Date & Time: March 25, 2022 – December 16, 2022
Location: Garden City Campus

60 CEs

AEAC is a multimodal expressive arts-based learning program that introduces the application of the expressive arts in the counseling process. Social workers, psychologists, mental health counselors, substance abuse professionals, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors as well as established creative arts therapists are all welcome to apply.

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Tuition Rates

$2460 – Registration Fee

$1968 – Alumni, Field Instructor, Field Liaison, AUSSW Staff

(Payment Plan will be provided)

Scholarship Information

A limited number of partial scholarships are available based on financial need.

Course Overview

In this 60-hour introductory experiential-learning-based CE certificate program, participants will experience each of the six expressive arts modalities (art, dance/movement, drama, music, psychodrama, and writing/poetry) as well as multimodal integrative special topic sessions addressing work with: children/adolescents, life transitions and aging, substance use disorders and trauma-informed care, and arts-based applications to cases and supervision as well as for closure and processing loss.

Important Note: This program does not certify one as an expressive or creative arts therapist and each expressive art form has its own organization and credentialing process.

For more about this please see There are also entire Master’s degree programs in both Creative Arts or Expressive Arts Therapy. NYSED also offers a license in Creative Arts Therapy. For more information about this please visit

Each session will cover scope of practice issues and offer insight on where to get additional training and/or how to obtain certification if that is of interest.

Educational Goals

The expressive arts combine psychology and the creative process for the purpose of wellness and promotion of growth and healing. Though many mental health professionals may utilize creative approaches in their work, many do so without formal training or on-going professional support.

The term expressive arts also promotes work that is multimodal, incorporating the use of more than one art form.

Educational Objectives

Each session will allow learners to:

  • Establish an awareness of the history and major thought leaders in each modality as well as available training programs
  • Provide an overview of critical developmental and clinical theoretical underpinnings
  • Relay code of ethics for each modality and considerations, including practice guidelines for non-credentialed practitioners and the availability of consultation and further training
  • View the work through a social justice and trauma-informed case-based lens
  • Discuss case-based examples of how expressive arts enhance externalization of repressed material and provide opportunity for concretization of the abstract
  • Experience response art-making as a way of processing transferential aspects of the counseling relationship
  • Experience a sampling of engagement and closure exercises for application with both individuals and groups
  • Explore how one would utilize the structure and pacing of the Expressive Arts continuum for each modality
  • Articulate application of presented techniques to one’s own practice population
  • Develop sample facilitation exercises for use in workshopping with cohort peers
  • Build community among counselors interested in promoting arts-based interventions


9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Program Outline

This program will span over 10 months during the calendar year from March to December (meeting one Friday per month for 6 hours). Though our intention is to meet in person, with the changing needs of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program must be able to shift to a virtual format as needed.

Session Date Topic
1 3/25

Using Expressive Writing, Poetry and Metaphor in Counseling, with Nancy Scherlong

2 4/29 Using Visual Art in the Counseling Process, with Lillian Ankrah
3 5/20 Multimodal: Life Transitions and Aging, with Dan Summers and Carol Fishman
4 6/24 Using Sound and Music in the Counseling Process, with Shawna Vernisie
5 7/29 Incorporating Dance and Movement into the Counseling Process, with Cashel Campbell
6 8/19 Multimodal: Using the Arts with Children and Adolescents, with Craig Haen
7 9/30 Using Drama Techniques in Counseling, with Britton Williams
8 10/28 Utilizing the Action Methods of Psychodrama in Counseling, with Scott Giacomucci
9 11/18 Multimodal: Substance Use Disorders and Trauma-Informed Care, with Adam Reynolds and Francesca DeBiaso
10 12/16 Multimodal: Arts for Closure, Loss and Arts-Based Application to Cases in Supervision, with Shawna Vernisie and Rebecca Versaci


Expressive arts methods are best learned in an experiential and group environment. This cohort learning model affords participants continuity over time and the opportunity to develop a deepening process in self-reflection as well as in understanding and clinical skill.

Presenters will be making use of PPT presentations for large group didactic learning, and case example discussions, brief video clips to demonstrate skill application and small groups for experiential activities and exercises.

Faculty Bios

Nancy S. Scherlong

Nancy S. Scherlong, LCSW-R, PTR, CJT, CM (Lead Faculty) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of NY and CT. She is also a Registered Poetry/Biblio Therapist, Certified Journal Therapist and an approved mentor in both methods. She is the current co-president for the International Federation of Biblio-Poetry Therapy (IFBPT), one of the six expressive art credentialing organizations. She served as the therapeutic writing Government Affairs Chair to NCCATA (the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations) for 10 years, helping to advance awareness of and coverage for expressive arts interventions. Nancy is a writer and an integrative arts-based psychotherapist who has been specializing in stress management, trauma resolution and addiction recovery for over 25 years. She is a two-time recipient of the National Association for Poetry Therapy’s Distinguished Service Award and has also been named an Adelphi Hudson Valley campus Field Instructor of the Year. Her passion is in creating intentional and brave spaces where all voices are heard. She provides workshops as well as distance coaching, consultation and training services. An Adelphi alum (1997) and adjunct faculty since 2008, she also provides online campus advising for Columbia University and is a member of core faculty of the Therapeutic Writing Institute and on the training staff of Kint Institute.

