Brainwave Patterns as a Target for Artmaking in Therapy 05/29/16


"The Great Wave off Kanagawa" by Katsushika Hokusai Gone are the days when people could say with great certainty (or assumption) that artmaking is a right-brain process.  Advances in neuroimaging have been able to detect multiple cortical areas that light up in response to engagement with art media, and imaging techniques are now starting to be capable of zeroing in on the type of brainwave activity that artmaking elicits in those areas.  But what brainwave patterns seem to be most conducive to therapy, and what kinds of art experiences appear to elicit those patterns?  The answer may depend on the goal for therapeutic intervention; perhaps one size does not fit all.  Delta and theta and alpha—oh my!


Confused already?  This experiential workshop will gently introduce clinicians to delta and theta and alpha—along with beta and gamma—via the mock (i.e., no electrodes!) replication of a study that investigated the interaction between artmaking processes, cortical areas, and brainwaves.  Participants will have the opportunity to attend to their own subjective experiences associated with engagement in baseline and experimental conditions, which in turn will help them develop a “felt” sense for different types of brainwave activity.  Implications for therapeutic utility will be explored in conjunction with the integrative framework of the Expressive Therapies Continuum, a balance-promoting assessment and intervention model from the world of art therapy.  Clinicians will be able to make a connection between the ETC’s Media Dimension Variables and the experimental conditions of the study to better inform their selection of artmaking experiences with clients.



Participants will be able to

  • differentiate between five brainwave types and four cortical areas that are considered optimal for neuroimaging purposes.

  • heighten awareness of physical, emotional, and intellectual experiences associated with four different tasks and translate these experiences in terms of brainwave activity.

  • identify the Media Dimension Variables of three of these tasks as a basis for understanding a prescriptive approach to artmaking in therapy.


Date: Sunday, May 29, 2016

Time: 1:00-3:00 pm

Location: Arc of the Arts Studio & Gallery / 4902 Grover Ave. / Austin, TX 78756

CEUs: 2.0 for TX counselors, marriage/family therapists, and social workers

Investment: $55 includes all materials; space is limited—register by May 22 to ensure your spot


Bring your business cards!  My goal for all workshops is the sharing of knowledge and experience in a safe and supportive atmosphere, so please be prepared to be a co-creator of such an environment.  Thanks!

CEU Information

ABCs for Therapists is an approved provider of continuing education for:

  • The Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, provider #522
  • The Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, provider # 1380
  • The Texas State Board of Social Workers Examiners, provider #5825

Please note that ABCs for Therapists does not assume liability for your clothing or jewelry.  Aprons/smocks will be provided for your convenience, but it is your responsibility to dress accordingly when working with art materials.  Thank you!


cancellations received on or before 05/19:

Your workshop fee will be fully refunded, or you may donate your spot to someone else if you’d like.


cancellations received 05/20-05/24:

Your workshop fee will be 50% refunded, or you may donate your spot to someone else if you’d like.


cancellations received 05/25-05/29:

Your workshop fee will not be refunded, but you may donate your spot to someone else if you’d like.


Standards of competent practice in art therapy require a graduate education in art therapy as well as supervised training in art therapy.  Attendees who lack these won't develop the knowledge and skills for competent art therapy practice, but they will enhance their understanding of the use of art in assessment and treatment.


About the Image on This Page

The Great Wave Off Kanagawa created by Katsushika Hokusai in 1831. The original work is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired per US copyright laws; this may or may not apply to other countries as well. Click here for more information.