Course Syllabus: Deepening Your Practice

California Institute of Integral Studies


Instructor: Kate T. Donohue, Ph.D., REAT
Private Practice Phone: 415-695-1464
Fax: 415-296-7425


The psyche is revealed not only through words, but through images, symbols and the body. The Expressive Arts reawaken the language of image, movement, sound, metaphor, drama and poetic utterances, revealing the deepest aspects of the self and expressing what often cannot be put into words. Drawing, painting, sculpture, movement, dance, sandplay ands ritual provide access to your client’s inner world Weaving art processes into clinical and counseling work greatly expands the capacity to articulate-with fullness and specificity-what lies buried within us, by using each modality as it called for in the unfolding process. As both therapist and client work with these healing multi-arts processes, the creative spirit moves is aroused and the therapeutic process itself is experienced as art.

Integrating clinical and expressive arts theory, experiential process with the arts and clinical applications, participants will learn about

  • their own creative process and
  • their artist within,
  • expressive arts trauma approaches,
  • applications to different psychic woundings,
  • growth approaches to consulting and education,
  • and how to begin to deepen and enliven their practice through the expressive arts.



Expressive Arts Therapy weaves the arts into healing tapestries. This course will introduce participants to the power, potential of these multi-arts processes to deepen, enhance and enliven. Participants will learn about the potentials of each art modality, the possibilities of different multimodal arts processes, and develop a deep personal relationship with their own creative process. Additionally, applications of these processes to clinical, consultation and educational setting will be explored.


Participants will:

  1. Experience expressive arts therapy processes.
  2. Develop a theoretical understanding of these processes.
  3. Begin to understand the ways to weave arts modalities.
  4. Be introduced to paradigms that will aid in comparing and contrasting modalities.
  5. Deepen their relationship t their own creative process
  6. Be able to apply EXA processes to their life and work


  1. Cognitive: discussion, reading assignments, and clinical material 30%
  2. Experiential: personal process with the EXA approaches 30%
  3. Practical: two assignments 40%


  1. Attendance and participation in class discussions:

Participation in all classes is required because of the emphasis on process and experience.

Please call if you will miss a class. Only compelling reasons will be accepted.  40%

  1. Completion reading and writing assignment: There is one written assignment. Please submit on due date, unless there is a compelling reason. 30%
  1. Completion of arts projects: There are two arts projects. Please submit on due date, unless there is a compelling reason.  30%


  1. Knill, P.J., Barba, H.N. and Fuchs, M. N. (1995) Minstrels of Soul: Intermodal Expressive Arts Therapy. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Palmerston Press.
  2. Levine, S., and Levine, E. (eds.). (1999). The Foundations of Expressive Arts Therapy. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Strongly Suggested:

  1. Lewis, P. (1993). Creative Transformation: The Healing Power of the Arts. Wilmette, Illinois: Chiron Publications. (Purchased for Sanjen’s class)
  1. McNiff, S, (1987). The Arts and Psychotherapy. Springfield, Illinois: Charles, C. Thomas.
  2. Levy, F. (1995). Dance and Other Expressive Art Therapies. Routledge Press: New York.


Eight classes are scheduled on Monday afternoons from 3-6 PM. There is one Saturday class on November 13th.

  1. August 30, Monday

Introduction to the class and to the field of EXA:

In this class, we will begin to open the door to the field of expressive arts therapy.

First, we will delve into the three worlds of consciousness active in EXA through an experiential process. Using this process, we will begin to define EXA. We will close with a discussion of syllabus and assignments: weekly arts response and final process exploring the artist within and a clinical application paper

Readings: Knill: Part One and Two

Levine: Introduction and chapter 8

Arts Assignment: With the clay provided, create an image of your temenos to hold you in this experiential class.

2.September 13, Monday

Creating the Temenos:

Using your clay images, we will begin to create each person’s and the group temenos. This will help us explore the relationship among the therapeutic process, the EXA process and spiritual explorations. This class will help us learn how visual images speak when used solely and as an integrative arts process. We will focus on individual arts process,

Readings: Levine: chapters 5 & 6

Arts Assignment: Explore one of the visual arts processes. Write about your images and memories that surface from exploring this process and what other modalities you might have used in conjunction with visual arts.