Photo courtesy of 5th Annual DEL Movement Sentence Choir @92nd Street Y, 2019

Cashel Campbell MS, BC-DMT, LCAT is the creator & owner of Feel Heal Dance. Feel Heal Dance is a Dance/Movement Psychotherapy and Spiritual Intuitive private & group practice. As an Energy healer and Advanced Reiki L3 Practioner (Gassho & Sho Ka Reih), Cashel provides embodied therapeutic support through talk therapy, dance/movement wellness & reiki/spiritual counseling sessions. To date, Cashel has had the honor of providing dance/movement psychotherapy & recreation therapy in several settings in and around New York City, including: OPWDD, New York City Health & Hospital onsite at Rikers Island & Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center.

Ms. Campbell’s scope of practice includes an integrative psychodynamic approach that incorporates indigenous, theoretical & clinical therapeutic healing practices. As a leader, she consistently guides with compassion & empathy, while encouraging skill building & positive self esteem throughout the therapeutic process. An Adjunct Professor and Board Certified off-site clinical supervisor (Pratt Institute), Cashel finds joy in being a support for individuals, clients & students alike. Her methods & practice offer deep emotional exploration & creative expression, all aimed towards individual & collective self discovery & resilience.

Craig Haen

Craig Haen, Ph.D., RDT, CGP, LCAT, FAGPA has a private practice working with children, adolescents, adults and families in White Plains, NY. He serves as graduate and doctoral faculty at New York University and Lesley University, teaching courses in both clinical practice and research. Dr. Haen is a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, where he co-chairs the Community Outreach Task Force, a group that responds to trauma events in diverse communities and authors the organization’s public statements on human rights issues. He co-founded and serves as Program Director for the Kint Institute, which offers post-Masters clinical training in the arts and trauma treatment. His most recent book is Creative Arts-Based Group Therapy with Adolescents, with Nancy Boyd Webb.

Carol Merle- Fishman

Carol Merle- Fishman, M.A., LCAT, FAMI, LMHC, is the President of the International Integrative Psychotherapy Association, a Certified International Integrative Psychotherapist/Trainer/Supervisor, and co-author of “The Music Within You,” She is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery. She is on the faculty of the Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy Vancouver, B.C., and is in private practice in New York.

Scott Giacomucci, DSW, LCSW, BCD, CGP, FAAETS, TEP is the Director/Founder of the Phoenix Center for Experiential Trauma Therapy in Media, PA; Director of Trauma Services at Mirmont Treatment Center; and Adjunct Professor & Research Associate at Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work teaching a course on trauma-focused psychodrama. In 2021, he published an open-access textbook “Social Work, Sociometry, & Psychodrama” (Springer Nature) which is the first to comprehensively outline the connections between social work and psychodrama (over 75,000 downloads online).
He is a Board-Certified Diplomate and Doctor of Clinical Social Work; Board-Certified in Sociometry, Psychodrama, & Group Psychotherapy; Certified EMDR Practitioner/Consultant; Certified Experiential Therapist/Supervisor/Trainer; as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Scott serves on the Executive Council of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama (ASGPP), the Advisory Board of the International Society of Experiential Professionals, and the Trauma & Disaster Task Force of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy. He is currently co-chair of ASGPP’s Research Committee and Professional Liaison Committee, as well as a founding member of the Sociatry and Social Justice Committee.

Shawna Vernisie

Shawna Vernisie, MA, LCAT, MT-BC is a Lead Creative Arts Therapist at Cohen Children’s Medical Center (New Hyde Park, NY), where she specializes in providing medical music psychotherapy within pediatric critical care, palliative care, and medical/surgical care. She is a Board-Certified Music Therapist and Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in the state of New York. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Therapy with a minor in psychology from Marywood University (Scranton, PA), and a Master of Arts degree in Music Therapy from New York University (New York, NY). Shawna is currently pursuing a Master of Health Administration from Capella University, with a specialization in Health Care Leadership. Shawna is an active member of the American Music Therapy Association, serving as an Assembly Delegate Alternate and as a member of the organization’s ethics board. Shawna presents on the use of music therapy as a vital healthcare service both locally and nationally, and is an avid clinical researcher with experience in both mixed methods and qualitative methods, relating to music therapy within the critical care environment. In 2017, Shawna was presented with Northwell Health’s President’s Award for Exceptional Patient/Customer Experience, highlighting the impact that music therapy has had on hundreds of pediatric patients and families. In her free time, Shawna enjoys spending time with family, finding new restaurants to explore, and utilizing music as a means of self-healing and restoration.

