Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring (SEAS)
Interested in facilitating supportive activities in art, movement, music, and writing? Learn how to work with any age group, ability, number of participants, and budget in our online training that includes a menu of activities that can be delivered immediately and sustainably. The training includes guidelines on social emotional arts practices intended to help:
- Create rapport and connection
- Evoke positive emotions and bolster resilience
- Empower patients in managing stress and pain
- Facilitate verbal and nonverbal communication
- Strengthen the creative vs. illness narrative
- Manage grief and loss
Our online training program is taught in four separate modules—art, movement, music, and writing/poetry—through experiential learning, and is designed for practicality. For example, the arts modules are designed on the assumption of little or no supplies being available. This enables sustainable delivery by educators and care providers in settings with limited resources, such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, clinics, and other community settings.
Our extensive curriculum manual is laid out in a user-friendly, scripted format for easy facilitation. And the activities are versatile. The manual includes instructions for adaptation to different lengths of time available in working with participants, different age groups and abilities, and individual vs. group work. They also include instructions on incorporating other art forms into any particular experience.
Our Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring program was originally designed to contribute toward the Quadruple Aim of health systems: to improve population health, to enhance the patient experience of care, to reduce per capita health care spending, and to improve the work life of health care providers.
The curriculum is also useful for other settings (e.g., nursing homes, schools, other community-based organizations) and with other populations (e.g., veterans, people in substance abuse rehab centers, domestic violence shelters).
Creative expression is a window to the soul that enables supportive patient and family engagement, without the expense or stigma of therapy. It allows issues to be brought up in a way that feels organic and safe. Moreover, the arts can uniquely enhance positive emotions and not just reduce negative ones. Rigorous studies of the arts used in healing contexts show biological evidence of stress reduction. And studies have shown that creative arts therapies used with cancer patients are beneficial for reducing anxiety, depression and pain, and improving quality of life.
The curriculum and training were designed by a team of leading creative arts therapists (board certified and/or registered mental health professionals with dual training in the arts) and informed with input from an array of UCLA departments, such as Alzheimer’s/dementia, child psychiatry, neuro-oncology, nursing education, and spiritual care.
Since Spring 2016, we have trained first-year medical students at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, which has enabled them to serve patients with brain tumor, stroke, and traumatic brain injury at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The initiative evolved into the formal creation of the Therapeutic Arts Group (TAG) within the medical school, as well as inclusion of UCLA undergraduates within that student organization. We have also trained UCLA undergraduates, who have been supporting the medical students by accompanying homeless individuals through the UCLA mobile clinic process. The program offers a mutually-supportive experience for both facilitators and patients. Medical students can see patients sooner than their traditional curriculum allows and can witness the health care experience from the eyes of the patient.
We have trained many mental health and allied health professionals affiliated with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, who are using these tools during group work, clinic sessions, or in-home visits. In addition, the program is useful as a tool for outreach. This training program is also in demand by many educators and arts professionals, as it teaches them the fundamentals of social emotional arts work and provides them with a scripted set of activities to follow. For example, we have conducted the full training for Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. In addition, we have given introductory sessions to 4th year medical students and visiting scholars from China.
become a social emotional arts on a shoestring facilitator
We offer a four-session online training twice a year as part of our signature programming as well as contracted trainings on demand.
From Trainees in Medical School, Mental Health, Education, Healthcare and the Arts
“Thank you so much! More please!”
“Best training I ever attended.”
“Great interactive training!”
“This is a beautiful program. I can see how it could make a real difference for a patient.”
“So good. Very interactive and engaging.”
“Fun . . . [and] learned how to approach more difficult patients.”
“The entire training was very valuable and essential to my role with my organization.”
“[I am] Learning very useful interventions to use for clients and families. Personally, feeling more confident, being more aware, more present, sillier, joyful, calm and excited. Insights about my life and things that pop up in my head that I had put in a drawer or so I thought.”
