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Registration is now closed for this conference.  The response has been so great that we are way overbooked with wait list registrants.

Many registrants and wait listed individuals may not show up on the day of the conference, and some registrants may not stay the whole day.  If you are willing to take your chances, you may show up at the door.  If you decide to show up, bring something to do in case you need to wait for someone to leave. 

If you would like to be the first to be notified of future programs such as this, please  join our AH News list:

Creative Minds, UCLArts and Healing, and CSUN Kinesiology Dept. present...

Co-sponsored by the Campus Programs Committee of the Program Activities Board,
UCLA Visual and Performing Arts Education (VAPAE) Program, the Max H. Gluck
Foundation, ASUCLA, Student Cultural and Diversity Programming Fund,
USAC Student Wellness Commission, AVC’s Student Activities Fund

Finding Flow & Resilience
through Creativity & the Arts

Sunday April 7, 10 am-5 pm
UCLA Schoenberg Hall

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD
the father of positive psychology and “flow”

Creativity + Flow Research Panels
the biology of creativity + neurophysiology of flow/dissociation
creative arts applications for autism, mental illness, trauma

Dance + Opera Performances
from California State University, Northridge

Creative Arts Therapy Workshops
in art, music, drama, dance/movement, poetry therapy

FREE Admission
>> Registration for everyone includes lunch <<
(vegan options will be provided)

Please read the important registration instructions below before registering for the conference:

Advance registration will guarantee seating until 9:45 am, after which time we will give seats to wait listed individuals.  At 9:55 am, if there are any seats available, we will accommodate drop-ins. 
We need UCLA attendees to indicate their status, either while creating a profile for registration or by entering "UCLAstudent" or "UCLAstaff" in the promo code box during the registration process.

If you are interested in co-sponsoring our upcoming conference, and receiving ad space or an acknowledgement in the program, click here for instructions: Sponsorship Information for On the Edge Conference.pdf

During the registration process, please consider making an additional donation to support the Creative Minds Project, which pairs UCLA undergraduate assistants with creative arts therapy interns to serve individuals affected by mental illness and homelessness through art, drama, drumming, dance/movement, and expressive poetry therapy groups at Step Up on Second and Daniel's Place community mental health agencies.

Continuing Education credits for LCSWs, MFTs, and RNs can be requested during the registration process for $25. If you are interested in CEUs for RNs, then please also send your name via email to and indicate "RN CEUs" in the subject header, so we can have the appropriate paperwork prepared for you in advance.

(located above our sponsor listat the top of this page)

Scroll Down for further conference details, directions, as well as CEU Information.

conference details:
Focusing on enhancing strengths, rather than reducing deficits, creativity and the arts are uniquely able to facilitate flow, mind-body wellness, and transformation. With the growing cost of healthcare and increasing demand for preventative, patient-centered, and chronic care, it is important for future healthcare professionals and artists to be aware of effective and creative positive psychological approaches for both healing and wellness.

conference features:
Science: Leading experts present and discuss cutting-edge research on flow, creativity, stress, and self-regulation (including psychology, neurobiology, physiological functions, and emotional processes).
Performance: The CSUN dance and opera performances will portray key themes of social justice, equity and diversity related topics (autism, political detainees, chronic illness and loss). During the performance a dancer will wear a body suit that records her physiological responses to demonstrate, in real time, dissociation and flow in performing artists.

Application: Scientific researchers will present on the social-emotional and cognitive development of autism, mental illness, and trauma as well as conventional clinical interventions; creative arts therapists will discuss how they uniquely apply the creative arts to serve these populations.

Experience: Experiential breakout creative arts therapy workshops will give the conference participants active opportunities to engage, first hand, in two creative arts therapy workshops of their choice (art therapy, dance and music therapy, poetry therapy, and drama therapy).

