Sunday, 20 December 2015

One Day Expressive Arts Therapy Workshop

-An experiential day of using the arts for therapy, education, and community building.
-Excellent workshop for therapists, child care workers, nurses, social workers, psychologists, art therapists and educators.
-This workshop will offer participants an opportunity to explore how the arts may be used both individually and in group format.  Viewing slides of client art and experiencing various hands-on art modalities will support the integration of theory and practice.

Date: February 5, 2016, Friday
Time: 9:30 - 4:00
Location: 57 Bearspaw Summit Place, Calgary
Cost: $150
Facilitator: Carmen Richardson MSW, RSW, RCAT, REAT


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Expressive Arts REVIVAL:
Rekindling the Imagination

Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
Howard Thurman

And this is one of the gifts of expressive arts - the gift of creative expression that brings one into personal aliveness.  A “revival” is defined as, “a restoration to bodily or mental vigor, to life or consciousness.”  This two day revival is an opportunity to come together as companions on an expressive arts journey and restore and reconnect with our own muse, our inner inspiration.  Previous expressive arts experience not necessary, but a readiness and openness to explore and express through the arts is required!

Dates: March 5 & 6, 2016 (Saturday & Sunday)

Time:  10:00 - 5:00

Location: 57 Bearspaw Summit Place, Calgary

Cost: $350 early registration (mail postmarked before February 1st, 2016)
$400 (paid after February 1, 2016)

Facilitator: Carmen Richardson MSW, RSW, RCAT, REAT

To register email:

Closed Mentoring/Consultation Group for Facilitators and Therapists

When: Saturday mornings:

November 21, 2015
December 12, 2015
January 9, 2016
February 13, 2016

Time: 9:00 - 12:00

Cost: $150/per 3 hour session (must sign up for all 4 sessions as group is closed meaning new people will not be allowed)
Post-dated cheques accepted.

Location: 57 Bearspaw Summit Place

Facilitator: Carmen Richardson

  1. A safe professional place to help bring your ideas/dreams to fruition.
  2. Group support to increase a sense of connection and build supportive relationships.
  3. Consult on difficult cases/scenarios, explore blocks, address questions.
  4. Increase opportunities to challenge yourself to move towards meeting your goals.
  5. Closed group setting increases accountability to attaining personal goals.
  6. Expressive arts used throughout the mentoring/consultation process.

Registration Due Date: November 1, 2015

To register email:

What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches 
against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea? 
In the trees beyond the house? 
In the life you can imagine for yourself? 
In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk? 

David Whyte

Sunday, 20 September 2015


Expressive Arts Therapy for Traumatized Children and Adolescents:
A Four Phase Model
Carmen Richardson MSW, RSW, RCAT, REAT

New Release Available at 
Routledge Publishing at

This book is the culmination of over 25 years of clinical work with children and trauma.  The purpose of this book is to provide a structured framework using expressive arts therapy for the treatment of trauma in children and adolescents.  It is written from a resource-oriented perspective, integrating resources at every step in the therapy process.

A one-week intensive training based on this four-phase model will be offered in 2016.  Contact Carmen at for further details.

New Expressive Arts Programs for 2016

Advanced Training in Expressive Arts Therapy for Traumatized Children and Adolescents
One Week Intensive
Based on the Four Phase Model

Expressive Arts Two Day Refresher
For individuals who have taken any previous expressive arts training and are wanting to revitalize their interest and passion in the arts both professionally and personally.

Expressive Arts Group Mentoring Program
A mentoring/consultation group for individuals who have taken Level 1 and/or Level 2 Expressive Arts Training.
A safe place to explore your dreams and visions.
A place of support and encouragement to take action to realize those dreams.
Consultation regarding the integration of the expressive arts into your practise as either therapist or consultant/educator.


Thursday, 13 August 2015

2016 Level 1 Immersion Program

Expressive Arts Training - Level 1 Certificate
Immersion Program
April 2016 - September 2016

Imagine Possibilities

Scheduled Dates
FIRST IMMERSION - April 22 - 29, 2016
Introduction to the Program – Students & Trainers
April 22, 2016
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Module 1: The Healing Art of Creative Writing and Storytelling
Dates: April 23 & 24, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Module 2: Art Therapy
Dates: April 25 & 26, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

DAY OFF - April 27, 2016

Module 3: Music Therapy
Dates: April 28 & 29, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

SECOND IMMERSION - September 11 - 17, 2016
Module 4: Dance/Movement Therapy or Drama Therapy
Dates: September 11 & 12, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Module 5: The Art of Intermodal Expressive Arts Therapy
Date: September 13 & 14, 2016
Time: 10:00 - 5:00

