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Arts & Healing Initiative

Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring Online Facilitator Training (SEAS) Summer 2023

Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring Online Facilitator Training (SEAS) Summer 2023

Regular price $179.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $179.00 USD
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registering more than one person? in the "special notes" section on your cart page, please list all attendee names (first & last) and email addresses.

date & time:

Four sessions over two weekends:  8/12, 8/13, 8/19, 8/20 (2023)

Each session will be held from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm Pacific Time (PT)


Erica Curtis, LMFT, ATR-BC
Ping Ho, MA, MPH
Stacie Aamon Yeldell, MA, MTBC, AVPT

View full details

Additional Information

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

To purchase CEs for this program, please read the information below and contact to purchase.

This course meets qualifications for 13 hours of continuing education (CE) credit for psychologists, LCSWs, MFTs, LEPs, and LPCCs. CEs can be requested for an additional $50.

UCLArts & Healing is approved by the California Psychological Association (CPA). UCLArts & Healing maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Those who attend this workshop in full and complete the appropriate evaluation form will receive CE credits. Please note that credit will only be granted to those who attend the entire workshop. Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credit.

Instructor Bio

Kathy Cass MA, BC-DMT, NCC, C-IAYT, CAHC, AYT-NAMAis a board-certified dance/movement therapist, nationally certified counselor, certified yoga therapist, certified Ayurvedic health counselor, and Ayurvedic yoga therapist with over 30 years of instructional and clinical experience. She is the co-author of the curriculum and training program, Dance For All. She is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at El Camino Community College and Santa Monica College, Emeritus Division. Kathy is advisor and core faculty for UCLArts & Healing's Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts. She has been a guest lecturer at UCLA, Scripps College, and CMER at Loyola Marymount University. Kathy maintains a private Ayurvedic yoga therapy and consulting practice in Santa Monica, CA, where she empowers her students and clients to reconnect with their true nature through movement, breath, nature, and the arts. for more information.

Erica Curtis, LMFT, ATR-BCis a Board-Certified Art Therapist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Erica has over 15 years of experience and education in integrative approached to health and well-being. Formerly an instructor in the Loyola Marymount University Department of Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in art therapy, she now serves as their admissions consultant and maintains a therapy practice in San Juan Capistrano. Erica has served multiple terms on the board of directors of the American Art Therapy Association, is a past president of the Southern California Art Therapy Association, and was formerly clinical director at the Help Group, a widely respected Los Angeles non-profit agency. She has lectured widely for institutions and organizations including UCSD, USC, UCLA, SOKA and Kaiser Permanente. In addition, she serves as a mental health and relationship expert for articles, appearing in more than 50 media outlets including: USA Today, Boston Globe, EHow Family, PBS, and Women’s World Magazine, to name a few. Erica serves as an expert for her profession’s governing board, consulting on standard of care in disciplinary cases brought against therapists. She also supervises art therapy interns. Erica is the author ofThe Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art.

Ping Ho, MA, MPH is Founder and Director of UCLArts & Healing, an organizational member of the UCLA Integrative Health Collaborative, of which Ping is a steering committee member. She was founding administrator for the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, which led to the privilege of writing for Norman Cousins and co-writing the professional autobiography of George F. Solomon, M.D., founder of the field. She has a BA in psychology with honors from Stanford—where she was appointed to establish the still-thriving Health Improvement Program for faculty and staff, an MA in counseling psychology with specialization in exercise physiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MPH in community health sciences from UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Ping is associate editor for the Creative Arts Therapies section of the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She spearheaded the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA) and the SEA on a Shoestring program of supportive art, movement, music, and writing for individuals or groups in any setting. In addition, she co-developed and served as principal investigator for the evidence-based program, Beat the Odds®: Social and Emotional Skill Building Delivered in a Framework of Drumming.  She is co-author, with Erica Curtis, of the 2019 National Parenting Products Award-winning book, The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art (Ohio University/Swallow Press, March 2019).

Stacie Aamon Yeldell, MA, MTBC, AVPTis an award-winning vocalist, speaker, and music psychotherapist with over 15 years of experience in mental health treatment. As the founder of Amöntra, a consulting company based in California, she has facilitated a range of therapeutic mindfulness practices for individuals and organizations, including The Grammy Foundation, The Riveter, GoogleArts and Culture, and YoungArts. In addition to being a faculty member for UCLArts & Healing, Stacie has spoken at events like Women In Music and DisclosureFestTM. She has also appeared on CBS News, in Renée Fleming’s "Music and Mind Live," and is featured in the documentary "Proven." Stacie holds a masters degree in music therapy from New York University, in addition to certifications in sound and music healing from the Open Center and Vocal Psychotherapy (AVPT) from the Vancouver Vocal Psychotherapy Institute.

Program Schedule

Session 1: Social Emotional Arts General Guidelines and Communication + Writing Activities with Ping Ho, MA, MPH

Session 2: Social Emotional Arts Containment Strategies + Movement Activities with Kathy Cass, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, C-IAYT, CAHC, AYT-NAMA

Session 3: Music Activities with Stacie Aamon Yeldell, MA, MTBC, AVPT

Session 4: Art Activities with Erica Curtis, LMFT, ATR-BC

Materials - What to Bring


Pencil or pen

Paper, notepad, or journal

A little handheld shaker. Homemade alternatives: small plastic Easter egg or small plastic bottle or container filled with a little rice, seeds, sand. Make something that sounds pleasing to your ears.


A tissue box (with tissues in it)

Cotton swabs

Cotton balls

A scarf (as large as possible)

Pencil or pen

Paper, notepad, or journal


A little handheld shaker. Homemade alternatives: small plastic Easter egg or small plastic bottle or container filled with a little rice, seeds, sand.  Make something that sounds pleasing to your ears.

Found sounds. Look through your home or kitchen for things that make noise – bring out your homemade shakers again, look for wooden spoons (you can tape your homemade shakers to them!), try hitting stainless steel mixing bowls with rubber spatulas or homemade mallets made of chopsticks with a large wad of tape wrapped around the ends, boxes, plastic food storage containers, pillows . . . Bundt pans turned upside down make great bells.

Pencil or pen

Paper, notepad, or journal


Pencil or pen

Paper, notepad, or journal

Colored pencils or markers (if you have them; don’t worry if you don’t)

Found objects for art making (you do not need to have all of these things). Here are some examples below. You can gather and use as many or as few of these objects as you wish in your art making. And feel free to come up with other ideas of your own. You will make the art piece during the session.

Paper plates


Masking or painter’s tape

Paper cups


Cotton balls

Cotton swabs


Gauze pads

Disposable face masks

Disposable gloves

Popsicle/craft sticks


Construction paper

Pipe cleaners


General office supplies such as a stapler, paper clips, or rubber bands

Clean sock

Financial Assistance

We believe transforming lives through creative expression should be financially accessible. Please reach out to us at for scholarship and payment plan information.

Online Login Details

This is a online program through Zoom. If you are new to this platform, watch a how-to tutorial here. A welcome email, which includes the link to join the program, will be sent to you after you register. Please check your inbox and spam folders.

Refund Policy

In order to keep our programs affordable yet self-sustaining, we regret that we are unable to offer refunds for cancellation; 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.

Digital Media Release Policy

By registering, you give UCLArts & Healing 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.

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.

View a descriptive narrative of the training, with photos, from our blog.


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. For more information on TAG, click here.

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, a two-day training at our annual conference on Creativity & the Arts in Healing, as well as contracted trainings on demand.

To learn the difference between the Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring training and the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts, click here.


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!”

“Incredible. Gracias.”

“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

“Loved it!”

“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.”