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

What are my professional options in the field of arts and healing?

  • Enroll in a PhD, PsyD, or master's degree program in clinical or counseling psychology, social work, or marriage and family therapy, and then supplement your training with creative arts therapy training in your art form(s) of interest.
  • Enroll in a graduate program in one of the creative arts therapies. Most of the credentials offered in these fields, which teach integration of specific art forms with mental health practices, are at the master’s level. On our website, you can find links to the national organizations that list their training opportunities in our Resources section.
  • Enroll in a two-year training program in Expressive Arts Therapies. These programs offer credentialing in the integrated use of a variety of art forms for therapeutic purposes. For more information, visit the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association's website as well as the Resources section on our website.
  • Enroll in our Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts. This comprehensive program is for anyone who wishes to learn how to design, deliver, and evaluate their own effective programs. It offers practical training that addresses what professionals may encounter in the community. Creative arts therapists who have taken the program have reported that it is invaluable and offers training in areas not addressed by their previous academic curricula. Many of our trainees come from the arts, education, mental health, and complementary health care. Some are fresh out of college and exploring career options, others are mid-career and wanting to add a therapeutic element to their work, and still others are making career transitions after many years in other professions.
  • Enroll in our online, four-session Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring training offered as part of our signature programming, or join us for the two-day online offering at our annual conference on Creativity & the Arts in Healing. This training offers scripted activities in four different art forms that are adaptable to any population, setting, ability level, time frame, or budget. It can be used with groups or individuals. It teaches the key principles of social emotional arts work.
  • Register for our upcoming experiential conference, the Expressive Therapies Summit: Los Angeles. You can register for one, two, three, or four days of experiential workshops all geared towards offering tools for working with different populations and in different art forms. This may give you an opportunity to sample different ways of working therapeutically in the arts and help you identify specific areas of interest and mentors. You may also get some advice from faculty members and attendees regarding professional pathways. It is a tremendous opportunity for networking as well.
  • We also offer some other shorter training programs in different art forms. Here is a list of our upcoming programs: https://uclartsandhealing.org/our-programs-list-pg/
  • Additionally, volunteering is a great way to familiarize yourself with the field and what it is like to work with different populations. Here are several possibilities:
    • We often seek translators/interpreters to volunteer their services at our workshops.
    • There are two programs that partner with UCLArts & Healing, which often actively seek volunteers: ALMA (Addressing Loneliness through Movement and Art) and the Creative Minds Project (although Creative Minds Project may require more extensive training in order to be involved).
    • Some of our organizational partners often seek volunteers as well: Safe Place for YouthAble Arts Work, and The Miracle Project are a few examples. You can search for additional relevant organizations, by art form and population type, through the Resources section on our website.
    • We also partner with a Therapeutic Arts Group for UCLA medical and undergraduate students.

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What volunteer opportunities, internships, fellowships, or paid positions do you have?

We train people to deliver their own programs and don't have a center where we provide direct services.  If you take some of our training programs, we may be able to notify you of volunteer or paid opportunities to deliver them to community organizations that request services. While we do not offer formal internship or fellowship opportunities, we welcome professional volunteers in the domains of marketing, videography and computer technology.  We also sometimes need extra assistance at specific events or for special projects. We don’t typically have paid positions available; however, we periodically need to hire research or administrative assistants. You are welcome to submit a resume to info@uclartsandhealing.org and we will keep your resume on file in case an opportunity comes up. You might also contact organizations listed in our Resources section for volunteer or paid opportunities. Some organizations that we partner with regularly seek volunteers, such as Able Arts Work, The Miracle Project, and Theatre of Hearts.  Inside Out Community Arts, for example, offers a series of training sessions followed by paid working opportunities in after-school middle and high school settings.
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What is your general program cancellation refund policy?

