Workshops & Training

Elizabeth conducting a feltmaking workshop at GWU.

Elizabeth conducting a feltmaking workshop at GWU.

All workshops and training are eligible for continuing education credits through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC).

Stress Reduction

Arts-informed approaches to stress reduction has been the primary focus of Dr. Warson’s research leading to the development of individualized training sessions for healthcare centers, professional organizations, and community centers. Dr. Warson’s approach integrates guided visual drawings, visual journaling techniques, clay work, and mindfulness breathing techniques.

In collaboration with Dr. Malchiodi’s Trauma-Informed Practices & Expressive Arts Therapy Institute, a two-day professional training focusing on enhancing resilience and reducing stress was held on Sept. 13 & 14 in Fort Collins, Colorado. A follow-up June training will be held in 2014 (tba). To inquire about online training, please access this link.


Social and Cultural Diversity

This training addresses the competencies essential for culturally responsive therapists. Through self-assessment and exploration of culture, participants will gain the awareness, skill, and respect necessary to think critically, to establish rapport, and to work effectively with diverse individuals and groups. The format for this workshop is based on Dr. Warson’s previous academic teaching,  scholarly research, and community training program through Colorado Senate Bill 98.

Training Goals:

•     Participants will apply theoretical concepts from multicultural counseling to devise and implement culturally-therapeutic interventions in individual, family, and group therapy, using competencies identified in the Multicultural Counseling Competency (MCC).
•     Participants will conduct self-assessment of values, assumptions, biases, and beliefs through ongoing art-based reflective exercises that foster personal growth and promote cultural responsiveness.

Training sessions consist of a one-day format (8 hours) and can be modified to meet the needs of your agency or institution. Please contact us to inquire about format and pricing.

Arts & Health

Fostering wellness through the arts is the focus of this workshop.  Guided visual drawing and painting combining mindfulness breathing exercises are designed to assist with the reduction of stress and perceptions of physical pain.  Sustaining self-care is emphasized through visual journaling techniques.  The directives included in this workshop were devised based on Dr. Warson’s research on arts-informed stress and pain management as well as innovative biomarker research with co-investigators from Eastern Virginia Medical and The George Washington University.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Participants will learn about wellness models in context to maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
  • Participants will engage in art experiential activities to promote the reduction of stress and perceptions of physical pain.
  • Through visual journaling exercises, participants will acquire skills to reinforce self-care practices.

Workshops consists of a 3-hour format. Please contact us to inquire about format and pricing.


This workshop/training is geared for the artist, expressive therapist, arts educator, clinician, recreational worker, and occupational therapist seeking training in a body-based approach to arts-informed engagement. Contemporary feltmakers have long recognized not only a primal connection with material but also a multi-sensory experience involved in the process: smell/texture of dry wool, sensation of felting with soapy warm water, and the fulling process (throwing wet felt).  This kind of sensory work has implications for self-soothing for all age groups, from simple felted balls to more step-oriented layered pieces.  The therapeutic benefits of feltmaking are beginning to emerge in occupational therapy and, now, in art therapy.

Applicable to all ages, feltmaking is a non-toxic and safe process that only requires wool, water, and soap.  There are no needles or looms necessary to create felt from the raw wool. It is a process that can be done with populations that may otherwise not be able to use art materials.  Feltmaking can be done alone or within a group and is process oriented, i.e., it involves repetitive compression and agitation to the wool, which moves the individual fibers together forming a felted surface.

From an art therapist’s perspective, the tactile process of feltmaking addresses the  Kinesthetic/Sensory (K/S) level of  Lusebrink’s (1990) Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC). The neurological mechanisms of the haptic sense of feltmaking have the ability to stimulate emotion and memory.  This positions feltmaking as a viable option when working with people with Alzheimer’s, brain damage, dementia, and the developmentally impaired.  Therapeutic experiences in feltmaking are emerging in geriatric and pediatric populations and in substance abuse counseling, centering on stress reduction, strengthening self-perception, and sensory engagement.