  1. September 20, Monday

Creating group life with EXA

In an experiential EXA process, we will explore our life of our group through the arts.

Using this experience, we will delve into the interplay of group dynamics and EXA. In addition, this experience will allow us to start to understand what each modality gives us creatively, therapeutically and spiritually.

Readings: Knill, Part 3

Levine: Chapters   7 & 9

Arts Assignment: Pick a piece of music and listen to this music, noting the imagery and somatic response you have to this music. After listening to the music, create an abstract drawing about the experience. Map the drawing and dialogue with the part that has the most energy.

  1. September 27, Monday

            EXA in Trauma work:

We will begin this class exploring trauma theory and some current brain research on trauma. With this foundation, we discuss somatically based approaches to trauma by viewing a video on body-oriented work with trauma of Bosnia. Additionally, I will share an expressive arts oriented therapy process with a young girl who was sexually abused. This will help us understand the power of the arts and body in healing trauma.

Readings: Levine: chapters 12, 13& 14

Arts Assignment: Explore one of the body-oriented processes. Write about your movements, images and memories that emerged, comment on the difference in experience with visual arts and movement. What modalities might you have woven into this experience?

  1. October 4, Monday

Experiential process focusing on EXA and Trauma. Please dress in loose fitting clothes in which you can move and create art. Discussion of the experience and clinical applications.

Readings: Knill, Part three

Levine: chapters 10 & 11

Arts Assignment: Using the imaginal language arts, write a poetic piece or story or myth about what you explored in class today. You may want to combine your poetic piece with another modality to explore it more fully.

  1. October 11, Monday

Exploring interpersonal intrapsychic relationships through the arts

We will focus on drama based expressive arts processes both group and individual to demonstrate how the arts can illuminate and uncover essential aspects of interpersonal and intrapsychic relationships. Please dress in loose fitting clothes.

Readings: Knill, part 4

Levine: chapter 3

Arts Assignment: Using drama-based processes, explore a dream or interpersonal dilemma and combine this exploration with another arts processes to get the feel of an integrated arts process.

  1. October 18, Monday

The Power of Play: In this class, we will discuss the power of play, the creative process and the potentials of an image. There will be integrative arts experiential group process to help illuminate these concepts.

Readings: Knill, part five

Levine: chapters 4 & 1

Arts Assignment: Choose from the handouts provided or create an integrated arts process to explore a dream, a life dilemma or to explore the power of play in healing.

  1. October 25, Monday

Applications of EXA:

We will discuss further applications to healing work:

Exploration of the weaving of the creative arts modalities

Discussion of work with different populations

Cultivating your own creative practice

Discussion of Final Arts Project.

Students are encouraged to bring questions and examples from their own work. We will have an experiential dyad work on how to use the arts individually. Examples will be explored on how to bring out the artist within in EXA work.

Readings: complete all readings assignments from both books

Arts Assignment: Prepare your presentation for 11/13. See assignments section for more information

9-10. November 13, Saturday

Final Class:

Students will present their final arts project. Depending on the size of the class, each student will have 10-20 minutes to present. We will discuss how to approach your final papers and ideas for further training and development in EXA as well as IEATA. We will close with arts based closing ritual created by the class.

Assignments: Weekly Arts Journal and Final Arts Project are due to today

Class Assignments:

Arts and Written Assignments:

  1. Weekly Experiential Art Assignment

In order to keep you close to your creative process, each week you will work with one or more art modality at home/outside of class. This is called an expressive arts aesthetic/artistic response. Please keep the power of play alive. For example, you paint, draw, work with clay, colleague, dance, make music, sing, create poetry or write creatively, enact an image, dream or character, role-play or some combination of the arts modality. You may also want to create an artistic response to the class material, readings or your own life issues. Each week suggestions are made for this arts process. Feel free to explore more arts than assigned or to change the arts process suggested if your muses take you elsewhere.