In order to keep our programs affordable yet self-sustaining, we regret that we are unable to offer refunds on enrollment fees; however, we offer credit towards a future program of your choice to be used within 12 months.  Credit can be applied toward any of our programs within 12 months.  For programs being offered at a higher fee, you would be responsible for covering any balance due.  If the program is offered at a lower fee, then you would waive any remaining balance. If you are not able to use your credit within this period, we hope you will find comfort in knowing that you are supporting a meaningful cause. There are some exceptions for specific programs that represent a larger financial commitment.  For those programs, such as the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts or Launching Your Career in Social Emotional Arts, there are windows of time in which cancellation refunds are possible.  We suggest that you review the information on any program thoroughly to check for specific cancellation refund policies.
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What forms of payment do you take online? In person?

We accept all major credit cards online.  You may also choose to pay by check payable to “Arts and Healing Initiative” and mail it to 2626 33rdSt Santa Monica CA 90405.  In person we accept credit cards, cash, and checks.
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I am interested in learning more about creative arts therapies. Can I schedule a phone interview with an arts therapist?

Our website offers a wealth of information that may be more helpful than a phone interview.  You can download free handouts for information about the various forms of creative arts therapies through our Downloadable Materials section.  You can view videos from a number of integrative medicine panels that we have presented at conferences to gain information about the creative arts therapies as well (see Videos section).  You can also search for literature, listservs, and organizations (like the national organizations representing the creative arts therapies, of which there are 6 - art, dance/movement, drama, music, poetry, and psychodrama) in our Resources section. Creative Arts Therapies are different from therapeutic uses of the arts - which we call Social Emotional Arts. Creative Arts Therapists are dually trained in psychotherapy and the arts, usually at a masters level. Social Emotional Arts facilitators, however, use the arts to help people improve their social, emotional, physical or cognitive well being. Social Emotional Arts facilitators work preventatively, but are not trained to identify and treat disorders in the way Creative Arts Therapists can. If you are interested in getting into this field more quickly, we offer accessible training programs, an annual experiential training conference on “Creativity & the Arts in Healing" and a Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts.  All of this information can be found in the Programs or Professional Development sections of our website.
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How do I get into the field of arts and healing?

To get into the field of arts and healing, you can look for training programs in the Creative Arts Therapies within our Resources section. If you do not wish to enroll in a formal degree program - or even if you do - we strongly recommend that you consider taking our Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA), as it will prepare you to maximize the social-emotional benefits of the arts and address practical issues that come up in community settings.  It will enhance any other education that you have received or will receive (even in Creative Arts Therapies).  We encourage you to take a look at testimonials about the program that can be found via the SEA information page. UCLArts and Healing also offers other training programs and general public programs, all of which offer tools that can be used in working with the community, such as the Medical Social Emotional Arts training program. Another way to get involved is to volunteer with local organizations.  You may search for them by population and art form under the Resources section of our website.  You can also find videos, downloadable arts activities, literature and listserv information in that section. Our Resources section also includes a listing of national and regional conferences in arts and healing.  Attending these events is a great way to acquire skills, identify passions, stay abreast of developments in the field, network, learn about opportunities, and find mentors.  You can also sign up to receive our e-newsletters in order to stay connected. Finally, UCLArts and Healing sponsors an annual conference on “Creativity & the Arts in Healing”, for experiential learning of arts-based tools for facilitating communication, building connection, promoting positive emotions, fostering engagement, reducing stress, and managing the impact of trauma (for more information, visit our Professional Development section).  
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How can I get my program listed on your site?

The submissions that we list are typically those offered by organizations or practitioners with whom we already have a partnership or collaborative arrangement. We also list programs that meet our standards for social-emotional best practices and are not readily available to the public. We give special consideration to professionals with whose work we are already familiar, as well as graduates of our Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts. Priority is also given to free or affordable programs offered by established and reputable organizations or professionals. Our policy is not to post information about fundraisers, unless they are for a program that is connected to us. If you feel that your program may be of interest to us, feel free to send information to us at info@uclartsandhealing.org.
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How can I become a UCLArts and Healing instructor?

