a great place to clarify your specific interests any field. You can find out from presenters at the conference where the ideal places are to get training or who the ideal mentors are for your areas of interest.

If possible, join a listserv[Link to Listservs search landing page], so you can get pointers from professionals and understand the nature of the issues that arise in the various fields. Our Resources section [Link to Resources landing page] also lists rigorous studies [Link to Literature Search landing page], and other literature [Link to Literature search landing page] that can be easily searched by art form and/or age group. You may also search for organizations [Link to Organizations search landing page] in your area that may need volunteers to enable you to gain experience in your field of interest.

We also offer free downloadable materials [Link to Download Materials landing page] that offer additional information about creative arts therapies and social emotional arts as well as informative videos [Link to Videos listing page] from a number of experiential panel presentations that we have held at conferences.

Federal privacy policies prevent observation of actual therapy sessions; however, you can search the internet for YouTube videos by creative arts therapists or view films from Expressive Media Institute (EMI), one of our collaborating partners, that show creative arts therapy sessions in action, with some footage of pioneers in the field.
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How can I become more involved in the field of social emotional arts? Do I need a graduate degree, background in the arts, or training in mental health in order to work in this field?

We offer professional development programs [Link to Professional Dev. Programs landing page] and workshops [Link to Programs landing page] for the general public where you can learn specific ways of working with the arts to maximize the social-emotional and other benefits to those you serve. We suggest that you look at our program offerings [Link to Our Programs listing page] and sign up [Link to email signup form page] to receive our e-newsletters, which will keep you informed of programs and opportunities. We also recommend attending one of our upcoming programs, so you can get a feel for the profession.

Our general public programs [Link to Our Programs listing page] are designed for both personal and professional benefit, while our signature training programs [Link to Professional Dev. Programs landing page] have been developed for individuals who wish to serve their communities using the arts as a process for facilitating wellbeing and healing, but who do not wish to enroll in a degree program to do so. Our training programs [Link to Professional Dev. Programs landing page] are specifically designed with scripted manuals to enable anyone to deliver them—even those without experience in the particular arts or mental health domains that are involved. The manuals [Link to Curriculum Materials detail listing page] that we offer can be used for self-teaching without training, although participants report that training is helpful. Our Social Emotional Arts (SEA) Certificate Program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info page] was developed to prepare individuals of all backgrounds to design and evaluate their own effective arts programs that maximize the social and emotional benefits to the people they serve. As part of the training, participants also learn best practices in a variety of art forms for their symbiotic benefits. With scripted materials to use, they are prepared to deal with challenges frequently encountered when working in the community, and they are educated in self-care and personal presentation. This program is ideal for those who wish to serve in the community immediately, without having to enroll in a degree program in the creative arts therapies, expressive arts therapy, or mental health and the arts.

Some of our trainees are making career shifts from another profession, such as television production or design. Others are looking to enhance what they already offer in the community or expand their offerings to other populations. And some are retirees, or people re-entering the workforce after a hiatus, and seeking a meaningful way to make a positive difference in their communities. Our trainees have included educators from Pre-K to university levels, special education teachers, community arts professionals, recent college graduates, graduate students in social sciences, mental health professionals, integrative health professionals, yoga teachers, visual and performing artists, non-profit providers, creative arts therapists, and expressive arts therapists and trainees.

Our faculty members for the SEA program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info page] are leaders in the mental health professions of the creative arts therapies or community arts professionals with equivalent expertise. They teach our trainees everything that they need to know just up to the point of therapy, without crossing that line. Therapy is defined as identifying and treating a problem. The emerging profession of social emotional arts offers a life enhancement and prevention strategy. The SEA training prepares people to deliver supportive arts experiences that facilitate self-discovery, meaningful dialogue, empathy, connection, and empowerment. Our training addresses a gap of access to mental health services—without the stigma of therapy.

We also offer Launching Your Career in SEA [Link to SEA Professional Development Info page], a program developed to support the professional success of our trainees and others.

To nurture your interest further, we suggest spending some time in our Resources section [Link to Resources landing page], where you can find conferences [Link to Conferences Search landing page], sponsored by a national organization or local chapter representing your field of interest that you might want to attend. Conferences are a great place to clarify your specific interests any field. You can find out from presenters at the conference where the ideal places are to get training or who the ideal mentors are for your areas of interest.

If possible, join a listserv[Link to Listservs search landing page], so you can get pointers from professionals and understand the nature of the issues that arise in the various fields. Our Resources section [Link to Resources landing page] also lists rigorous studies [Link to Literature Search landing page], and other literature [Link to Literature search landing page] that can be easily searched by art form and/or age group. You may also search for organizations [Link to Organizations search landing page] in your area that may need volunteers to enable you to gain experience in your field of interest.

We also offer free downloadable materials [Link to Download Materials landing page] that offer additional information about creative arts therapies and social emotional arts as well as informative videos [Link to Videos listing page] from a number of experiential panel presentations that we have held at conferences.
close

Do you offer career advice?