“This session gave me simple, accessible activities that are rich and profound in discussing/sharing.”
“The activities were enriching both personally and professionally.”
“Offered me more insight to my own narrative and how I can use it to meet others where they are in their process.”
“I know and believe that power of art healing but now I have more dialogue to support it. These sessions help with the why it is so helpful.”
“I learned interventions to use with clients and with my own children.”
“Useful strategies to use with children and their parents.”
“Loved this training! Very helpful with lots of new interventions to try! Thank you!”
“Enjoyed all 4 sections today. Learned a lot!!”
“Thank you so much for everything! I’ve learned so much and can’t waot t try it with my students.”
“Wonderful hands on activity. One of our best trainings. Many thanks!”
“This is what my soul has been reaching out for! Really applicable activities to use and adapt. Thank you!”
“Very engaging and immediately useful.”
“Phenomenal! Really engaging and extremely relevant to the work we do. Cannot wait to incorporate into my classroom. Thank you!”
“So informative and fun!! Thank you!!
“This training really teaches inspirational lessons that can be taught in our classrooms. Trainers are amazing!”
“So many things I want to try in my room!”
“Thank you! Please do more trainings!!”
“Realistic and tangible. All of you are so knowledgeable. THANK YOU!”
From Patients Experiencing the Program Facilitated by Medical Student Trainees
“It was a pleasant distraction from the usual day. Thank you!”
“I felt free to express my mental short comings due to my mental deficit but had a ton of fun forgetting all of that and enjoying the company.”
“I liked feeling less cooped up.”
“I loved being able to be in an uplifting mood.”
“What you’re doing is good for someone who is down in the dumps.”
Participant Expectation Policy
In accordance with our mission and cultural, equity and inclusion practices, our aim is to foster a supportive, healing, and collaborative learning environment, whether in an online or in-person setting.
With this goal in mind, we ask our program participants and staff to acknowledge, and abide by, the following community agreements:
- Practice loving kindness, nonjudgment, and listening to understand
- Acknowledge your feelings and the feelings of others
- Practice cultural humility, acknowledging the lived experience of others and our own privilege and biases
- Hold in confidence what is shared here personally
- When speaking, be mindful of time for others to be heard
- Practice self-care and seek support as needed
- Keep cameras on, if/when possible, to maintain your presence
In order to protect participant and staff safety as well as the integrity of our programming, we have adopted and maintain a zero tolerance policy for inappropriate and/or triggering behavior, whether accidental or intentional. Such behavior includes offensive or discriminatory actions related to sex, gender, gender identity or expression, race, color, ancestry, religious creed, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital status, military or veteran status, medical condition, genetic information, or any other characteristic.
Digital Media Release Policy
By registering, you give Arts & Healing Initiative approval to record this event, still and/or moving images from which may appear in printed materials or digital channels for archival, educational, or promotional purposes. Note that Zoom breakout rooms are not recorded.
In order to keep our programs affordable yet self-sustaining, we regret that we are unable to offer refunds on enrollment fees ; however, we are happy to provide you with credit good for one year from the date of the program toward the next offering of the same program or a different one. Credit applied toward a program with higher registration fees will require payment of the balance. In addition, credit may be applied toward purchase of curriculum materials for any program. Unused fees after one year would then be tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law because no goods or services would have been received for them.
Click here for our Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts refund policy.
- Enroll in a PhD, PsyD, or master's degree program in clinical or counseling psychology, social work, or marriage and family therapy, and then supplement your training with creative arts therapy training in your art form(s) of interest.
- Enroll in a graduate program in one of the creative arts therapies. Most of the credentials offered in these fields, which teach integration of specific art forms with mental health practices, are at the master’s level.
- Enroll in a two-year training program in Expressive Arts Therapies. These programs offer credentialing in the integrated use of a variety of art forms for therapeutic purposes.