UCLArts and Healing typically recruits instructors that fall into one of these categories:
  1. Professionals who have completed a formal degree program in the creative arts therapies, typically involving masters level integrated training in mental health and the arts with supervised internship hours and a certification option.
  2. Mental health practitioners who have created a social-emotional arts curriculum for a specific population that is well documented and tested.
  3.  Graduates of the UCLArts and Healing Social Emotional Arts Certificate Program who have demonstrated mastery of their training in the design and delivery of programs that maximize the social-emotional benefits of arts experiences.
  4. Recruitment is also often based in knowledge of an individual’s work and recommendations from trusted sources.
In addition, the proposed teaching content/format/cost needs to balance out our offerings and be of interest to our constituents, as we can best determine based on experience. If you are interested in becoming an instructor for UCLArts and Healing, we suggest that you attend one of our programs to gain understanding of our work and introduce yourself to us. You are also welcome to send website and any other information about yourself to info@uclartsandhealing.org to help us determine the goodness of fit.
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Do you offer career advice?

We offer professional development programs  and workshops 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 and sign up 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, 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, where you can find conferences, 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, research publications, videos, and listserv, opportunities that may also be helpful in addressing your career-related questions. You can also search for organizations 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 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 by art form, age group, and region in our Resources section. All practitioners must meet certain certification criteria before they can be listed on our website. You can also search by organizations to find local chapters of national creative arts therapy associations for art therapy, dance/movement therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, poetry therapy, and psychodrama. 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, are leaders in the creative arts therapies. We also 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. In our Resources section, you can find conferences 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. Our Resources section also  lists rigorous studies, and other literature that can be easily searched by art form and/or age group. You may also search for organizations in your area that may need volunteers to enable you to gain experience in your field of interest. Additionally, we offer free downloadable materials that provide information about creative arts therapies and social emotional arts as well as videos from a number of experiential panel presentations that we have held at conferences. We also recommend viewing 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 and workshops 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 and sign up 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 are designed for both personal and professional benefit, while our signature training programs 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 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 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  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. We also offer Launching Your Career in SEA, a program developed to support the professional success of our trainees and others. Our faculty members for the SEA program 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. Creative Arts Therapies are different from  Social Emotional Arts - Creative Arts Therapists are dually trained in psychotherapy and the arts, usually at a masters level. Social Emotional Arts facilitators, however, use the arts to help people improve their social, emotional, physical or cognitive well being. Social Emotional Arts facilitators work preventatively, but are not trained to identify and treat disorders in the way Creative Arts Therapists can. The SEA training, however, 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.  
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beat the odds (bto)

How can I order a copy of the curriculum?

The curriculum manual is available via the Store section of our website.  You can choose from the manual alone or the manual with a DVD showing our LCSW co-developer delivering the program to a group of 4th grade students.  The scripted curriculum is designed for delivery via the manual alone, although we also offer 1-day trainings here in LA and occasionally in other parts of the country. You can find information about our trainings in the Programs section of our website. The Beat the Odds information page within the Professional Development section includes links to a variety of resources, such as publications, media clips (including a 10" documentary film trailer of our work), testimonials and a brief summary of the program specifically designed for administrators.
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How can I get drums on a limited budget?

UCLArts & Healing has partnered with Remo, Inc. to offer drum packages and individual percussion instruments at below-market discounted rates.  You can peruse the products that we offer through the Store section of our website and use the promo code: uclartsandhealing to receive the discount when ordering. The Remo drums that we offer are lightweight, durable, and nestable for easy storage, with interchangeable not-so-loud drumhead options.  There are also drumheads that fit on standard-sized paint buckets, and flat “Sound Shapes®” played with mallets, which offer lower cost alternatives.  You can consider purchasing a variety of instruments and have your participants share or take turns with them.  We also offer some lower cost sets that include a variety of drum and percussion instruments. If none of these items work for your budget, remember that rhythm can ultimately be made with anything; for example, you can use “found sounds” such as 2- or 5-gallon water bottles, desks, Tupperware containers, cookie tins, paint buckets turned upside down and played with turkey basters or spoons, metallic sports water bottles played with pens, and so forth.  Even a small package of disposable diapers can make a great (and not so loud) hand drum.  You can make your own shakers with plastic Easter eggs, disposable cups, recycled containers, rice or legumes, and tape. And then there is “body percussion”.  Sounds can be made with hands and feet by clapping hands, slapping thighs, stomping feet, and snapping fingers, for example.  Vocal sounds, such as percussive consonants and open vowels, can be added.  There is no limit to creativity!
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Who can deliver this program?

