Expressive Arts Techniques: Innovations in Practice via Virtual Therapy

Over the past few years, we have experienced a new way of living and interacting with family members, friends, workplace colleagues and clients. The way we deliver mental health services has also changed. Providing therapy virtually to children, adolescents and their families has many benefits as it allows for the continuation of important mental health services, but also generates many challenges. Best practices suggest that integrative methods which impact the mind-body, somatic sensory integration and neurobiology are essential in trauma recovery. Expressive arts interventions have been proven to be effective in treating trauma in children & youth by encouraging externalization of inner trauma and facilitating the development of affect regulation. Expressive arts interventions which access and facilitate trauma healing are diverse, equitable and inclusive across the cultural and developmental spectrum for children and adolescents.
This presentation will enhance participants knowledge and skills of virtual therapy using empirically driven expressive arts practices to assist children, youth, and families from trauma care to healing and thriving. It is experiential, innovative, and interactive, and will help participants to facilitate therapy in a virtual space. Although the presentation will be delivered virtually, the expressive arts techniques presented can be used during in-person sessions. Featured are trauma-informed creative techniques from cultural and intersectional perspectives and process-oriented expressive arts techniques, such as storytelling, movement activities, social-emotional activities and sandplay are included.


Estela Andujo, Ph.D., LCSW

Clinical Associate Professor , University of Southern California Peck School of Social Work