- Enroll in our Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts. This comprehensive program is for anyone who wishes to learn how to design, deliver, and evaluate their own effective programs. It offers practical training that addresses what professionals may encounter in the community. Creative arts therapists who have taken the program have reported that it is invaluable and offers training in areas not addressed by their previous academic curricula. Many of our trainees come from the arts, education, mental health, and complementary health care. Some are fresh out of college and exploring career options, others are mid-career and wanting to add a therapeutic element to their work, and still others are making career transitions after many years in other professions.
- Enroll in our online, four-session Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring training offered as part of our signature programming, or join us for the two-day online offering at our annual conference on Creativity & the Arts in Healing. This training offers scripted activities in four different art forms that are adaptable to any population, setting, ability level, time frame, or budget. It can be used with groups or individuals. It teaches the key principles of social emotional arts work.
- Additionally, volunteering is a great way to familiarize yourself with the field and what it is like to work with different populations. Here are several possibilities:
- We often seek translators/interpreters to volunteer their services at our workshops.
- There are two programs that partner with Arts & Healing Initiative, which often actively seek volunteers: ALMA (Addressing Loneliness through Movement and Art) and the Creative Minds Project (although Creative Minds Project may require more extensive training in order to be involved).
- Some of our organizational partners often seek volunteers as well: Safe Place for Youth, Able Arts Work, and The Miracle Project are a few examples.
- We also partner with a Therapeutic Arts Group for UCLA medical and undergraduate students.
- Professionals who have completed a formal degree program in the creative arts therapies, typically involving masters level integrated training in mental health and the arts with supervised internship hours and a certification option.
- Mental health practitioners who have created a social-emotional arts curriculum for a specific population that is well documented and tested.
- Graduates of our Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts who have demonstrated mastery of their training in the design and delivery of programs that maximize the social-emotional benefits of arts experiences.
- Recruitment is also often based in knowledge of an individual’s work and recommendations from trusted sources.
Beat the Odds® (BTO)
How can I order a copy of the curriculum?
The curriculum manual is available via the Curriculum Materials section of our website. You can choose from the manual alone or the manual with a DVD showing our LCSW co-developer delivering the program to a group of 4th grade students. The scripted curriculum is designed for delivery via the manual alone, although we also offer 1-day trainings here in LA and occasionally in other parts of the country. You can find information about our trainings in the Upcoming Program section of our website.
How much space to do I need to store drums?
- The drums nest together in groups of 3. For 30 drums, there would be 10 groups. Two groups can be stacked vertically on one another. Most of the groups are the same height (all tubanos) except for two, which consist of some different types of drums (tubano, timbau and djembe combo), so they are a little taller.
- A stack of two groups of tubano drums will require 1 foot square land space and 51" height. There would be three of these.
- A stack of a group of tubano drums and mixed drums will require 1 foot square land space and 58" height (an additional 7"). There would be two of these.
- Therefore in total, you would need a 5 foot square land space and 58" height to accommodate 30 drums. For 60 drums, you would multiply this by 2.
- If you do not have the height to stack 2 groups of drums on top of one another, but have a space with width, just assume a 10 foot square space to accommodate each stack of drums and a height of 32" to accommodate the tallest stacks. For 60 drums, you would multiply this by 2.
FOR 15 DRUMS
- You would need a 3 foot square space and 58" height for 15 drums.
- If you have more land space and less height, you need a 5 foot square land space and a height of 32" to accommodate the tallest stacks.
- Present our research findings and other scientific justification for drumming to your administration by sharing with them the following document: Beat the Odds®: A Brief Summary of an Evidence-Based Program.
- Facilitate buy-in for the program by demonstrating the Booster Session in the curriculum with students or with staff.
- Show excerpts from the training DVD, which can be purchased with a manual via our Curriculum Materials section, particularly the clips demonstrating the "Student-Led Call and Response - Drum in Middle" and the reflection" (on empathy) that follows.