Anyone can deliver the program.  It does not require any previous musical experience.  The manual is scripted in a user-friendly format, for ease of use. We have observed a variety of people deliver the program – all with success:  teachers, mental health professionals, music teachers, school counselors and after school personnel, health care professionals, Boys and Girls Club staff, actors, college students, and more. The program is so engaging that even when delivered by literally reading the curriculum, participants love the experience.
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Who can benefit from this program?

While the program was designed for upper elementary-age students, it easily can be adapted to any other age group or for families.  Guidelines for adaptation for adolescents and adults can be found in the scripted manual and are discussed during the training.  In addition, a version for adolescents and adults will be available shortly. We have found that the program is perfectly suited as it is for special needs classrooms with mild to moderate disabilities.  Students with moderate to severe disabilities also benefit tremendously with a few simple adjustments to the program.
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What is the evidence of effectiveness and how was it measured?

We suggest that you check the Downloadable Materials section for links to our published studies and a document for administrators entitled, “Beat the Odds®: A Brief Summary of an Evidence-Based Program,” which describes the program and its scientific justification in detail.  The publication entitled, “The Impact of Group Drumming on Social and Emotional Behavior in Low-Income Youth” describes the whole protocol and the theory behind its effectiveness. In our Videos section, there are also links to some film clips, including a 10-minute documentary trailer that describes our work with underserved youth and footage from our training programs, showing participants practicing facilitation of some rhythmic elements of the program.
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How much space to do I need to store drums?

We use Versa drums for our Beat the Odds® program, which are produced by Remo, Inc. These products are specifically designed for community use. They are durable, sound adjustable for sensitive ears, lightweight, and nest-able for easier storage. UCLArts and Healing has partnered with Remo, Inc. to be able to provide the community with drums and hand percussion instruments at deeply discounted prices. Use our promo code of UCLARTSANDHEALING when you place an order through our online Store.   FOR 30 DRUMS
  • The drums nest together in groups of 3.  For 30 drums, there would be 10 groups.  Two groups can be stacked vertically on one another.  Most of the groups are the same height (all tubanos) except for two, which consist of some different types of drums (tubano, timbau and djembe combo), so they are a little taller.
  • A stack of two groups of tubano drums will require 1 foot square land space and 51" height.  There would be three of these.
  • A stack of a group of tubano drums and mixed drums will require 1 foot square land space and 58" height (an additional 7").  There would be two of these.
  • Therefore in total, you would need a 5 foot square land space and 58" height to accommodate 30 drums.  For 60 drums, you would multiply this by 2.
  • If you do not have the height to stack 2 groups of drums on top of one another, but have a space with width, just assume a 10 foot square space to accommodate each stack of drums and a height of 32" to accommodate the tallest stacks.  For 60 drums, you would multiply this by 2.
FOR 15 DRUMS
  • You would need a 3 foot square space and 58" height for 15 drums.
  • If you have more land space and less height, you need a 5 foot square land space and a height of 32" to accommodate the tallest stacks.

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How do we get buy-in and funding for your program or drums?

There may be funding sources within a school's budget, such as an arts fund, that can be allocated to the purchase of drums. Beat the Odds® is a mental health as well as arts-based program; therefore, funding of drums may be justified through a variety of sources.  Grant writing through small local family foundations and fundraising through the PTA are other ways to obtain funding.  Drums can also be obtained through e-Bay and www.donorschoose.org  (for educators). The drums that we use reflect cultural diversity, and give sound and tactile gratification that comes with hitting a full-sized drum; they are designed for durability, nesting for space economy, and sound sensitivity, so we recommend them.  You can also use a variety of instruments - some large drums, flat sound shapes (made by Remo, Inc.), shakers, 5 gallon water jugs, paint buckets, homemade instruments, things you find lying around that make sounds (found sounds).  Remo Inc. offers a line of bucket drumheads that sit on conventional plastic paint buckets. We also offer grants that reduce drum costs to below market rates, to make them more accessible to the community. Visit our online Store for more information. To obtain support for this Program from administrators and other school personnel, try the following:
  1. Present our research findings and other scientific justification for drumming to your administration by sharing with them the document entitled, “Beat the Odds®: A Brief Summary of an Evidence-Based Program” which can be found in our Free Downloads section.
  2. Facilitate buy-in for the program by demonstrating the Booster Session in the curriculum with students or with staff.
  3. Show excerpts from the training DVD, which can be purchased with a manual via our online Store, particularly the clips demonstrating the "Student-Led Call and Response – Drum in Middle" and the "reflection" (on empathy) that follows.
  4. Share detailed information on Beat the Odds®, such as links to published studies, other media articles such as those from TIME and UCLA Today, and testimonials (via our Free Downloads section), a 10-minute documentary film trailer and other video clips (via our Videos section and training programs (via our Programs section).

