Expressive Arts Therapy: Trauma-Informed Tools for Youth and Young Adults


Using a trauma-informed lens, this training offers tools from Expressive Arts Therapy for working with youth and young adults. Presenter Suraya Keating, MFT, REAT, RDT, will discuss a variety of multimodal arts practices that can be used to soothe the nervous system; promote self-awareness; and support the agency, empowerment, and well-being of youth and young adults. Simple interventions using visual arts, visualization, movement, creative writing, music, and theater will be introduced as embodied alternatives to talk therapy that are rooted in attuning to the unique needs and diverse background of each youth or young adult client.  The training will be designed around the framework of the four most common trauma responses (fight, flight, freeze, and fawn), and a variety of effective bottom-up and top-down arts strategies will be incorporated to address each of these four responses.


Participants will:

  1. Be able to identify the four most common trauma responses and recognize 2-3 common symptoms that are characteristic of each of these responses among youth or young adults of diverse backgrounds.
  2. Be able to describe one key feature of a top-down approach to trauma and one key feature of a bottom-up approach to trauma.
  3. Learn and practice two expressive arts interventions geared towards supporting youth engaged in each of the four common trauma responses.

This professional skills developmental training is intended to serve those who support the well-being of youth and young adults, including Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Drug Recovery Counselors, Psychiatric Nurses, as well as those in trainings or internships programs for their respective licenses.


This training is from 12-2 p.m. PT on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 and is free of charge.

2 CEUs are available for a $25 application and processing fee for those who complete the training.

Register for the Expressive Arts Therapy: Trauma-Informed Tools for Youth and Young Adults by Tuesday, November 16, 2021 

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Meet the Presenter

Suraya Keating Profile PhotoSuraya Keating, MFT, REAT, RDT, is a master trainer in Expressive Arts and Drama Therapy as well as adjunct professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies. For 25 years, she has facilitated Expressive Arts and Drama Therapy processes with individuals and groups in schools, prisons, and hospitals, with a focus on populations who are marginalized and oppressed. During this time, she has also guided others in the creation and performance of therapeutic life-story theater. For 10 years, Suraya co-supervised Contra Costa County’s Expressive Arts Therapy Department, where she trained and supervised MFT associates in the cultivation of a wide variety of tools from Expressive Arts Therapy to support the wellbeing of individuals on the inpatient medical and psychiatric units of a county hospital, in addiction recovery programs at outpatient clinics, and in a variety of other settings. Since 2005, she has worked as Shakespeare for Social Justice Director for Marin Shakespeare’s prison programs, where she has trained hundreds of teaching artists, drama therapy students, and others interested in bringing the arts to carceral settings. Suraya works with therapeutic clients in-person and online, and also offers individual Expressive Arts consultation sessions as well as one-to-one solo performance coaching.

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