Britton Williams, LCAT, RDT-BCT is an adjunct professor in the Program in Drama Therapy (NYU) and works in private practice. She is a doctoral candidate in the PhD Program in Social Welfare at the Graduate Center (CUNY) where she is a member of the inaugural Mellon Humanities Public Fellows cohort. She has presented nationally and internationally on methods and applications of Drama Therapy. She is thrilled to be joining the Applied Expressive Arts in Counseling post graduate certificate program as a faculty member.

Rebecca Versaci

Rebecca Versaci, MA, LCAT, RDT, CCLS is a Registered Drama Therapist and Licensed Creative Arts Therapist specializing in working with medically fragile children and their families. She is a child life specialist at Cohen Children’s Medical Center where she provides psychosocial services to children and families on multiple medical units. She also maintains a private practice facilitating drama therapy with children and families experiencing grief and bereavement. Rebecca has extensive experience lecturing and presenting at professional conferences and has published several articles on the use of drama therapy with chronically ill children and their families. What she enjoys most about her work is providing a space for her clients to share their stories.

Francesca DeBiaso comes from a lineage of healers, hard workers, and creative types. She is a licensed, board certified Art Therapist committed to trauma informed care for collective healing with particular focus on the immigrant experience, LGBTQ mental health, anti-racist practices, and youth leadership. She holds her bachelors degree in Art History from Gettysburg College and her masters in Art Therapy from School of Visual Arts. She has facilitated workshops in residential centers, academic settings, lockup facilities, and community spaces which focus on building relationships through somatic awareness and creative expression. She currently works at MercyFirst in Syosset as a supervisor and lead Art Therapist for an unaccompanied minors program, contracted through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. She also serves as a member of the Racial Equity and Sanctuary Ambassadors committees and provides frequent in-services for colleagues focused on nervous system attunement. Francesca completed her Yoga Teacher Training in Summer 2015 at the Giving Tree Yoga Studio in Queens, New York and completed United We OM’s Trauma-Informed Yoga Workshop in Spring 2019. She currently teaches yoga through her personal venture, Inner Dwelling.

Lillian A. Ankrah

Lillian A. Ankrah, ATR-BC, LCAT is a nationally registered and board-certified Art Therapist who utilizes art therapy techniques to assist children, adolescents and adults address their traumatic experiences. Lillian obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute. In her twenty years of service, she has worked with a variety of groups of people including adult psychiatric patients, children battling cancer, adolescent mothers in foster care, families in crisis at a community counseling center and survivors of domestic violence. Lillian met people from all walks of life and she is grateful to the clients who have allowed her to walk with them on their healing journeys. These experiences were invaluable and she has learned as much from her clients as they might have gained from working with her. Lillian was a member of the inaugural YWCA Women of Color/Native Women Leadership cohort and currently volunteers with the YWCA National Capital Area in Washington, DC. Lillian has trained many practitioners and students on how domestic violence affects children and has consulted with businesses on building and encouraging self-care practices for staff who might experience vicarious trauma due to the nature of their work. Lillian currently runs her own psychotherapy private practice online, Creative Counseling Concepts, helping clients heal from unhealthy relationships and traumatic experiences. Her approach to therapy is client-centered, trauma-informed, culturally sensitive and rooted in social justice, advocacy, and empowerment for the people she works with. Lillian is skilled in engaging those new to therapy in the therapeutic process through providing a safe, holding space for them to be vulnerable, address their challenges and grow. She is highly skilled in addressing and treating trauma with art therapy, guided imagery/meditation, and is fully trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and Brainspotting. Lillian is also trained in Reiki and Jiivana (L.I.F.E.) Meditation. She is currently training in the Trauma Conscious Yoga Method and Transcending Sexual Trauma through Yoga Method. Lillian is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT) and is currently residing in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area.

Adam Reynolds, PhD, LCSW, RDT/BCT is a social worker and drama therapist in New York City; he has a private practice working with LGBTQIA+ individuals and children, adolescents, and adults who have experienced traumatic events. His research focuses on experiences of vicarious resilience in trauma work, and the therapeutic benefits of role-playing games. He is on faculty at the Hunter College School of Social work where he teaches Research Methods, Spirituality and Healing, and Integrating the Arts in Social Work. He is the training Director of the Institutes for Developmental Transformation in New York City and Taipei, Taiwan.

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