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!

Upcoming Workshops & Events

19jun9:00 am4:00 pmThe Ethics of Self-Carean Art Based Approach

09jul9:00 am4:00 pmThe Ethics of Self-Carean Art Based Approach

16jul6:30 pm9:30 pmDreamwork and Dream-Arts: Healing, Creativity, and Personal Growth

17jul10:00 am1:00 pmDreamwork and Dream-Arts: Healing, Creativity, and Personal Growth

30jul9:00 am12:00 pmLittle Wilds: Dollmaking in Expressive Arts Therapy

31jul9:00 am12:00 pmLittle Wilds: Dollmaking in Expressive Arts Therapy

07aug9:00 am4:00 pmThe Ethics of Self-Carean Art Based Approach

05sep4:30 pm6:30 pmRae Akino- I Am (Name Yourself) WorkshopSession#3

05dec4:30 pm6:30 pmRae Akino- I Am (Name Yourself) WorkshopSession#4

The next cohort of the Professional Training Program begins in September 2021. The 2021 application deadline has passed. Please consider applying for 2022!

Interested? Watch the recorded Information Session.  Please contact us if you have any questions about the Training Program.


We’re honored to have Rae Akino, Seattle artist as our Artist in Residence! Rae will be leading a 4-part workshop, I Am (Name Yourself). The workshop is open to all, free of cost (but registration is required), online via Zoom. Learn more about Rae and sign up now!


If you are a Black person, Indigenous person or a Person of Color and are interested in attending one of our workshops, please contact us. In our effort to contribute to diversifying the Expressive Arts Therapy community we are offering a workshop scholarship. 


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


Keep in touch via our mailing list! and receive the 411 on all our upcoming programs!

We would love to answer any questions you might have about our organization and how we can serve your CE and training needs!


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

If you are outside of Washington State, we advise that you check with your state licensing board to confirm that they accept NBCC approved CEs. 

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

Learn More

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.