Please keep a journal of your weekly arts processes. The journal will include your art piece or a description of the piece. You can submit audio and videotapes too. In your journal, please save some space for writing your reflections and exploring your process in relationship to this piece. This will be submitted on November 8th in class.

  1. Final Arts Project

During the semester you have been working with the arts and your own creative process. On November 13th, each person will have 10-20 minutes (depending on the size of the class) to present an art piece that represents you creatively and artistically. One could present one modality or a weaving of modalities.   This will be a separate piece from the weekly art work. More details will be presented class.


One could present an EXA case study from their practicum or work. In this option, we will focus on your creative process as healer and the choices and decisions you made in guiding this work.

Final art projects will be presented in class on November 13th.

  1. Final Reflection Paper

This will be submitted two weeks after your final arts presentation. In this paper, use reflections from the readings, class discussions, plus the feedback from the class on November 8th. Write a five –eight page paper about your understanding of your arts process, your creative process and how this relates to the field of expressive arts therapy. Include in this, how you might imagine using expressive arts therapy in your personal and professional life.


If you presented your EXA work with another, this would be a reflection of your creative process as a therapist, discussion of your choices of modalities, how you wove the arts together, and what you learned about the arts and this person from this experience.

Suggested Readings:

Arieti, S. (1976) Creativity: The Magic Synthesis, New York: Basic Books

Edwards, B. (1979) Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc.

Edwards, B. (1986) Drawing on the Artist Within, New York: Simon and Schuster

Goleman, D., Kaufman, P., and Ray, M. (1992) The Creative Spirit, New York: plume Books

Ghiselen, B. (ed.) (1952) The Creative Process, Berkeley, CA: University of California Pres

Haley, J. (1986) Uncommon Therapy: The Psychiatric Techniques of Milton Erickson, M.D., New York: Will Norton & Co.

Hopcke, R.H. (1992) A Guided Tour of the Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Boston: Shambhala Books

Hyde, L. (1983) The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, New York: Grove Press

Jaffe, A. (ed.) (1979) C. G. Jung: Word and Image, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press

Jaffe, A. (1984) The Myth of Meaning in the Work of C.G. Jung, Zurich, Switzerland: Daimon

Jung, C.G. (1933) Modern Man in Search of a Soul, New York: Harcourt Brace – World, Inc.

Khalighi, D.H. (1990) The Creative Expression Method, (through author)

Leonard, L.S. (1990) Witness to the Fire: Creativity and the Veil of Addiction, Boston: Shambhala Books

Levine, S.K. (1992) Poiesis, Toronto, Canada: Palmerston Press

May, R. (1975) The Courage to Create, New York: W.W. Norton

Menakak, S. (1982) Otto Rank: A Rediscovered Legacy, New York: Columbia University Press

Miller, A. (1990) The Untouched Key: Tracking Childhood Trauma in Creativity and Destructiveness, New York: Boston Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

Moustakas, C. (1967) Creativity and Conformity, New York: Van Nostrand and Reinhold Company

Neuman, E. (1979) Creative Man, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press

Neuman, E. (1959) Art and the Creative Unconscious, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press

O’ Brien, M. and Little, C. Leds (1988) Reimaging America: The Arts of Social Change, Philadelphia, PA: New Society Publishers

Rank, O. (1932) Art and the Artist: The Creative Urge and Personality Development, New York: W.W. Norton & Company

Robbins, LB (1985) Waking Up in the Age of Creativity, Santa Fe, N.M.: Bear and Co. Books

Rothenberg, A. (1988) The Creative Process of Psychotherapy, New York: W.W. Norton and Company

Shlain, L. (1991) Arts and Physics, New York: William Morrow and Co., Inc.

Van Dech, R. (1971) A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative, New York: Warner Books

Winnicott, D.W. (1971) Playing and Reality, New York: Harmondsworth

Willings, D. (1986) The Creatively Gifted, Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Psychology Publishing Company