Conference Schedule:
10:00 - 10:15       Ping Ho - Introductory Remarks
                            Creative Approaches to Community Health
10:15 – 11:15      Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – Key Note Presenter
                           “Flow”: The Creative State of Heightened Focus & Immersion - 
                            The Secret to Happiness, Creativity, Human Fulfillment.
                            • Q & A (5 min)

11:15 12:00       Panel: Creativity & Flow Research
                             • Dr. Robert Bilder (20 min)
                             95% solution to resilience
                             brain functions involved in “flow”
                             personal brain management + creativity
                             • Dr. Victoria Jaque & Dr. Paula Thomson, & Mariko Iwabuchi (20 min)
                             psychophysiology research on flow and stress regulation
                             patterns in performing artists and athletes
                             • Q & A (5 min)

12:00 1:00         Lunch


1:00 1:40           Dance Program

1. It Could Be Frankie – Premiered on November 15, 2011 at Plaza Del Sol
    Performance Hall – Colaboratoria: Graduate Student and Faculty Dance Concert

Program Information on It Could Be Frankie:
Choreography: Paula Thomson
Co-creators: Maurice Godin
Music: Philip Glass (Knee Play 5 from Einstein on the Beach
Dancers: Sara Adler, Elissa Brock, Arianna Douglas, Hilary Gereaux, Talia Magleby, Cameron Shim, Jocelyn Zelaya

Choreographer notes: This dance was inspired by the incredible love, loneliness, and vacillating hope and despair of colleagues, students and patients who parent, assist, or live with autistic family members. The complex layers of self-regulation by both a caregiver and an individual with autism are often manifested in an array of non-verbal gestures. When these inner worlds of experience collide they reveal the dreams and fears silently carried in the background of their interactions.

2. Gates of Mercy – Premiered on September 29, 2012 at
    Mirrors of the Mind: The Psychotherapist as Artist

Program Information on Gates of Mercy:
Choreography: Paula Thomson
Music: Samuel Barber, Adagio for Strings
Dancers: Elissa Brock & Jocelyn Zelaya

Choreographer notes: Two young women find themselves detained. Although strangers, these prisoners discover solace in their shared terror of the unknown. This dance was inspired by experiences working with victims of violence, creation of theatre of witness, and volunteering as a psychologist for the Asylum Network at the Physicians for Human Rights Organization and for Given an Hour Psychotherapy for Veterans.

3. Vocalise – Premiered November 2009 at Plaza Del Sol Performance Hall

Program Information on Vocalise:
Choreography: Paula Thomson
Co-creators: Maurice Godin, Lilia Kibarska
Music: Rachmaninoff – Vocalise Op. 34 No.14
Soprano: Nan Cui
Dancer: Lilia Kibarska
Pianist: Kanae Matsumoto
Choreographer notes: The dancer, opera singer and pianist are aspects of one Self, a self that is longing to fulfill that which never happened and to heal that which disintegrated the self. Vocalise reflects the steady movement forward in time, while we struggle to reconcile the past and seek the future. Special thanks to OperaWorks.

4. All the Mornings – Premiered on November 13, 2012 at Plaza Del Sol Performance
    Hall – Colaboratoria: Graduate Student and Faculty Dance Concert

Program Information on All the Mornings:
Choreography: Paula Thomson
Co-creators: Maurice Godin and Dancers
Music: Marin Marais
Dancers: Sara Adler, Elissa Brock, Arianna Douglas, Hilary Gereaux, Darrell Hardaway, Bebe Liang,Talia Magleby, Jesse Ricaldi, Tharini Shanmugarajah, Cheyenne Spencer, Ilana Torres, Christian Vidaure, Aliyah Zelaya, Jocelyn Zelaya
Choreographer notes: This dance was inspired by the perceptual sensations experienced during the early morning after the loss of a loved one. It portrays a community integrating loss and hope.