We offer professional development programs [Link to Professional Dev. Programs landing page] and workshops [Link to Programs landing page] for the general public where you can learn specific ways of working with the arts to maximize the social-emotional and other benefits to those you serve. We suggest that you look at our program offerings [Link to Our Programs listing page] and sign up [Link to email signup form page] to receive our e-newsletter, which will keep you informed of programs and opportunities. We also recommend attending one of our upcoming programs, so you can get a feel for the profession as well as ask the instructor for advice. Launching Your Career in Social Emotional Arts [Link to Launching Your Career in SEA program info page in Prof. Development Section], one of our signature programs, was developed to specifically support the professional success of our trainees and those wanting to begin, or grow, their career in the field.

We also strongly suggest spending some time in our Resources section [Link to Resources landing page], where you can find conferences [Link to Conferences Search landing page], sponsored by a national organization or local chapter representing your field of interest that you might want to attend. You can find out from presenters at the conference where the ideal places are to get training or who the ideal mentors are for your areas of interest.

In the Resources area of our site, you can download free articles [Link to Download Materials landing page], research publications [Link to Literature search landing page], videos [Link to Videos listing page], and listserv [Link to Listservs search landing page], opportunities that may also be helpful in addressing your career-related questions. You can also search for organizations [Link to Organizations search landing page] in your area that may need assistance in your field of interest.

If you would like to speak with one of our staff members about your career, please know that we are happy to help. In an effort to maintain our focus in a rapidly growing organization with a small, but mighty, staff—and an enormous network of collaborators—we need to limit the time that we can spend on individual career consultation to ten minutes. If more time is needed, and the staff member can provide the additional assistance, we ask that you make a donation [Link to Donations page] for whatever amount reflects the value of the consultation or whatever you can afford.
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beat the odds (bto)

If I come from out of town to attend your training, where is the nearest airport, how do I find a place to stay, and how do I get around?

The nearest airport to the training venue, Remo Recreational Music Center, is Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. Southwest and Jet Blue, which both serve this airport, are usually the most economical, but typically don’t appear in travel search engines, so make a note to check into their rates separately. Other airlines that fly into Bob Hope Airport are listed here.

For accommodations, we would suggest that you stay within close proximity to Remo Recreational Music Center, where you can also observe a family drum circle and other free and/or affordable rhythmic activities and trainings over the training weekend and during the week. Travel search engines, as you may well know, are a great resource for finding flight deals, cheaper lodging in nicer categories, and discounted car rental offers.
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What is the evidence of effectiveness and how was it measured?

We suggest that you check the Beat the Odds information page [Link to BTO Professional Development Info Page] for links to our scientific publications and a summary for administrators that describes the program in more detail. The publication, The Impact of Group Drumming on Social and Emotional Behavior in Low-Income Youth [Link to following free download under BTO: the impact of group drumming on social-emotional behavior in low-income children], describes the whole protocol and the theory behind its effectiveness.

On the Beat the Odds information page [Link to BTO Professional Development Info Page], there are also links to BTO film clips [Link to “Our Programs” category listings in Video Section], including a 10-minute documentary trailer [Link to “American Rhythms” video within “Our Programs” Video Section] that describes our work with underserved youth, a clip of a three of our trainees practicing the facilitation of some of the rhythmic elements of the program [Link to “Beat the Odds: 4/3/11 Facilitator Training” video within “Our Programs” Video Section], Rock the Rhythm: Beat the Odds [TBD; not yet on dev site], a video of a PowerPoint presentation that I gave on our research, which includes some film clips with middle school kids doing some of the activities from our program.
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How can I get Beat the Odds started in my district? How can I convince my supervisor?

One person, who has made a successful business for herself delivering Beat the Odds at the pre-kindergarten and elementary school grade levels, got started with no experience at all. She started by offering free demos, offering the idea that if they liked it—they could hire her. People also started hiring her for birthday parties as well. She now needs an assistant!

In line with the above example, you can use the Beat the Odds Booster session in the manual [Link to BTO Manual/CD Product Detail Page] as a demonstration session. You can show your supervisor the part of the DVD [Link to BTO DVD Product Detail Page] showing the call and response with the drum in the middle activity and the reflection on empathy afterwards. You could also show your supervisor our Beat the Odds information page [Link to BTO Professional Development Info Page], that has links to published articles, a brief summary of the program for administrators, media clips (like the 10-minute documentary trailer of our work), other media publications (like a TIME article and the lead article in UCLA Today for faculty and staff), a compelling video interview with a 6th grade teacher on the value of Beat the Odds for his classroom—and tons of testimonials.
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How are the rhythmic and counseling activities integrated?

