IEATA is honored to present our 2019 Pre-Conference Presenters. Please note that Pre-Conference will take place on Thursday, February 28, 2019, from 9am to 5pm. Pre-Conference registration is separate from conference registration and requires an additional fee. Please take note of early-bird rates and deadlines. 

Armand Volkas, MFA, MA, MFT, RDT/BCT
Arianna Wheat, MA
Irene Van, MA and RDT Candidate

ArmandVolkas_preconfArianna Wheat_preconfIrene Van_preconf

Society as the Client: Healing Historical Trauma through the Arts

The presenters will demonstrate their approach to healing historical trauma using techniques drawn from expressive arts therapy, drama therapy, psychodrama, sociodrama, and Playback Theatre. Participants will be guided through an of the following questions: How do cultures emotionally integrate a legacy of perpetration or victimization? How do we prevent the rage, guilt, and shame of one generation from haunting a people for generations to come? The expressive arts can provide a bridge between personal and collective experience, help people master complex feelings, put ghosts of history to rest and transform their wounding into empowered social action.

For more information on the workshop and the presenters, click here.

Bonface Beti, MA


Truth Comes in Many Colors: From Playing to Learning to Change Imaginative Use of Theatre of the Oppressed in Conflict Transformation, Trauma and Social Healing Workshop

Both internalized oppression and structural violence are common manifestations for most post-colonial societies. This trauma continues to ravage our world to date. Eastern Africa and specifically Kenya, has not been an exception. Neither has the USA and Canada. The latest discussions have shifted on exploring how art-based interventions can help in breaking these internalized oppressions, healing of historical trauma and transformation of conflicts by helping individuals to reclaim their identities, create new relations and move towards collective imaginative emancipation and positive peace. After tracing the development of Theatre of the Oppressed in South America to North America and Europe, the planner of this workshop appreciates how this art form has redefined the complexity of how many perceive the cycles of oppression and the authenticity for the diversity of people in attendance in all these different contexts. He will work with participants in exploring the uses of applied Image Theatre, Forum Theatre and Rainbow of Desire from both an East African and North American perspective. The facilitator will draw key lessons from his own rich international and intercultural exchange experiences in which he has been directly involved. Amani People’s Theatre (Kenya) and Presence Center for Applied Theatre Arts (USA) have collaborated since 2010 on conflict transformation and trauma healing through participatory theatre, in African villages and slums as well as in United States of America using these theatrical forms, to mobilize collective vision for grassroots social change and trauma healing. The facilitator has also utilized these tools and facilitated such workshops within communities living in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. Through this workshop, attendees will learn how to practice and integrate these new methods in their work. They will also be immersed in a global process of sharing, learning and imagining social transformation by creatively utilizing and expanding diverse safe spaces.

For more information on the workshop and the presenter, click here.

Denise Boston, Ph.D., RDT, Professor, California Institute of Integral Studies, San FranciscoDeniseBoston

Racial-Trauma Informed Arts Practices: At the Intersection of Race, Space, and Place

In this workshop with Denise Boston, participants will explore how racism and discrimination negatively impacts the physical and mental health of children and youth in school communities. Although the chronic condition of stress can have a negative impact on all persons, the unique psycho-social and contextual factors, specifically the pervasive exposure interplay or race and, creates an additional daily stressor. Strategies linking expressive arts and narrative therapy will be discussed and engaged with as a way to offer culturally responsive practices and steps to heal after children and youth experience racial injustices in their communities.

For more information on the workshop and the presenter, click here.

Cynthia Winton-Henry
Phil PorterInterplay

InterPlay: Art, Social Change and The Wisdom of the Body

Experience the key ideas and practices of InterPlay, an active, creative approach
to playfully reorient people to the wisdom of the body. This improv system is one
you can take anywhere – stages, boardrooms, classrooms, hospitals, family life. A
secret is in the small clear steps that allow InterPlay leaders to reliably cultivate
and celebrate diverse life experiences in community. Another secret is in the art
of noticing and witnessing. Everyone’s body spirit is welcome and affirmed as an
authority in relation to their own experience. By developing personal and
community freedom through movement, story, sound, and stillness – our human
birthright practices, InterPlay emphasizes what the body wants. It can be used
for community performance, in therapeutic contexts, educational and ritual
settings, just about anywhere people want to honor the wisdom of the body and
have more fun! Considered an innovative practice by Alameda County Behavioral
Health Care Services, InterPlayers of color, millennials, and leaders across
disciplines today bring InterPlay to academia and to the street. Committed to
racial equity and transformation, InterPlay offers 4REAL laboratories, (Racial
Equity Action Laboratories) where leaders and participants seek embodied
strategies and wisdom for transforming the challenges of racism with an eye to
the world we want to create.

