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Beat the Odds facilitator training: Social and Emotional Skill Building Delivered in a Framework of Drumming 

sustainable & evidence-based

Beat the Odds integrates activities from contemporary drum circles and group counseling to teach skills such as focusing and listening, team building, leadership, expressing feelings, managing anger/stress, empathy, and gratitude.  It is inclusive, culturally relevant, and does not bear the stigma of therapy. 

UCLA researchers have shown that Beat the Odds can significantly improve a spectrum of behavior problems in children, such as inattention, withdrawn/depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity, oppositional defiance, and sluggish cognitive tempo.  

While this program has been designed for use with elementary age children, it can be easily adapted to any population, including older children, families, and older adults.  The program can serve a whole classroom at a time and is designed for delivery by school personnel or individuals without musical experience.  Many mental health professionals and teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District and  in Santa Clarita Valley have received training in Beat the Odds.   No musical experience is necessary to be trained as a Beat the Odds facilitator.  You can learn more about the Beat the Odds program including watching demonstrations and listening to testimonials on our Videos page, or by reading
publications and media articles featuring Beat the Odds.

date:  Saturday, February 23, 2013

time:  1 pm - 6 pm

Beat the Odds training instructors and program development team:

Ping Ho, MA, MPH is Founding Director of UCLArts and Healing, which facilitates the use of arts-based tools for mind-body healing in the community as a vehicle for empowerment and transformation. UCLArts and Healing is an organizational member of the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine, of which Ping is a Steering Committee Member and was the founding administrator. She was also the founding administrator for the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), which led to the privilege of writing for Norman Cousins and co-writing the professional autobiography of George F. Solomon, M.D., founder of the field of PNI. In addition, Ping has an extensive background as a health educator and performing artist. She has a B.A. in psychology with honors from Stanford University —where she was subsequently appointed to spearhead the still-thriving Health Improvement Program for faculty and staff; has a M.A. in counseling psychology with specialization in exercise physiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara; and has an M.P.H. in Community Health Sciences from UCLA School of Public Health. Ping was recently appointed to the Council of Advisers for the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care, a national network of educational organizations and agencies in complementary and alternative medicine.

Giselle Friedman, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker who is bicultural and bilingual in Spanish and in English. Giselle received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her master’s degree from USC School of Social Work. As a psychotherapist, she has worked in school settings, agencies, hospitals and private practice, with a focus on children and families. Giselle spent four years as a treating and on-call therapist for Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center’s Rape Treatment Center, Stuart House, and SM-UCLA Psychotherapy Group. She has been working as a full-time psychiatric social worker for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) since 2000. In this capacity, Giselle provides individual and group therapy to students and their families at several elementary schools. She also leads parenting classes and educates teachers and staff on topics such as children’s responses to trauma, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, childhood depression and anxiety, classroom behavior management, and addressing bullying behavior. Giselle is a member of the school Student Success Teams and she participates in her local district's LAUSD Resource Coordinating Council and neighborhood community meetings.

Mike DeMenno came across a magazine article in 1993 featuring Mickey Hart and Arthur Hull where the mission was to use drumming for community building and personal well being. Within a year, Mike began facilitating drum circles for kids at risk throughout Los Angeles.  In 2003, Mike became the Manager of the first recreational music center. Under the mentorship of Remo Belli, the REMO Recreational Music Center in North Hollywood, CA, has developed into an extraordinary place dedicated to bringing rhythm and music to people from all walks of life.  Mike has also not only found himself working closely with Mickey Hart on several projects over the years, but also has been under the mentorship of Arthur Hull for the past ten years.  Mike considers drumming to be his life raft.  He maintains his passion for the drum set as well as helping others to experience playing music for personal joy.

continuing education (CEU) information:

Provider name = Arts and Healing Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Provider number = 4468

This course meets the qualifications for 5 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Continuing Education Units for RNs are provided by Helen Kiger, Provider No. CEP10957. This class is approved for 5 contact hours of continuing education credit for RNs as required by the CA Board of Registered Nursing.

learning objectives for CEUs:

1. Participants will learn at least three rhythmically-oriented activities for building positive social and emotional behavior.

2. Participants will learn at least three ways to use reflection and self-disclosure to build positive social and emotional behavior.

3. Participants will learn about the scientific evidence that supports this program.

4. Participants will learn guidelines for management of activities, behavior, and logistics.

5. Participants will be able to state at least two ways in which rhythm, reflection, and self-disclosure would be useful in a nursing practice.

registration instructions:  While we accept registration at the door, advance registration is the only way to guarantee that space will be available or that handouts will be received.  If the class is full, you will be given the option of joining a wait list before you pay anything during the registration process. 

Online registration not only gets your name on the roster immediately, but also lets us know that payment is forthcoming if you pay by check.  Payments can be made by credit card or check and must be received in order to guarantee enrollment. 

If you do not have access to the Internet, you may send checks made payable to "Arts and Healing Initiative", and send it to 2626 33rd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405-3111. 

Please make sure that the following information is included with your check:

your name

event name

email address (if applicable)

phone number

Email and/or phone number are requested so to contact you regarding registration or program changes (if necessary).

refund policy:  In order to keep our programs affordable yet self-sustaining, we are unable to offer refunds on enrollment fees. If you have registered for a program that you are unable to attend, you may either offer it as a donation that is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law or obtain credit towards a future program to be used within a 12-month period - provided that space is available.  CEU registrants that can only attend a portion of the program will receive an hour of continuing education credit per hour of participation for the same CEU fee.

sponsors: UCLArts and Healing facilitates the use of the arts for mind/body wellness and healing in the community as a vehicle for empowerment and transformation.  UCLArts and Healing 1) offers affordable experiential learning opportunities to health professionals, educators, artists, and the general public, 2) designs and evaluates programs that can be implemented broadly in educational, health care, and recreational settings, and 3) partners with academic institutions, educational and health care institutions, community-based organizations, schools, professional organizations, and private industry.  UCLArts and Healing is an outgrowth of affiliation between the Arts and Healing Initiative, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, the Salamander Fund, a nonprofit foundation, and Whole Child LA.

UCLArts and Healing is an organizational member of the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine (CCIM), which promotes education and research in complementary, alternative, and integrative approaches to health and well-being.  The CCIM represents the UCLA academic integrative medicine community on a national and international level.

future email notification of UCLArts and Healing programs: If you wish to be notified directly of future UCLArts and Healing events, please go to our website at and join our e-mail list.  Email list recipients will receive priority notification of events and opportunities with limited space or advertising. To ensure delivery of notices, add "" to your address book, or add it to your "allow" list.  You can also network with us on Facebook.

for more information: Please submit questions via e-mail: or telephone: (310) 452-1439.



Refund Policy: In order to keep our programs affordable yet self-sustaining, we regret that we are unable to offer refunds on enrollment fees. We hope that you will find comfort in knowing that your fees are going to a worthy cause.

Reservation Policy: Reservations can be made for free events, unless noted otherwise in the program description. Individuals who have made reservations and who have arrived on time will be admitted first. After that time, everyone will have an equal opportunity for admission.

Wait List Policy: Based on past experience, we expect that a certain number of registrants will not be able to attend events. If registration for an event is full, joining the wait list will give you a higher priority for admittance at the door. If additional space for an event becomes available, individuals on the wait list will be notified via email and given the opportunity to enroll in the event before the additional spaces are advertised to the general public.

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