DAY OFF - September 15, 2016

Module 6: Community Art
Dates: September 16, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Module 7: Day of Visioning
Date: September 17, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m

2016 Level 1 Training Program

Expressive Arts Training - Level 1 Certificate

January 2016 - June 2016

Scheduled Dates

Introduction to the Program – Students & Trainers
January 22, 2016
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Module 1:  The Healing Art of Creative Writing and Storytelling
Dates:  January 23 & 24, 2016
Time:  10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Module 2:  Art Therapy
Dates:  February 20 & 21, 2016
Time:  10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Module 3:  Music Therapy
Dates:  March 19 & 20, 2016
Time:  10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Module 4: Dance/Movement Therapy or Drama Therapy
Dates:  April 16 & 17, 2016
Time:  10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Module 5:  The Art of Intermodal Expressive Arts Therapy
Dates:  May 14 & 15, 2016
Time:  10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Module 6:  Community Art & Day of Visioning
Date:  June 11 & 12, 2016
Time:  10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

Prairie Institute of Expressive Arts Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

Art Therapy vs Expressive Arts Therapy: What is the difference?
Art and Expressive Arts are two different professions with two different registering bodies.  Art therapists are trained to utilize primarily visual arts in their therapeutic work with clients.
Expressive arts therapists are trained to utilize a variety of modalities including visual art, creative writing/storytelling, music, drama, and dance/movement.

What is intermodal expressive arts therapy?
Intermodal expressive arts is using a combination of these modalities within one session (i.e. writing a story inspired from their painted picture, then drumming while sharing the story).  PIEAT’s training is grounded in the intermodal use of expressive arts.

How do I become an art therapist?
To train to be an art therapist in Canada, you can practice with a two year art therapy diploma from a recognized school or with a master’s degree in a counselling program (i.e. social work, psychology) along with an advanced diploma in art therapy.  There are various schools across Canada that offers these programs (see CATA website for schools).

I have a degree in _____, and I want to be an art or expressive arts therapist, what do I do?
First, if you are truly interested in working in the role of therapist, having a master’s degree in social work, psychology, or counselling followed by specialized training in art or expressive arts training can possibly open more doors than having only a diploma without a master’s degree.

Second, be clear about the two professions and where you want to put your time, energy, and money.  Do some research on the various professional options.  Be aware of the various levels of programs offered in Canada, the amount of money for each, and whether or not they will get you where you want to be professionally.  

In Alberta, there are some specific art therapy positions in various agencies and within the government, though they are limited.   

I don’t have a master’s degree in a related field, and I am not interested in pursuing one, but I am interested in art or expressive arts.  What are my options?
If interested in art therapy, you could do a two year diploma in a recognized school.  If you are interested in expressive arts, you might consider a program (such as PIEAT) that provides specialized training in expressive arts.  Do note, that if you do not have a master’s degree, it is not possible to practice as an expressive arts therapist.  It is possible to consider the role of an Expressive Arts Consultant/Educator (see below under Registering Bodies).

What does PIEAT offer?

Here at PIEAT, we offer training in expressive arts only.  Our training programs are for both therapists/counsellors and consultant/educators/facilitators (i.e. artists, nurses, physicians, teachers, chaplains, etc).

PIEAT offers a Level 1 program that provides students with 75 hours of training in the foundations of expressive arts.  That is, experiencing the various modalities through weekend or immersion trainings.  

The Level 2 training program is for professionals who are interested in furthering their studies in expressive arts to help formulate their professional expressive arts identity, be it as a therapist or consultant/educator.  While some of the training is done jointly, in Level 2 there is specialized training in both streams as therapists and consultant/educators.  

How much work is there in between the weekend trainings in Level 1?
The training was designed with the working professional in mind.  There are assigned readings, along with other requirements between sessions, however, the amount of work is very doable.  

The immersion program requires pre-immersion preparation, including readings, and for the second immersion, teaching and facilitation preparation.  There are weekly requirements between the immersions, but very reasonable.  Please contact PIEAT for the specifics of program requirements.

Do I have to go to Calgary, or can I do this on-line?
We do not offer on-line training.  All training is done on-site in Calgary.

How long do I have to be in Calgary for the Level 1 & 2?
Level 1 training is offered in two formats.  There is a January to June training that requires students to attend one weekend intensive per month for 6 months.  The training is Saturday/Sunday from 10:00 - 5:00.  The first weekend training has an additional 3 hours of training, when students and trainers meet on the Friday night from 6:00 - 9:00.

The other format for Level 1 is the April - September immersion.  This format requires students to attend one week of training in April and one week in September.  There are other requirements that are completed between sessions on your own.

