The Intentional Use of Art in Therapy: Matching Intervention to Treatment Goals

The Intentional Use of Art in Therapy: Matching Intervention to Treatment Goals

Taught by: Drena Fagen, LCSW-R, LCAT, ATR-BC
Saturday, July 22, 2017
12:00 - 3:30 pm
Location: Create Community, 11 Peekskill Road, Cold Spring, NY (Hudson Valley)
$120 - Includes all art supplies

This 3.5 hour (3.5 CEs) workshop will provide clinicians with a beginning knowledge on the practical and treatment oriented use of visual arts in psychotherapy. This course is appropriate for MT, RDT, or DMTs interested in enhancing their ability to effectively integrate visual arts into their practice.

3.5 learning clock hours
11:45 - 12:00 Registration. Coffee, tea and light snacks provided
12:00 - 12:30 Presentation, discussion of the field of art therapy and scope of practice guidelines
12:30- 1:30 Hands-on art project and discussion to demonstrate how to introduce art projects to meet treatment goals.
1:30 - 2:30  Art making and practice engaging with the artwork to effectively support psychotherapy work
2:30 - 3:15 Discussion and synthesis of concepts and materials taught. 

3:15 - 3:30 Evaluation forms and CE certificate distribution

Description of course activity content:
This course will examine how to effectively and thoughtfully incorporate art into therapy with attention to designing interventions that meet treatment goals. How do we best use art with a child with ADHD versus a teen recovering from a domestic violence experience?  How can art be used to help adults address everyday problems? When do we make art-making the central component of the session or decide to use it for anxiety reduction as part of a talk therapy session?

Participants will be introduced to responsible techniques for how to understand the artwork by co-construct meaning and discussing the here-and-now process with clients.  Topics covered in this brief but intensive course include differentiating between process oriented, depth-oriented (meaning making), problem-solving, and esteem-building.  Learn how to plan projects that achieve your therapeutic objectives in the clinical moment. 

Discussion will include an overview of art therapy practice including New York State licensing, national certification and scope of practice guidelines. Course will review the advantages of art and nonverbal interventions including an understanding of basic media along the expressive continuum of control vs. regression.

A description of the teaching methods to be used:

  • Lecture and discussion to introduce creative arts therapy theory.
  • Role-play dyads of ‘therapist-client’ to practice activities and demonstrate the application of theory.
  • Group discussion of role-play experiences and impressions of activities to enhance learning and to gain perspective on the varied subjective experiences of group participants and to identify resistances that clients may experience when asked to complete tasks in a group setting.

The learning objectives of the course. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the possibilities and limitations for the use of the arts in therapy for mental health professionals who are not licensed as creative arts therapists.
  2. Identify the differences between process-oriented, depth-oriented, esteem-building, and problem solving art projects.
  3. Describe responsible techniques for discussing client artwork and co-constructing meaning that will forward the work of therapy to meet treatment goals.
  4. Plan how to use art in therapy for a specific client population and treatment goal.


Traveling from NYC to Cold Spring
Our office is located at 11 Peekskill Road, Cold Spring, NY and is accessible via Metro North commuter trains. Trains run hourly on the weekends out of Grand Central Terminal. It is a beautiful 20-25 minute walk through the village or a 5-minute cab to the studio from the Cold Spring train station. There is ample parking if you choose to drive.


New York Creative Arts Therapists PLLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0275, and is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists #CAT-0026 and licensed mental health counselors (pending #MHC-0065). New York Creative Arts Therapists PLLC may offer NYSED approved clock hours for events or educational programs that have been approved by the department. Sessions for which NYSED-approved clock hours will be awarded are identified on our website

  1. Cancellation policy. If class is cancelled prior to two weeks before a scheduled training receive a refund minus a $15 processing fee. Participants who cancel their enrollment less than 10 days before the first continuing education session will not be refunded but can receive credit towards a future training. A full refund or credit is given to participants with unexpected medical or personal emergencies.

Price: $120.00
Saturday, July 22 12:00 PM to 3:30 PM
This training was actually real experiential learning ..... It was very clinical and so applicable to any work that we do. I felt so rejuvenated after the workshop. It was truly so inspiring.

Participant from a similar course that was taught for the NYC Chapter of NASW.