Co-facilitators: John Lorance, MS, ATR, LPC A, LMFTA and Dr. Warson, have presented on the therapeutic application of feltmaking for the American Art Therapy Association and individually for programs throughout the United States. John is an art therapist and incorporates feltmaking as a therapeutic intervention for all age groups. Dr. Warson is a professional fiber artist and has mentored her graduate art therapy students on the therapeutic benefits of felting since 2006.

Training Goals:

  • Participants will articulate the historical origins and contemporary approaches to feltmaking
  • Participants will experience the multi-sensory therapeutic benefits of feltmaking

Workshop/training consists of an 8-hour format. Please contact us to inquire about format and pricing.

Previous Workshops and Seminars

Visual journaling workshop, Changing Patterns of Cancer in Native Communities: Strength through Tradition and Science, Mayo Clinic Spirit of EAGLES tri-annual conference, Albuquerque, NM. 2013.

“Experiencing Healing Pathways,” visual journaling workshop for Native American Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers, sponsored by the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and the Colorado River Tribes, Parker, AZ. 2013

“Art Therapy Approaches to Enhance Resilience and Reduce Stress,” Malchiodi, C. & Warson, E., Northside Aztlan Community Center, Fort Collins, CO, 2013.

Lakota Medicine Wheel Workshop, Warson, E., Loud Hawk, A., & Blacksmith, R., Graduate Art Therapy Program, The George Washington University, Alexandria, VA. 2012.

Art Therapy Workshop, Native American Political Leadership Program, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 2010, 2011, 2012.

Pain Reduction Workshop, Pain Management Clinic, Fond du Lac Tribe, Cloquet, MN, 2011.

“Felting the Senses,” Therapeutic feltmaking workshop for cancer survivors, Native People’s Circle of Hope Conference, Billings, MN, 2011.

“Felting the Senses,” Therapeutic feltmaking workshop for professional art therapists, GW art therapy community and students, 2010.

“American Indian Art Therapy Celebration,” Community workshop and presentation for the Coharie Tribe, Clinton, NC, 2009, 2010.

“Felting the Senses,” Workshop for the American Art Therapy Association Conference, Cleveland, OH, 2008.

“De-stressing Through Imaging Work: Current Trends in EMDR,” Riverside Behavioral Health Center, Hampton, VA, 2008.

“Drawing out Stress,” Hampton University, Hampton, VA. July 2008.

“Self-Care through Art Therapy,” Strelitz Diabetes Center, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA. May, 2008.

Masking Making Workshop,” Spirit of E.A.G.L.E.S. Southeastern Alliance Conference. Savannah, GA. March, 2008.

Healing Pathways: Art for Survivors,” Psychiatry Ground Rounds, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA. February, 2008.

Stress Reduction Art Therapy Workshop, North Carolina Senior Coalition Conference, Fayetteville, NC. November, 2007.

Stress Reduction Art Therapy Workshop, Cherokee Women’s Wellness Center, Cherokee, NC. August, 2007.

Gang Prevention and Awareness Workshop, Teens against Violence Outreach, Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA. March, 2006.

“Culturally Responsive Therapy” Psychiatry Ground Rounds, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA. February, 2006.

“Narrative Therapy with Adolescents,” Naropa University, Boulder, CO. January, 2003.

“Creative Approaches to Parenting Adolescents,” Wonders of Women Conference, Fort Collins, CO. March, 2003.

“What the Heck does a Psychologist do Anyway?” Front Range Community College, Fort Collins, CO. September, 2003.

Mandala workshop, Colorado State University. Fort Collins, CO. July, 2002.

“Trauma Work in Art Therapy,” Art Therapy Association of Colorado, Boulder, CO. October, 2001.

“Starting from Scratch: Designing your own Art Therapy Program,” Art Therapy Association of Colorado, Boulder, CO. March, 2001.

Guest speaker/group facilitator for Project Self-Sufficiency, Fort Collins, CO. November, 2000.

“Mi Vida Loca,” Expressive Therapies Conference, Denver, CO. February, 2000.

“Natural Tendencies,” Ashland College, Ashland, OH. April, 1995.

Guest speaker/group facilitator for cancer survivors, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. September, 1995.

“Psyche and Soma,” Presentation for Art Studio symposium, Cleveland, Ohio. October, 1994.

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