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.

Certificate 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.

18-09-18-MedSEA-Ketcher-9Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring (SEAS) Training includes a menu of activities that can be sustainably delivered immediately, with guidelines on social emotional arts practices, such as communication techniques for creating rapport and facilitating dialogue, and containment techniques for managing stress responses. Assessments of this training have shown that this curriculum achieves its intended goals of helping to build connection, evoke positive emotions, bolster resilience, decrease stress and pain, facilitate verbal and nonverbal communication, strengthen the creative vs. illness narrative, and manage grief and loss. The 12.5-hour program, in which an extensive curriculum manual is also available, enables sustainable delivery by care providers and educators in settings with limited resources, including hospitals, nursing homes, schools, shelters, and community clinics.

Beat the Odds® (BTO): Social & 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 related to 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 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 one-day facilitator training program, and here to find publications, a documentary film trailer, testimonials, and an informational document for administrators. This program is adaptable to all age groups and does not require facilitators to have a music background.

dfa_parachute_groupDance for All™ (DFA): Social & Emotional Learning through Creative Movement  is a dance-and-yoga-informed creative movement curriculum for social emotional learning that is easily adaptable for all ages and abilities. Originally designed for teens and adults with developmental disabilities, Dance For All (DFA) has been successfully delivered to children in traditional Pre-K and elementary schools as well as to older adults. While regularly-scheduled classes are offered throughout various communities all over the country, we have co-developed a highly experiential one-day training that highlights the importance of self-care and personal development for the facilitator, with an emphasis on participant connection and collaboration. Click here for more information, such as sample themes and testimonials.

child holding adult handRaising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art 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 The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art, the new book on parenting by art therapist Erica Curtis, LMFT, ATR-BC and Ping Ho, MA, MPH, Founder & Director of UCLArts & Healing, participants learn how to harness play and creativity to engage more effectively with children. Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art workshops have been successfully launched in the El Monte City School District for parents and staff, and our inaugural public training will launch in the 2019-2020 academic year. These workshops can be offered in a variety of formats, from two hours to one day in length.

Family Art Time for Creative Connection is a 90-minute, weekly family program has been successfully piloted in the El Monte City School District’s Jeff Seymour Family Center. Each week features an art activity, available in both English and Spanish, with a different theme to help adult members of a family connect with their children or grandchildren.

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.