For more information on the workshop and the presenters, click here.

John F. Kennedy University- Inclusion Sponsor of the 2019 IEATA Conference
Doreen Maller, Ph.D
Jacob Kaminker, Ph.D, REAT
Albert Wong, Ph.D






Embodied Self-Expression and Creative Ways of Knowing: Expressive Arts for Personal Growth and in Community

Expressive Arts at John F Kennedy University is folded into the general curriculum of Holistic Studies where the whole person, their sense of the world, their inner and outer lives are explored through art and conscious awareness.  At JFKU we explore where we come from, where we are now, and where we hope to go as part of our therapeutic training and as a philosophy or working with our clients in the future.  A key to our teaching philosophy is the power of the learning community.  We are who we are as individuals, but also as we intersect with others.  Looking at ourselves in relationship to the world around us, our families of origin, and our connections to others helps us grow in self-knowledge, compassion, and emphatic understanding.  In this workshop, the faculty at JFKU will invite participants to explore in community, different ways of knowing, reaching and connecting and ways of being in the world with intention.  Through a multi-modal arts-based exploration, we hope that each participant will find insight into their own lives and the world around them.

This workshop will begin with an issue of concern to the participant and move through different modalities over the course of the day, including visual art, sculpture, writing, active imagination, and movement, in a sort of aesthetic response to oneself, allowing the concern to be unfolded, explored, and ultimately transformed through the creative process. This process will also be enriched by partner and group aesthetic response, work in dyads, and group witnessing.
For more information on the workshop and our conference sponsor, click here.

Maria Gonzalez-Blue, REAT, Therapist and Consultant/Educator


Engaging Self-Awareness in Evolving Times: Shields as Power Objects

At some point you have likely been perceived as “other”, judged for as little as the clothes you wear to deeper issues such as culture, sub-culture or the color of your skin. These judgments can instill mistrust, defensiveness and a need for protection. On either side of these judgments, we lose an opportunity to know and express the authentic self, veiled by projection, façade and conditioning. How can someone think they know you when you yourself are changing, growing, evolving – filled with questioning, both of wonder and doubt? Using compassionate concepts of Person-Centered approach to create a trusting environment, we will explore our blind spots, shadow material that can generate misperceptions of self and other.

Guided visualization, movement, writing, art and ritual will be used to recognize and recover the innate wisdom of self. Participants will have an opportunity to create a shield that represents ones higher consciousness and innate strengths that can be guiding forces to maneuver evolving times. With a compassionate community as a witness, we stand a better chance of recognizing and embodying our deeper essence while recognizing that we are more alike than we are different.

Concepts to be explored are Natalie Rogers’ Creative Connection® integrated arts process, Lakota talking stick for non-judgmental communication and Huichol methodology of Mexico where arts are approached through prayer and intention, affirming the creative process as sacred. A community piece will be created to deliver a global message that celebrates the beauty of our planet’s diversity. Optional: Bring lightweight found objects, photos, sculpting materials, etc.

For more information on the workshop and the presenter, click here.

Nicki Koethner,  MA, MFT


Rise Up to the Dream of your Soul

Through movement, painting, music, poetry and working with natural elements, materials, and animal wisdom, we will connect with earth body wisdom to remember our essential natures and reclaim the dream of our souls that connect us with all of our relations. The soul dream serves as a resource to be with the imprints of the human cultural shadow of war, violence, abuse, “isms,” injustices, and separation from ourselves and each other and the earth. We will provide a safe container to grieve the impact of those societal structures on our psyche and utilize the inter-modality of the expressive arts as well as earth as a resource to process, digest, express and reconnect. We will rise up through the embodiment of our soul dream in various modalities including storytelling and building soul dream wands, shields and access the field of love and compassion, supporting our resiliency and reconnection with our bodies and the larger earth-body through guided meditation, sound healing, and ritual. This is an experiential workshop in which participants will take away tools to provide cultural shadow grief-work based in trauma-informed care, eco-psychology and self-care tools to do this work from a resourced place. Applications of the work are discussed and explored while the workshop is primarily experiential.

For more information on the workshop and the presenter, click here.