Expressive Arts Certification

Celebrate with me!  I just received confirmation that my application for REACE status (Registered Expressive Arts Consultant and Educator) was approved by IEATA (International Expressive Arts Therapy Association).  It was quite an intensive and thorough application process that included a Masters degree in a related field, a minimum of 2000 hours of expressive arts work experience, 200 hours of expressive arts training, an autobiographical statement, a statement of philosophy, a portfolio of both personal process and of a case study (including visual elements), three professional letters of reference, a resume, an ethical guidelines statement, promotional material, and transcripts.  I am quite honored to have my work validated by the Expressive Arts community in this way.

What exactly are the expressive arts? It is a way of using the arts for healing that draws on multiple modalities, moving from poetry to visual expression to movement for example. The focus is always on the process over product and so becomes an experience of creative freedom and discovery. I discovered the expressive arts when I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for graduate school in theology, and was delighted that I finally had a language and framework for the way I was already leading retreats and engaging in spiritual direction. Much of my professional work has focused on integrating the expressive arts with spiritual formation. (For instance the Awakening the Creative Spirit program which offers expressive arts training to spiritual directors and my new Pastoral Ministry Supervision Group).

-Christine Valters Paintner, OblSB, PhD, REACE @ Abbey of the Arts

** Make sure to read this week’s Sacred Artist Interview and let me know your favorite resources and practices for Advent **

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12 Responses

  1. thank you a million times for sharing this information…as a theology student who has been searching for years…trying to find the path for ministry that is true to my real gifts, has led me to a program where i can study theology, worship & the arts together…

    the requirements for your certification sound extensive…is your masters degree in the area of therapy/counseling? this is the first time i am hearing of the expressive arts as a method of healing…an area of ministry that i am also interested in…

    may i ask which theology program you studied in while you were in the bay area? i lived in the bay area for two years before returning to orange county and los angeles & considered studying at seminary in san francisco…

    what do you think are the benefits of using art for healing? how are the expressive arts integrated with spiritual formation? personally, the arts are a healing element in my life, both in creating and observing works of art…

    in looking at paintings and sculptures…drawing and taking pictures…reading literature and poetry…writing…listening to music of all genres from classical to rock…playing the piano and guitar…singing…through these forms of expression i find healing and restoration…intellectually, emotionally and spiritually…

    the arts are a way to express emotion, explore meaning, create beauty…the arts are an activity that helps you realize the ultimate experience of being human…they are an inspiring and enervating gift…creativity resembles or reflects the image of God’s ability and wisdom…care and love…

    creation is the ultimate expression of God’s goodness and beauty…our human expression of creativity is like God’s face reflected in ours…in photographs, objects, poems, songs…in art we find the heart and mind of God…we find our unique identities…and we can make imprints on each other, of both God and ourselves…

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