Beat the Odds uses rhythmic activities as a metaphor for life. The group processes the lessons in order to maximize understanding, internalization, and integration. Our original, published study [Link to following free download under BTO: the impact of group drumming on social-emotional behavior in low-income children] describes some of the ways in which the counseling and rhythmic activities are intertwined as well. There are also some straight counseling activities as well, such as a guided visualization (called the comfort place activity). There’s scripted lessons, such as one on feelings. In most activities, there is also reflection and sharing.
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dance for all (dfa)

Do I need to be a dance or yoga teacher to take the training?

No. We do recommend you possess a love of movement and a comfort with facilitating/teaching. Our DFA manual [TBD; not yet on dev site] makes the rest easy for you.
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Is DFA only for teaching people with special needs?

No. We have had great success teaching the curriculum to children in traditional PreK and elementary schools. It has also been taught to healthy aging older adults as well as older adults with memory issues.
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social emotional arts (SEA) certificate program

How intensive is the SEA homework?

The homework is not too labor intensive. It mostly requires viewing videos and reading articles, and asks for a brief personal/professional reflection on the material (and not a regurgitation of the information). There is some journaling of observations. The final presentation and report is begun from the first day of class and is worked on at the end of each session to facilitate completion by the end of the program.
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How do I introduce what I have learned from the SEA program into schools?

There are several ways that you could introduce social emotional arts to the schools. Through the SEA Certificate Program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info Page], you will learn how to identify the needs of the population that you would like to serve based on existing research, in order to justify your approach. The more you can design your program to meet the needs of the population you wish to serve, the more likely you are to receive an opportunity.

Schools also want evidence-based programs. The SEA program will teach you how to create the evidence-basis for any program that you design. You will learn how to evaluate your program to provide evidence of its effectiveness and to improve the quality of your services. We also have an extensive, easy-to-search Resources Section [Link to General Research Landing Page] that includes studies [Link to Literature Resource Search Page] that can be used as justification for your program.

The SEA program will prepare you to explain how the activities that you will offer meet some social, emotional or cognitive goals that a school would have for its students. All of the activities that we teach you will be labeled according to which social-emotional-cognitive objectives that they meet. Schools are desperate for new tools to engage students and build community. They are concerned with behavior problems such as inattention and bullying that interfere with learning.

Offering to do a free demo is often a way to get schools to see the value of what you offer. Then they develop the will to find the funds to pay for services. In some schools, PTAs can help support the need for programs and equipment and classroom teachers can create a wish list on DonorsChoose.org.
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While enrolled in the SEA Certificate Program, are we allowed to begin using the tools we are learning and bring back some feedback to you and the class?

We wholeheartedly support your desire to be proactive in your learning. You and your cohort will learn so much more by trying out the tools and sharing your experiences with them during the course of the program.
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Does the SEA program count towards creative arts therapy degree programs?

The SEA Certificate Program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info Page] does not lead to an official university transcript that could be applied towards a degree program, but you may inquire as to whether or not it may apply to an alternate route program (e.g., in drama therapy, dance/movement therapy, or expressive arts therapy) that accepts relevant other coursework.

The program does, however, offer practical tools for dealing with the real world—especially if working with groups of children or adolescents—that you wouldn't necessary get in a creative arts therapy program. The program also teaches participants about best practices in a variety of art forms, as they are symbiotic and—in combination—can lead to stronger behavior outcomes.

The instructors for the SEA program are largely creative arts therapists from different disciplines, whom are top experts in their professions.
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How might I benefit from the SEA Certificate Program if my goal is not to facilitate programs, and I am anxious about some of the interactive stuff?

The interactive experiences facilitate insight, meaningful dialogue, and laughter—and our trainees report that the experiences are professionally and personally transformational. We have had numerous participants who expected the interactive parts to be scary, but they were surprised at how they stretched and grew as a result. Our SEA Certificate Program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info Page] is about what we learn about ourselves in the process of creative expression, without emphasis on product or performance. This minimizes self-consciousness and self-judgment that interferes with creative expression. The program also gradually builds to prepare everyone for more participation over time.
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What is the value of the SEA Certificate Program?

A wide variety of people participate in our SEA Certificate Program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info Page] classroom teachers, community arts professionals, performing artists, non-profit staff, mental health professionals, early childhood educators, expressive arts therapy trainees, recent college grads seeking professional inspiration and education, yoga teachers—basically anyone who thinks that this education would enhance what they do, or want to do, in the community.

A former designer, who became a facilitator of art programs for cancer patients at Cedars-Sinai, now knows how to maximize the social-emotional benefits for the people she serves. A former wellness consultant who works at places like Torrance Memorial (offering massage, Reiki, etc.) has now expanded her business to include facilitating drumming in schools.

The value is learning how to create an effective therapeutic experience for the people you serve, if you don't want to enroll in a degree program in creative arts therapies or mental health. While the focus is working with youth, all the principles transfer over to working with any age group.

The arts bring up emotions—and we teach our trainees how to deal with them in a healthy way. Learn more about the value of this innovative program in the significance section [Link to SEA Professional Development Info Page] of our SEA information page.
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