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Creative Arts Program for Adult Trauma Survivors

Image: Rev Ian Ferguson

So inspiring!

Thoroughly engaging.  


Course Description

3 Hour Course

What is Trauma? What impact does trauma have on the stress response system in adults? How can a creative arts program address the impact of trauma in a group setting?

This course will discuss the impact of trauma on adult survivors and explore the benefits and challenges of using the creative arts in treatment and recovery. The creative arts therapies provide sensory experiences and include activities that are visual, kinesthetic, tactile, olfactory and auditory in nature. In fact, they are multi sensorial.

Participants will have the opportunity to consider the models of Dr Bruce Perry (neuroscientist) and Dr Cathy Malchiodi ( psychologist and art therapist), experience creative arts intervention that were developed specifically for trauma survivors as part of a therapeutic group program. This is an interactive learning course.

Learning Outcomes 

By the end of the webinar you will have had the opportunity to:

1) Explore the meaning of Trauma

2) Understand the impact of trauma on the stress response system using Dr Bruce Perry’s model

3) Review Dr Cathy Malchiodi's, "Bottom-Up Approach" using expressive arts therapy

4) Discover creative, sensitive, verbal and non-verbal ways of facilitating a space for recovery.

5) Experience and reflect on creative trauma informed interventions designed specifically for survivors of trauma.


Dates and Times

Live courses will be run live on

22nd July 2022, 10.00am - 1.00pm AEST


Attending from interstate or internationally?

You can use this time converter to check the exact day and time of this training for your location.


Presenter - Ann Soo Lawrence


Ann Soo Lawrence lives in Melbourne and is in private practice as a social worker and creative arts therapist. She is also a practising artist who finds something new to draw every day for self-care, fun and mindfulness.

After a career in clinical social work for over twenty-five years (specialising in counselling and mental health), Ann wanted to explore new ways for clients to express themselves beyond words. She began to use felting in her therapeutic work with teenagers for self- awareness and self-expression. This interest sparked Ann to further study in Art Therapy.

Of particular interest to Ann is working in a trauma informed way using creative modalities. These include embodied practices, music, writing, use of story-telling and art making for healing and recovery.

Holding space and working alongside survivors of torture and trauma has been a humbling and important learning experience in the last four years for Ann. It has challenged and stretched her practice and emphasised the importance of client centred work by creating temenos and openness to what emerges and working in innovative and experimental ways. Working on Zoom has also carved out new opportunities and skills.

Ann is an active member of the AASW and HTA.



Participant Preparation 

Please have the following materials on hand:

  • Device (other than your phone) you can leave on for the entire webinar
  • Large and small pieces of paper (your choice in white or craft paper or coloured)
  • Some art materials – pastels, crayons, markers, charcoal, coloured pencils, paints etc OR
  • Found objects (natural or man-made) or craft type items eg, collage papers, fabric, etc.
  • Any other art materials that you enjoy working with.


Approved ACA Event for 5 points


Participant Feedback

The workshop was exactly what I come to SCCC for - gentle, respectful and fully of amazing gems of wisdom & ideas. Thank you Ann!


I really enjoyed Ann Soo Lawrence's presentation. I enjoyed her balance between the experientials and theory and discussion. 


Thanks Ann - so great. I really enjoyed hearing about the different ideas for working with people whose trauma is still unresolved. Particularly loved the potting idea

Thinking of ways to include responding to rhythm in our online zoom sessions

Ann your presence has been wonderful as a guide

Thank you Ann…a very helpful presentation. All your ideas for creative expression are wonderful.

I loved the activities we got taught to use in the groups

This has been so helpful.  I loved the idea of sensory/hands on therapy to explore and let people speak as they feel able and the connection that provides.

This was so good. Thank you so much. I gained lots of ideas that I will use with clients - each activity has given me ideas that I will use in my own reflection times and also with clients.

Loved it all great ideas to take away

Thanks so much Ann for being real.

Loved the workshop with Ann Soo, person centred processes to apply with anyone who is in need of healing with the arts.


Ann Soo was an amazing facilitator able to hold the space and set the tone of the training so well. Training was well researched and covered some excellent points, also providing practical examples of how to apply it to sessions. Thank you, really appreciated your time. 


Fantastic- Ann Soo was a warm engaging and knowledgeable presenter. Course was affordable and informative and most valuably experiential. Thank you so much!


Ann Soo Lawrence was an excellent workshop leader. She obviously had a wealth of experience which she shared generously and clearly. I found it very helpful to participate experientially through the creative exercises. Overall, a highly enriching experience - thank you!