Cathy Malchiodi, PhD is a leading international expert, syndicated writer, and educator in the fields of art therapy and art in healthcare.
She is a research psychologist, a Board Certified and Licensed Professional Art Therapist, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, and has over 25 years of experience and education in trauma intervention and disaster relief, and integrative approaches to health.
Cathy is the founder, director and lead faculty member of the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute, dedicated to teaching trauma-informed intervention that integrates neurodevelopment, somatic approaches, mindfulness, and positive psychology.
Cathy’s blog, Arts and Health at Psychology Today Online, covers topics related to art therapy, expressive arts therapy, trauma, body-mind approaches, neuroscience and the arts, creativity, and integrative health practices. Cathy is a recognized force in international education, program development and advocacy for trauma survivors and the accessibility of trauma-informed care.
Art serves as a helper in times of trouble.
What Led to the Specialization of Trauma?
When Cathy graduated from her masters program she needed to find work. She found a job in a shelter for kids who were escaping from domestic violence. It was there, in realizing the importance of art in helping kids heal and self-regulate, that Cathy discovered she had found her calling.
A Crucial Early Mistake
Cathy began work at a time when there was very little knowledge about trauma and PTSD. The prevailing idea at the time was that in order to help kids heal, they must first gain insight. Cathy quickly learned this wasn’t the right thing to do, as most of these kids couldn’t access their thoughts and words about their experiences. Instead, what they needed to learn how to do was to self-regulate.
I love working with the whole constellation of trauma. I also love the work I do with veterans and focusing on the point of resilience.
- Get involved in learning about incorporating expressive arts and trauma
- Stay with the self-regulation initially. Don’t force insight.
Cathy’s go-to books
- The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Bessel van der Kolk
- Wherever You Go, There You Are, Jon Kabat-Zinn
- 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery: Take-Charge Strategies to Empower Your Healing (8 Keys to Mental Health), Babette Rothschild