Northwest Creative & Expressive Arts Institute in Seattle


Welcome to Northwest Creative and Expressive Arts Institute

We provide quality continuing education and training in Expressive Arts Therapy for mental health professionals throughout Seattle, the Puget Sound region and Northwest environs!

The next cohort of the Professional Training Program begins in September 2020 in an online format. More information is here. 

The 2020 application period has closed. Consider applying for next year’s cohort, to begin in September 2021. This Training Program is for you, if you are a licensed clinician or associate, or currently enrolled in a graduate program in counseling, counseling psychology, social work or equivalent, and want to learn how to integrate  Expressive Arts Therapy into your practice.   

Read our Creative Response to COVID-19. We’d love your artistic contributions!

We invite you to take a look at our upcoming Expressive Arts Therapy CE Workshops, as well as our Expressive Arts Therapy Professional Certificate Training Program which begins with a new cohort each Fall.

Due to the precautions necessary to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus all workshop are being held online until further notice.  We are presenting our upcoming workshops  online as interactive webinars, until we are certain we can safely offer the creative, hands-on experience in our studio.  More details here.

Check out our mission+vision+values, and the bios for our wonderful Faculty, Staff, and Board!  We would love to answer any questions you might have about our organization and how we can serve your CE and training needs!

Read our FAQs, and sign up for our mailing list to receive the 411 on our upcoming programs!

We offer CEs to mental health professionals including social workers, mental health counselors, and marriage and family therapists. 

Northwest Creative & Expressive Arts Institute is a NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider ™, ACEP No. 7014.

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Why Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy?

Expressive Arts Therapy is a multi-modality, integrative approach to working with the creative arts. We use visual arts, drama, music, writing, sand tray, and movement to explore the experience of being human and foster growth and healing.

By including the arts in the therapeutic process, we are employing a modality to consider qualitative aspects of the person that are not readily measured by quantitative, laboratory-based methods, although there is a large and growing body of evidence of its effectiveness. The literature suggests, and we have found in our own Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy practice the following:

  • Expressive Arts Therapy is Expansive. Over the last fifty years, it has become clear that traditional forms of psychotherapy have limited effectiveness for many people.
  • Expressive Arts Therapy Engages the Whole Being. For optimal health, we need to be able to connect feelings and ideas (both right and left hemispheres of the brain), to link past and present, to make sense of the now, and to plan for the future. Engaging in the creative arts, whether visual, drama, movement, writing, or music provides this opportunity.
  • Expressive Arts Therapy is a Bridge. Offering a way to make contact, connect, and begin a meaningful dialogue for those who may have difficulty expressing themselves in traditional talk therapy.
  • Expressive Arts Therapy Holds Space. The creative arts provide an opportunity for the safe expression of feelings, creating a “boundary” or “container” where previously there may have been none.
  • Expressive Arts Therapy is Client-Centered. The client has the opportunity to work with both the process of creating, as well as the product/outcome.
  • Expressive Arts Therapy Helps Tell a Story. Engaging in the creative arts can be part of how a client tells their story. Through visual art, drama, music, writing, movement, and sand tray, there are opportunities to explore one’s story and gain awareness and insight to generate healing, and new narratives.