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California institute brings expressive arts therapy to Guangzhou

By Qiu Quanlin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-03 12:00

The California Institute of Integral Studies, the largest training base for psychologists in North America, has launched its iconic course on expressive arts therapy in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.

"The therapy plays a very effective role for treating psychological problems, enhancing an individual's self-healing and reconstructing their confidence," said Kate T. Donohue, a psychologist with the institute.

The institute opened its first training program at Guangzhou's Institute for Psychology of the Heart in late June, and more courses will follow, the institute said.

Donohue said professors from the Californian institute will be sent to teach the program, which aims to develop Chinese psychologists.

It is the first time the psychological therapy has been introduced in China.

Expressive arts therapy refers to an approach used for individuals, couples, families, groups and communities that integrates a wide range of arts modalities in the service of human growth, development and healing.

Incorporating writing, drama, dance, movement, painting and music, the therapy can be used as part of treatment strategies for a variety of behavioral, emotional and mental health conditions, according to Donohue, who is also the founder of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.

Shen Heyong, a professor with the Guangzhou institute, said the programs will be taught online and offline in Chinese and will incorporate traditional Chinese culture.

"There is a growing demand for psychological treatment in China. We need a complete training system to develop more local psychologists," Shen said.

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