signature training programs

Our signature training programs are designed to maximize the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive benefits of the arts. These professional development and self-care programs can create a sustainable environment of support because they can be delivered by anyone—educators, health and mental health professionals, non-profit personnel, visual and performing artists, caregivers, and parents.

dance-ribbons-exercise_groupCertificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA) empowers educators, community arts professionals, mental health practitioners, and others in maximizing the social-emotional benefits of arts experiences, and minimizing self-judgment, anxiety, and unintentional re-triggering of trauma that can impede learning. This interactive and experiential eight-part certificate training not only teaches structured and scripted activities that can be used in the community, but also teaches trainees how to develop and evaluate their own effective curricula. The training features the use of sound, rhythm, movement, and other creative approaches for group behavior management, verbal and nonverbal communication, managing special needs, traumatic responses and self-care, personal presentation, program evaluation, and best practices in six art forms. The teaching faculty consists of board-certified creative arts therapists or individuals/teams with equivalent expertise, who are leaders in their respective professions. Click here for more information, including course syllabus and instructor bios.

medsea-training_image-poem-exercise_example-1Medical Social Emotional Arts (MedSEA) Program offers activities that integrate mental health practices with the innate social emotional benefits of art, movement, music, and writing. The activities are designed for all ages and populations, with dual benefits for facilitators. MedSEA helps to create rapport and connection, evoke positive emotions and bolster resilience, empower patients in managing stress and pain, facilitate verbal and nonverbal communication, strengthen the creative vs. illness narrative, and manage grief and loss. Designed by a team of leading creative arts therapists, the MedSEA curriculum is easy to facilitate and practical, laid out in a user-friendly, scripted format for easy delivery. Click here for more information, including details of the pilot training session at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, our teaching faculty, and more.

bto-training_large-groupBeat the Odds® (BTO): Social and Emotional Skill Building Delivered in a Framework of Drumming integrates activities from contemporary drum circles and group counseling to build core assets such as focusing and listening, team building, leadership, expressing feelings, managing anger/stress, empathy, and gratitude. UCLA researchers have shown that Beat the Odds can significantly improve a spectrum of behavior problems in children, such as those associated with inattention, withdrawn/depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity, oppositional defiance, and sluggish cognitive tempo. Beat the Odds® was co-developed by an licensed clinical social worker who specializes in underserved populations, a public health educator, and a drum circle facilitator. This eight-session, evidence-based and trauma-informed curriculum is scripted and does not require musical experience for delivery or participation. Click here for more information about the program, and here to link to publications, a documentary film trailer, testimonials, and an information document for administrators. Adaptable for all age groups.

dfa_parachute_groupDance for All™ (DFA) is a movement-based social and emotional learning program for teens and adults with special needs. The scripted curriculum facilitates creative and emotional expression and encourages dancers to find their voice through the language of movement. Individual and group projects develop leadership and social skills. Yoga-based breathing and movement exercises help regulate the nervous system, manage energy and emotions, and develop strength and self-awareness. Dance activities also widen the range of movement abilities, develop gross and fine motor skills, and increase kinesthetic coordination. Dance for All was originally developed by a board-certified dance/movement therapist, who is also a yoga therapist. Adaptable to Pre-K and older adult populations with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The manual was originally designed for teens and adults with special needs, but is adaptable to other populations, such as Pre-K through second grade, and older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Click here for more information, sample themes, and to learn about the program development team.

child holding adult handPlayful & Positive Parenting: Creative Engagement and Connection Through the Arts is an experiential training that provides parents, teachers, and other community members with tools for building social, emotional, and cognitive skills in children. Conceived from a forthcoming book on parenting by art therapist Erica Curtis, LMFT, ATR-BC with Ping Ho, MA, MPH, Founder & Director of UCLArts & Healing, participants learn how to harness play and creativity to engage more effectively with children. Playful & Positive Parenting workshops have been successfully launched in the El Monte City School District for parents and staff, and our inaugural public training will launch in 2018.

customizable workshops

All our workshops are experiential, and each one offers practical tools for professional use as well as activities for staff team building and stress reduction. Workshops typically run two to four hours in length, but some can also be pared down to an hour. All workshops can be customized to meet your needs and objectives.

Customizable workshop offerings include:

  • Beat the Odds®: Social and Emotional Skill Building Delivered in a Framework of Drumming
  • Art-Based Approaches to Managing Stress in the Classroom
  • Communication
  • Group Behavior Management
  • Managing Special Needs
  • Community Resilience through Expressive Arts
  • Shifting Positions to Shift Perceptions: How Body Language Affects How We Think, Feel and Communicate
  • Presenting Yourself
  • Traumatic Responses and Self-Care
  • Finding Rest in the Midst of Stress
  • Dance-Movement for Life
  • Music from the Soul
  • Poetry from the Heart
  • Social Emotional Art
  • Managing Stress through Music, Sound and Yoga
  • Flash Mob
  • Movement for the 21st Century Lifestyle
  • All Bodies Dance
  • MeCards4Kids™
  • Acting Out: Conflict Resolution Skills through Movement, Writing, and Improvisation
  • Playful and Positive Engagement
  • Poetry Toolbox: Five Voices for Self-Expression


To learn more about each workshop offering, click here to download the detailed summary.