Expressive Arts Therapy: An Introduction for Integration with EMDR Therapy and Other Trauma-Focused Modalities


In this workshop:

Dr. Jamie Marich gives participants an overview of expressive arts therapy and some initial ideas on integration. She also will lead participants through an experiential expressive arts “process” on the theme of coping and healing through the current pandemic.

You will receive your training link a few days before the date of the workshop.

Expressive arts therapy is an approach to psychotherapy with roots in indigenous cultures and a rich history of evolution within modalities such as Jungian, person-centered, and Gestalt psychotherapies. Expressive arts therapy is characterized by its emphasis on the multi-modal process of healing (exploring many combinations for creativity rather than relying on just one art form) and the concept of process (similar to how the adaptive information process model conceptualized trauma healing). The strategies of expressive arts therapy, especially when taught within the framework of mindfulness, can prove useful to trauma therapists practicing in a variety of modalities. For EMDR therapists, mindful application of expressive arts strategies bolster the possibilities for how they can serve clients in Phase 2 (Preparation) and Phase 7 (Closure). Expressive arts practices can also better equip EMDR therapists for a myriad of issues that present themselves in navigating Phases 3-6 with complex trauma clients, specifically in working with dissociation and handling abreaction.


  • Describe the origins of expressive arts therapy (i.e., indigenous traditions, historical threads in Jungian analysis, person-centered psychotherapy, and Gestalt psychotherapy)
  • Define expressive arts therapy and explain its nature as a multi-modal, multi-art process
  • Explain the concept of grounding and why teaching it to clients is relevant in trauma-focused care
  • Implement an expressive arts process to teach grounding in a clinical setting (individual or group), using at least three creative art forms
  • Explain the concept of distress tolerance and why teaching it to clients is relevant in trauma-focused care
  • Implement an expressive arts process to expand distress tolerance in a clinical setting (individual or group), using at least three creative art forms
  • Develop a treatment plan appropriate for the clinical setting in which the participant works, utilizing expressive arts approaches to some degree alongside the participant’s primary approach to psychotherapy
  • Implement at least three art forms in the expressive arts tradition in Phase 2 for the purposes of grounding and widening affective window of tolerance, strengthening skills with dual attention stimulus as appropriate
  • Strategize how to include expressive arts therapy approaches into individualized closure (Phase 7) plans for clients, explaining how the process can be vital for managing affect in between sessions and overall distress tolerance/containment
  • Explain and implement how creativity and expressive arts approaches can be used to developmentally tailor the standard EMDR therapy protocol for children and people navigating complex trauma and dissociative disorders

Please plan on at least having some paper and pencils with you to participate, although you are also encouraged to have other art supplies on hand.


Dr. Jamie Marich (she/they) describes herself as a facilitator of transformative experiences. A clinical trauma specialist, expressive artist, writer, performer, short filmmaker, Reiki master, TEDx speaker, and recovery advocate, she unites all of these elements in her mission to inspire healing in others. She is a woman in long-term recovery from an addictive disorder and is living loudly and proudly as a woman with a dissociative disorder with the goal of smashing stigma about dissociation in the mental health field and in society at large.

Jamie began her career as a humanitarian aid worker in Bosnia-Hercegovina from 2000-2003, primarily teaching English and music. Jamie travels internationally teaching on topics related to trauma, EMDR therapy, expressive arts, mindfulness, and yoga, while maintaining a private practice and online education operations in her home base of Warren, OH. Marich is the founder of the Institute for Creative Mindfulness and the developer of the Dancing Mindfulness approach to expressive arts therapy. She is the developer of Yoga for Clinicians. Marich is the author of EMDR Made Simple: 4 Approaches for Using EMDR with Every Client (2011), Trauma and the Twelve Steps: A Complete Guide for Recovery Enhancement (2012), Creative Mindfulness (2013), Trauma Made Simple: Competencies in Assessment, Treatment, and Working with Survivors, Dancing Mindfulness: A Creative Path to Healing and Transformation (2015), and Process Not Perfection: Expressive Arts Solutions for Trauma Recovery (2019). Marich co-authored EMDR Therapy & Mindfulness for Trauma-Focused Care along with colleague Dr. Stephen Dansiger in 2018, and their new book with Springer Publishing Healing Addiction with EMDR Therapy: A Trauma-Focused Guide released in 2021. North Atlantic Books published a revised and expanded edition of Trauma and the 12 Steps in the Summer of 2020, and they released The Healing Power of Jiu-Jitsu: A Guide to Transforming Trauma and Facilitating Recovery in 2022. Her latest release with North Atlantic Book, Dissociation Made Simple: A Stigma-Free Guide to Embracing Your Dissociative Mind and Navigating Life is due out in January 2023.

The New York Times featured Marich’s writing and work on Dancing Mindfulness in 2017 and 2020. NALGAP: The Association of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Addiction Professionals and Their Allies awarded Jamie with their esteemed President’s Award in 2015 for her work as an LGBT advocate. The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) granted Jamie the 2019 Advocacy in EMDR Award for her using her public platform in media and in the addiction field to advance awareness about EMDR therapy and to reduce stigma around mental health. Marich formerly sat on the clinical workgroup of EMDRIA’s Council of Scholars, and currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research.

To see a full listing of Jamie’s books, please visit:–media.html

For Jamie’s complimentary resources page, go to:

To learn about training or studying with Jamie please go to:

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