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Is Beat the Odds® appropriate for severely emotionally-disturbed or students with other behavior or learning challenges?

Beat the Odds®:  Social and Emotional Skill Building Delivered in a Framework of Drumming is an accessible, sustainable program that is evidence-based and scripted for clinical integrity and rhythmic engagement.  The school can purchase the curriculum materials and have its own personnel deliver it.  Anyone can deliver it - even without a music background.  We have found that all children benefit from boosting their core strengths; however, the greater the social-emotional needs, the greater the benefits appear to be from the program. We have just completed some research (not yet published) that showed the Beat the Odds program as tremendously useful for special needs populations - even moderate to severe autism (with some simple adaptations).  Mild to moderate needs classrooms did not require any changes to the program. We have also has success delivering Beat the Odds® as an inclusion program in schools.  Special education and general education students are paired sharing a drum, to build positive social connection and emotional well-being while learning emotional coping skills.
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How do I register for the Beat the Odds training if my employer is paying for it?

The easiest way to register is to go online and sign up for the course on our website, add the manuals to the "shopping cart", and add CEUs to the cart (as needed), and then choose the "pay by check" method, which won't charge you anything.  Then print out and take the invoice to your employer and have them make a check payable to "Arts and Healing Initiative" and follow the mailing instructions on the invoice. There are special trainee discounts for the manual and DVD.
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How are the rhythmic and counseling activities integrated?

Beat the Odds® emphasizes process and not performance. It includes a therapeutic dimension involving such elements as positive affirmations, emotional coping strategies, and guided interaction with rhythmic activities serving as a metaphor for life, followed by reflection and dialogue—without the stigma of therapy. Our original published study (found in our Free Downloads section) describes some of the specific ways in which the counseling and rhythmic activities are intertwined. There are a few pure counseling activities as well – such as a guided visualization and a scripted lesson on feelings. The program can be adapted easily for other age groups and is great for families. We have found that just reading the script, anyone can deliver it effectively, and someone with rhythmic skills can make the program even more engaging for all.
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Do I need to take the training in order to be able to deliver the curriculum?

The curriculum is scripted and designed for use without having to take the training; however, people find the training invaluable for getting comfortable facilitating the rhythmic parts, learning troubleshooting and activity adaptations experientially, and reviewing all the important information in the manual. You could use the manual and order the DVD, which shows our licensed clinical social worker co-developer delivering every activity in the program to a group of 4th grade students.
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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 as a demonstration session. You can show your supervisor the part of the DVD 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, that has links to published articles, a brief summary of the program for administrators, media clips (like a 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), and testimonials, including a compelling video interview with a 6th grade teacher on the value of Beat the Odds® for his classroom.
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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 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

What is the value of the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts?

