Expressive Arts Therapy Concentration
“The Expressive Arts combine the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing, and other creative processes to foster deep personal growth and community development. IEATA encourages an evolving multimodal approach within psychology, organizational development, community arts, and education. By integrating the arts processes and allowing one to flow into another, we gain access to our inner resources for healing, clarity, illumination and creativity.”
—International Expressive Arts Therapy Association
The Expressive Arts Therapy Concentration at Goddard College
At Goddard, we believe that the integration of expressive arts with psychology and clinical mental health counseling practices are complementary. The Expressive Arts have a long history of being a vehicle for engaging individuals and communities in change; informed by principles of social justice, liberation psychology, and the honoring of the individuality of each person. These are purposes that are consistent with the long-held values and objectives of Goddard College.
The Expressive Arts Therapy Concentration is designed to introduce students to the integration of the Expressive Arts into the practices of counseling and psychotherapy. The focus of the concentration is two-fold: that of contributing to each student’s development of self in the process of preparation for the work of counseling and psychotherapy; and that of developing a diverse range of practices in Expressive Arts, those that may be woven into the counselor’s professional work.
The concentration may also contribute to a student’s preparation in applying to be registered as an Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT) or as a Registered Expressive Arts Consultant Educator (REACE) with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association. As with other licensure directed programs, our program does not guarantee approval for such registration by this organization, but is intended to support our students who eventually prepare for this registration.
Students meet the requirements for the Expressive Arts Therapy concentration concurrently as they complete the requirements for the MA in Psychology or the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree. Participation in the Expressive Arts Therapy concentration does not necessarily affect the amount of time required to complete the program. Students who do not want to complete all of the Expressive Arts requirements are welcomed to incorporate expressive arts theory and processes into the coursework they complete for the MA in Psychology or the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree.
The low-residency model removes the barriers between living your life and learning. In our low-residency model, each semester begins with an eight-day residency on our campus in Plainfield, Vermont. Following the residency, there are 16 weeks of independent work and self-reflection in close collaboration with a faculty advisor and course mentors.
Your residency week offers seminars, meetings with your advising groups, workshops, one-on-one meetings with your advisors, and presentations. You’ll connect with faculty, practitioners in the mental health field, and your fellow students. You can be both collegial and contemplative; you immerse yourself in fellowship and community one moment, but the tranquility of a woodland trail or the Vermont landscape is never more than a two-minute walk away.
Goddard welcomes its alumni to each residency as mentors for new students and as presenters on professional issues such as licensure and practice methods.
Most of the learning experiences in the Expressive Arts Therapy Concentration are integrated into individually designed courses in psychology and clinical mental health counseling. In addition to integrating Expressive Arts practices into one’s internship experiences and infusing one’s final project with a focus on some domain involving expressive arts, there are two courses that are required electives for an Expressive Arts Therapy Concentration.
The following two courses are required for completion of the Expressive Arts Therapy Concentration:
Theory and Foundations of Expressive Arts Therapies
Students will explore how the expressive arts have in the present and historically been embedded into practices to grow healing within the individual, the family, and larger systems within cultures. Ritual, art making, dance, and other practices may be studied as they relate to discovering a globally informed diversity of beliefs around healing and growing well-being. This course will be infused with a focus on the process of engaging in Expressive Arts.
Multi and Intermodal Expressive Arts Practices in Therapy
An introductory course on the practice of engaging in multimodal and intermodal processes in applying expressive arts in therapies, emphasizing how diverse media can be applied thoughtfully and how each medium may inform the progression to another, allowing for a more complete processing of emotional material, moving from a light visitation into deepening into processing to softening and transformation of what has been engaged with. Students will produce a product where they engage in this process fully, with a narrative describing this process.
Students may add any of the following electives into their individualized degree plans:
Dreamwork in Expressive Arts Therapies:
This course will introduce students to the practice of engaging in expressive arts in dream work individually, with families, and in groups. Students will be encouraged to work with their own dreams learning in the course and from their dreams.
Expressive Arts as a Spiritual Path:
Historically expressive arts held a central place in the lives of human beings, for the purposes of facilitating transitions in life, healing wounds, and making meaning out of circumstances that eluded simple understanding. This course will engage students in an exploration of these traditions and how they can be integrated into practices in therapy today.
Craft making /Bookmaking in Expressive Arts Therapy:
This course will engage students in exploring one or two crafts that they find appealing and that can be integrated into expressive arts in therapy process. Their product for the course will involve at least one of the crafts with a link to some aspect of developing self.
Mindfulness Based Counseling Practices:
This course will engage students in an exploration of the practices that involve mindfulness meditation in counseling. Although research around this practice will be discussed, the focus will be on the student’s active involvement in either growing or deepening their own practice.
Movement & Dance in Expressive Arts Practices:
This course will engage students in an exploration of movement and dance as an expressive arts practice in therapy. Some of the original practitioners such as Daria Halprin and Mary Starks Whitehouse will be discussed, though the student’s primary attention will be focused on them engaging in practices consistent with this expressive art as it is practiced in therapy.
Expressive Arts Therapies as a Brain-Wise Practice:
This course will introduce students to the emerging evidence in neuroscience that expressive arts practices in therapies infuse treatment with potency that talk therapy alone cannot provide.
Sandtray Work in Expressive Arts Practices:
This course will introduce students to the historical underpinnings of using sandtray in treatment (Margaret Lowenfeld and Dora Kalff) along with more recently developed approaches (Sandtray-Worldplay, Humanistic Sandtray, and Mindfulness Based Sandtray therapy). Students will be encouraged to produce a series of sand trays (3 to 6 and working with an experienced sandtray therapist) for completion of this course.
Narrative Therapy Applied through Expressive Arts Practices:
This course will introduce students to the applications of techniques used in narrative therapy that align quite nicely with expressive arts practices. A measure of ‘playful approaches for serious problems’ will be embedded into this course.
Poetry Based Expressive Arts Practice in Therapy:
This course will introduce students to the engagement of poetry in personal development, healing, and treatment for a wide range of problems in living. Poetry can be viewed as writing that pulls from the heart…thus integrating the hemispheres of the brain.
Theatre-work and Expressive Arts Therapies:
This course will engage students in the practice of theatre, enactments, psychodrama and/or other dramatic arts in the practice of expressive arts in therapy. While reading may include that of Jacob Moreno and other founders of this practice, the focus of the course will be on the students engaging in and producing a product that involves one of these landscapes of expressing theatre within expressive arts therapy. Attention will be paid to how performance and public art involving drama has been used for initiating social consciousness and change throughout history.
Gestalt Therapy Practices:
This course will introduce students to the practice of Gestalt therapy that falls within the landscape of expressive arts and experientially based practices in therapy.
Photography in Expressive Arts Practices:
Photography as an expressive arts practice in therapy will be explored in this course. Students will be encouraged to engage in photography for the purposes of self-development and exploration in this course.