Using Art for Mindfulness & Self-Awareness: A Process Approach


Using Art for Mindfulness and Self-Awareness: A Process Oriented Approach

2.5 CEs for NYS LCATs, LCSW, LMSW (LMHC pending)
Taught by: Drena Fagen, LCSW-R, LCAT, ATR-BC
Saturday, April 22, 2016, 3:00 - 5:30
Location: Create Community 11 Peekskill Rd, Cold Spring 10516
$95 - Includes all art supplies

Register for both the morning (Ethics of Self-Care) and afternoon (Using Art for Mindfulness) trainings on April 22 HERE.

2.5 learning contact hours
2:45 - 3:00 Registration. Light refreshments, coffee/tea provided.
3:00 -  4:30 pm Presentation, hands-on projects to demonstrate and practice skills
4:30 - 4:45 Break
4:45 - 5:30 Presentation, hands-on projects and break-out groups.
5:30-5:45 Evaluation forms and CE certificate distribution

Description of course activity content: This course will explore how the introduction of an art project into the therapeutic space can be used to attend to what is happening in the moment. These in-the-moment events may include 1) the relational dynamics occuring between the therapist and the client; 2) the self-talk, thoughts, and feelings of the participant; and 3) the various sensory and kinetic applications of using art materials.  We will discuss and demonstrate various art activities that can be used to elicit different feeling states and identify ways in which art making can be used to change mood and increase a person's mindful awareness of the moment and their own processes.

Topics covered will include:

  • How art making can be used to bring attention to the here-and-now process
  • How adding activities to a therapy session increases mindful awareness of sensory experience and thought patterns.
  • The ways in which art making can activate a client's self-awareness
  • The 'dangers' of how certain art making activities might escalate emotional responses or trigger traumatic memories
  • Strategies for helping clients reduce anxiety in vivo.
  • Opportunities to practice and experience a little self-care in the process of learning.

Teaching methods
1. Lecture and case presentations to illustrate how art making in session can be used in a process oriented manner.
2. Hands-on art directives to practice skills and put ourselves in the shoes of our clients.
3. Group discussion and role-play to identify and practice effective creative interventions.

The learning objectives of the course.

  1. The possibilities and limitations of using art in a clinical or therapeutic setting.
  2. Three ways in which art making can increase anxiety in the moment of the session.
  3. Two CBT approaches to utilizing a client's in-vivo response to art making tasks in session.
  4. Three ways in which a therapist can decrease anxiety or de-escalate emotional responses using specific art interventions.
  5. The difference between using art for mindfulness versus mindless diversion or distraction.

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


Price: $95.00
Saturday, April 22 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Researchers at Drexel University found that 75 percent of participants’ [in an art making study] had cortisol levels lowered during their 45 minutes of making art.
– Frank Otto writing for Drexel NOW.