Our Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA) was developed to prepare individuals of all backgrounds to design and evaluate their own effective arts programs that maximize social and emotional benefits to the people they serve.  As part of the training, you would learn social-emotional best practices in a variety of art forms for their symbiotic benefits – with scripted materials to use.  You will be prepared to deal with challenges frequently encountered when working at the front lines of need in the community, and will be educated in self-care and personal presentation as well.  In addition, you will learn program evaluation methods to develop an evidence-basis for adoption of your programs. All principles apply to working any age group or population. 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. 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, nonprofit providers, creative arts therapists or expressive arts therapists and trainees, and more. Some trainees are looking for career changes mid-life or after retirement, while others are exploring this field straight out of college.  Some of our trainees go on to get graduate degrees in mental health, art therapy, expressive arts therapy, fine arts, performing arts, and more. Our faculty members for the SEA program are leaders in the mental health professions of the creative arts therapies or are 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 diagnosis and treatment for a specific problem.  The emerging profession of social emotional arts offers a strategy for life enhancement and prevention.  The SEA training (with a summer intensive option) prepares people to deliver supportive arts experiences that facilitate self-discovery, meaningful dialogue, empathy, connection and empowerment.  The arts bring up emotions - and we teach our trainees how to deal with it.  Our training addresses a gap of access to mental health services – without the stigma of therapy. We suggest that you read the significance section of the program description for more details on the value of the training, as well as the trainee reflections on the SEA experience.  We also offer a program called Launching Your Career in Social Emotional Arts to support the professional success of our trainees and others.  All of this information can be found in the Programs or Professional Development sections of our website.
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What is the difference between the Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring training and the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts?

The training in Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring will prepare you to deliver scripted activities in four different art forms, with instructions for working with groups vs. individuals, accommodating different abilities, integrating other art forms, adjusting for the amount of time available, and advising individuals on how they continue the activities on their own. It also offers the basics on communication to facilitate engagement and dialogue, as well as guidelines on managing stress responses. This program is designed to be useful in settings where little or no supplies are available. While the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA) also offers some scripted activities, it prepares trainees to develop and deliver their own program from start to finish: from identifying the needs of the community to be served, to program development, to program evaluation. Trainees learn best practices in six different arts forms, as well as culturally- and trauma-informed practices in communication and neurodiversity.  In addition, they learn personal presentation skills as well as tools for managing stress in their own self-care. There is a lesson plan that is both written and presented at the end to ensure mastery of the social emotional arts process. SEA is 60-hour certificate program, with time spent on assignments outside of class including a final presentation and report, and the Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring program is 12-14 hours, usually over 2-4 days, with no assignments taking place outside the training. Please click here to download a quick comparison of Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring and the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA).
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How might I benefit from this program if 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 difficult, but they were surprised at how they stretched and grew as a result.  The SEA program is focused on learning 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. We suggest that you read the testimonials within the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts  information page that can be found within our Professional Development section.
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How do I introduce what I have learned from the Certificate Program into schools?

Through the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA), 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 get an opportunity. Schools also are often interested in 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.  Our Resources section also offers a list of high quality literature searchable by art form and age group that can be used as justification for your programs. 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 always on the look out for new tools to engage students and build community, in ways that decrease behaviors like bullying or inattentiveness. Offering to do a free demo is often a way to get schools to see the value of what you offer. Often after seeing the effectiveness of programming, schools are more able to access funding.  In some schools, PTAs can help support the need for programs and equipment.  Classroom teachers can also create a wish list on DonorsChoose.org.
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How intensive is the SEA homework?

The homework is engaging, but not overly labor-intensive. It mostly requires viewing videos and reading articles, and asks for a brief personal/professional reflection on how you relate to the material. 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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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 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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social emotional arts (sea) on a shoestring

What is the difference between the Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring training and the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts?

The training in Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring will prepare you to deliver scripted activities in four different art forms, with instructions for working with groups vs. individuals, accommodating different abilities, integrating other art forms, adjusting for the amount of time available, and advising individuals on how they continue the activities on their own. It also offers the basics on communication to facilitate engagement and dialogue, as well as guidelines on managing stress responses. This program is designed to be useful in settings where little or no supplies are available. While the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA) also offers some scripted activities, it prepares trainees to develop and deliver their own program from start to finish: from identifying the needs of the community to be served, to program development, to program evaluation. Trainees learn best practices in six different arts forms, as well as culturally- and trauma-informed practices in communication and neurodiversity. In addition, they learn personal presentation skills as well as tools for managing stress in their own self-care. There is a lesson plan that is both written and presented at the end to ensure mastery of the social emotional arts process. SEA is 60-hour certificate program, with time spent on assignments outside of class including a final presentation and report, and the Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring program is 12-14 hours, usually over 2-4 days, with no assignments taking place outside the training. Please click here to download a quick comparison of Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring and the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA).
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