playful & positive parenting: creative engagement and connection through the arts

child holding adult handLearn how to harness play and creativity to engage more effectively with children.

This experiential training provides parents, teachers, and other community members with tools for building social, emotional, and cognitive skills in children.

Our Playful & Positive Parenting Training aims to:

  • Young-Girl-PaintingRedirect and shift energy in children
  • Get attention without having to use one’s voice
  • Establish boundaries and engage cooperation playfully
  • Communicate nonverbally, when words aren’t working
  • Support emotional safety and academic effort with non-judgmental language
  • Respond to difficult emotions or traumatic stress reactions
  • Facilitate interpersonal problem solving and decision making
  • Build self-care into daily life


Child Drawing SunThe curriculum and training was 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. Playful & Positive Parenting workshops have been successfully launched in the El Monte City School District for parents and staff. Survey feedback shows that participants find the tools exceedingly useful as well as easy to implement. The workshops in El Monte are being offered with simultaneous interpretation in different languages and translated handouts.


Our inaugural public training will take place in 2018. Arrangements for private group trainings can be made at any time.


Erica CurtisErica Curtis, LMFT, ATR-BC is a practitioner, writer, consultant, and educator in the fields of art therapy and marriage and family therapy. A Board Certified Art Therapy and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Erica has over 15 years of experience and education in an integrative approach to health and well-being. Erica is the admissions consultant at the Loyola Marymount University Department of Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in art therapy, and has a therapy practice in San Juan Capistrano where she works with children, adults, and families. She served multiple terms on the board of directors of the American Art Therapy Association and is past president of the Southern California Art Therapy Association. Erica was formerly clinical director at the Help Group, a respected Los Angeles non-profit agency and has lectured widely for institutions and organizations including UCSD, USC, UCLA, and Kaiser Permanente. Erica has been used as an expert for articles appearing in USA Today, Boston Globe, Elle, Lifehacker, EHow Family, Shine from Yahoo!, and Women’s World Magazine, to name a few. She also appears on the award-winning parenting resource, She has written several articles for Lifespan Learning, Special Education Advisor, and the Foundation for Art and Healing and is published in the Journal of Clinical Art Therapy. Learn more about her work at