Trauma-Informed Practice Training: "When Words Are Not Enough"


by Trish Walsh and Galen Hutcheson


Date And Time

Sun, March 8, 2020

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM PDT


Congregation Beth Israel, Vancouver

989 West 28th Avenue 

Vancouver, BC V5Z 0E8 


Over the last twenty years our understanding of the nature and healing of psychological trauma has grown significantly. Research has broadened our understanding of how traumatic memory is stored in both brain and body, and how working with implicit memory and sensory based interventions, are key to healing psychological trauma; particulary with those suffering from PTSD, complex, pre-verbal, and developmental trauma. 

This workshop will help participants learn how and why expressive art techniques can be very powerful tools for use both in the healing of trauma, and in fostering post-traumatic growth and resilience.

At this workshop you will learn how to incorporate a number of simple and powerful therapeutic arts tools into your therapeutic practice. You will come away with a ‘tool kit’ of interventions that you can use with clients to move through blocks to healing, process and heal explicit, implicit, and pre-verbal trauma, and to support resilience and post-traumatic growth.

This workshop is grounded in research and findings from leaders in neuroscience, interpersonal neurobiology, psychology, and trauma healing, including: Dr. Stephen Porges, Dr. Dan Siegle, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Dr. Bruce Perry, Dr. Peter Levine, Dr. John Briere, Dr. Allan Schore, Dr. Diana Fosha and Dr. Gordon Neufeld. 

This workshop is relevant to those working with adults or children, as well as those working with those affected by childhood, intergenerational, complex, single-incident, and environmental or community trauma. The skills learned can be applied to working with individuals, couples, groups and communities.

*Note: this workshop builds upon Trauma-Informed Practice Training Level 1, but the former is not a pre-requisite. Nor is any aptitude in art required. “Bad” artists and “Non-Artists” welcome! This workshop will be of interest to therapists, allied health providers, and anyone working with adults, children, families and communities impacted by trauma.

Certificate provided upon completion. 


Topics Covered:


  • Neurobiology of the Continuum of Trauma, and traumatic memories. 

  • What is meant by “bottom up” and “right brain” approaches; why they are critical components of healing trauma, and how expressive art techniques facilitate both. 

  • What we now know about how traumatic memory is stored: understanding implicit and somatic memory, and how expressive art tools can be highly effective for processing traumatic memory.

  • Begin to learn to use expressive art methods to foster grounding, anchoring, self-regulation and co-regulation, which are critical components of trauma healing.

  • Begin to learn how to use expressive art techniques to establish a felt sense of safety within the client which is foundational to effective trauma-informed work.

  • Begin to learn how to use expressive art techniques to maintain, and widen, a client’s ‘window of tolerance” during trauma processing.

  • Learn the role of the externalization of emotions and somatic experiences in healing trauma. Learn why sensory-based arts interventions are key to accessing and integrating the embodied experience of trauma

  • How to unlearn common art-making injuries

  • Start a ‘tool kit’ of simple therapeutic art techniques that you can use in your practice: participants will learn at least four arts-based methods that you can use with clients that are culturally responsive, trauma informed interventions. 

  • Learn how to apply the workshop material to work with individuals, families, groups or communities that have experienced acute trauma, complex trauma or intergenerational trauma.




Galen Hutcheson


Galen is an Art Therapist, leadership development specialist, certified coach, teacher, community and organizational group facilitator, and yoga instructor living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Galen is an Associate Faculty member and a guest lecturer at City University, and Instructor in the Masters of Education Counselling program, providing instruction to Masters of Counselling student interns. Galen has created and facilitated trauma-informed practice training workshops, and works with Early Childhood Educators and teachers to bring relational trauma informed, compassion focused and inclusive teaching and learning practices/principles into the classroom and community. Galen has worked with children, youth and families in individual and group settings in schools, community health organizations, correction facilities and counselling centres for more than 20 years. With an M.A. in Leadership and Learning, Galen also works with organizations, advocates, artists and teachers to communicate the value and necessity of equitable access to art education as an essential foundation for social emotional regulation, connecting to emotional intelligence and as a predictor of wellness, supporter of empathy and positive mental health outcomes. Galen in a lifelong learner continually adding layers of specialized training in diverse therapeutic modalities all informed by a trauma informed lens. Areas of specialization in trauma healing include: Relational, Somatic and Polyvagal focused body centered practices, Social Emotional Regulation, Mindfulness and Compassion focused therapy, Person Centered Theoretical Application, Solution Focused Practice, & a Sensorimotor Art Therapy Approach to Bilateral Body Mapping which used in the healing of trauma. For more info:


Trish Walsh

Trish is a counsellor, life coach, teacher, and trauma-informed practice training facilitator, located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Trish’s training and focus is in the area of Transpersonal Psychology, which integrates eastern philosophies within the framework of modern psychology. Since 2016 Trish has focused on developing and facilitating trauma informed trainings for university students, physicians, psychologists, and other mental health therapists who are interested in updating their knowledge and skills in the area of trauma healing.  In addition to Trish’s counselling practice, her work over the last twenty years has focused on knowledge translation: specifically, synthesizing research findings in medicine and mental health care to decision makers within Canada’s Federal and Provincial Governments, and to physicians, mental health professionals and other allied health care providers, along with corporations, community groups and the general public. Trish has tremendous passion for conveying research information in an engaging and easy to understand way, aiding decision makers in their funding and public policy decisions, and helping individuals to learn practical strategies for better health, happiness, and personal success. Trish has also consulted for a number of non-profit organizations and industries to bring health information to their organizations and through community outreach. For more