Level 2 is offered in Calgary as a summer intensive over the last 2 weeks of July.  The training is offered in 4 day intervals with one day off in between (4 days training, 1 day off, 4 days training, 1 day off, 4 days training).  

For current dates, see Blog under Current Training Dates.

What is the location of the trainings in Calgary?
There are various locations for the different modules of training and the locations vary depending on group size.  Please contact PIEAT for current locations.

Where do I stay in Calgary?
Lodging is the responsibility of the student.  Some students have used to locate a place to stay.

What can I do with this expressive arts training?
While the field of expressive arts is relatively young, there is a growing interest in the field of creative arts for healing.  Students who take this program use their training in a variety of ways.  Therapists integrate the use of the expressive arts in their clinical settings (private practice, hospitals, residential programs) in a variety of ways, including work with individuals, families, and groups.  For therapists, specialized training in expressive arts offers their clients additional effective interventions to deal with a variety of issues.

Consultant/Educators go on to use their training to deepen and/or expand their work, be it with groups, individuals, and/or families.  For example, they find ways to integrate the arts into their already existing profession (i.e. coaches, mental health nurses who may use the arts in therapeutic groups for youth, teachers finding creative ways to teach their curriculum, or spiritual directors/pastoral workers using the arts in retreats).  

What is the advantage of taking Level 2?
Level 2 training offers an additional 75 hours of training that may be used towards registration with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA).  It also offers students the experience of deepening their understanding of the theory of intermodal expressive arts and the experiential practice of using expressive arts as a therapist or as an educator/consultant.  Students also receive 7 hours of group supervision as part of the program.  

I already have training in expressive arts, can I take Level 2?
Each application will be evaluated individually to determine suitability for Level 2.  Typically, Level 1 is a prerequisite for Level 2 training.  However, if the applicant can show that they have had at least 75 hours of other expressive arts training, they may be considered for Level 2.  It is up to the applicant to provide documentation of previous training.  

What are the registering bodies?
Art therapists, who have the required training and supervision hours can apply to register with the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA).  

Expressive arts therapists, who meet the training and supervision requirements can apply to become registered through the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA).  

What kind of registration is there in the field of expressive arts?
IEATA offers registration for two streams of professionals (see their website,  for a more thorough description on their requirements to register in either stream).

Registered Expressive Arts Therapists (REAT)
Registration as a REAT is for professional therapists with at least a master’s degree or PhD and specialized training in expressive arts, and post-education supervision.

Registered Expressive Arts Consultant/Educators (REACE)
Registration as a REACE is for people who may or may not have a degree, but are using the arts in their work, and have specialized training in expressive arts.

Can I use the title Expressive Arts Therapist?
Although the title is not protected at this time, if you do not have a master’s degree in counselling with specialized training in expressive arts therapy, this is not the title to use.  This would be a title for those who meet the requirements for REAT (see above or go to IEATA website).

If you have some other professional background, and/or training in expressive arts you may consider the title Expressive Arts Consultant/Educator (see IEATA website).

For further information, please contact, Carmen Richardson at
or call (403) 245-5553 ext 15

Saturday, 14 March 2015

2015 Trainings

Expressive Arts Training: Level 2 Certificate

Dates: July 17 - July 30, 2015

Registration Deadline: April 1, 2015

This two week summer intensive training program is designed to further refine the skills needed for developing an expressive arts practice.  There are two specializations.

The therapy specialization is for social workers, counselors and psychologists who are interested in the specifics of using expressive arts in their clinical practice.

The Consultant/Educator specialization is for individuals who are using expressive arts based groups and wanting further training in the facilitation of expressive arts in their work.


INspired INtrospection
A one day retreat for therapists who have taken expressive arts trainings, or who use the arts in their practice, or who simply need a day of retreat.
A nurturing day of focusing oriented expressive arts to rejuvenate the therapist’s mind, body and soul.

Date: June 19, 2015                                          
Registration Deadline: June 1, 2015
Time: 10:00 - 4:00 Cost: $150  (a vegetarian lunch is included)   
Location: 57 Bearspaw Summit Place

One Day Workshop in Expressive Arts Therapy
An experiential day into the field of expressive arts for therapy, education, and community building.  This is an excellent workshop for therapists, child care workers, nurses, social workers, psychologists, art therapists and educators who are interested in having the opportunity to personally explore how the arts may be used both individually and in group format.

Date: Friday, October 2, 2015    
Registration Deadline: September 11, 2015
Time: 9:30 - 4:30
Location: 57 Bearspaw Summit Place Cost:  $130 (Student Rate $110)

or call Carmen Richardson at (403)245-5553 ext 15