1:40 1:50     Q & A


1:50 2:50     Panel: Research & Creative Arts Therapy Applications
                       Research Panelists:
                       •  Dr. Robert Bilder (Mental Illness) – 9 min
                       •  Dr. Ted Hutman & Dr. Debra Malmberg (Autism) – 10 min
                       •  Dr. Patricia Lester (Stress and Trauma) – 9 m
                       Creative Arts Therapies Panelists:
                       •  Erica Curtis (Art Therapy) – 9 min
                       •  Lora Wilson Mau (Dance/Movement Therapy) – 9 min
                       •  Dr. Pam Dunne (Drama Therapy) – 9 min

                       Q & A (5 min)

2:50 3:00     Brief Wrap-Up, Thanks, Introduction of Experiential Workshops
                       •  Distribute and collect evaluation surveys of conference
                       •  Q & A (brief comments, questions, and answers on conference as a whole)

3:00 3:10     Break


3:10 4:00     Trauma + Self-Regulation Experiential Workshops
                       •  Drama therapy (w/ Dr. Pam Dunne)
                       •  Poetry therapy (w/ Dr. Robert Carroll)

4:00 4:10     Transition Break

4:10 - 5:00      Search for Self Experiential Workshops
                       •  Art therapy (w/ Erica Curtis)
                       •  Dance/Movement therapy + Music therapy (w/ Lora Wilson Mau and Summer Mencher)

Conference presenters:
Keynote Presenter – Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD

Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, PhD, is the C.S. and D.J. Davidson Professor of Psychology at the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, and the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management, at Claremont Graduate University; and co-director of the Quality of Life Research Center. He is a Fellow of several scientific societies, The National Academy of Education, and a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His life’s work has been to study what makes people truly happy. Drawing upon years of systematic research, he developed the concept of “flow” as a metaphorical description of the rare mental state associated with feelings of optimal satisfaction and fulfillment. His analysis of internal and external conditions giving rise to “flow” show that it is almost always linked to circumstances of high challenge when personal skills are used to the utmost. In addition to the hugely influential Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Dr. Csikszentmihalyi is the author of thirteen other books translated into 23 different languages, and some 245 research articles on optimal development, creativity, and well-being. 

Other Notable Presenters:

Dr. Debra Berry Malmberg, PhD, BCBA-D Assistant professor in the psychology department at California State University, Northridge (CSUN); licensed psychologist, specializing in behavioral interventions to teach socio-communicative skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders; Board Certified Behavior Analyst; founding Director of the CSUN Autism Clinic; Leadership Los Angeles Fellow (2011); CSUN College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Fellow.

Dr. Robert Bilder, PhD, ABPP-CN
Chief of UCLA Neuropsychology and Director of the Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA

Robert Carroll, MD Past Vice President, National Association for Poetry Therapy and Program Chair of the Southern California region; UCLA clinical faculty member. Family psychiatrist and poet.

Erica Curtis, LMFT, ATR-BC Past President of the Southern California Art Therapy Association, Past Board Member of the American Art Therapy Association, Instructor at Loyola Marymount University, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist; Board Certified Art Therapist.

Pamela Dunne, PhD, RDT/BCT Past President of the National Association for Drama Therapy (NADT); founding board member of the Board of Examiners for the NADT; founding Director, Drama Therapy Institute of Los Angeles and Creative Therapies Center of Los Angeles. Professor Emeritus of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at California State University, Los Angeles. Clinical Psychologist, Author, and Registered Drama Therapist, Board Certified Trainer.

Ping Ho, MA, MPH Founding Director of UCLArts and Healing, which facilitates the use of the arts for mind-body wellness and healing as a vehicle for empowerment and transformation (

Dr. Ted Hutman, PhD – Assistant professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; clinical and developmental psychologist, specializing in autism, social-emotional and social-cognitive development; investigator on a NIH/NICHD-funded Autism Center of Excellence at the UCLA Center for Autism Research & Treatment longitudinal study using neuro-imaging, electrophysiology, and eye-tracking to identify biological markers of autism in infants.

Mariko Iwabuchi
M.S. in Kinesiology, co-founded C.O.S.M.I.C. Dance Crew and currently works with Paula Thomson, Psy.D., and Victoria Jaque, Ph.D., in the Performance Analysis Psychophysiology Lab, researching shyness.

S. Victoria Jaque,
PhDAssociate Professor and Graduate coordinator in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University at Northridge; Assisted Technology Studies in Human Services and Kinesiology; an exercise physiologist and regular presenter at Southwest American College of Sports Medicine meetings.

Summer Mencher, MT-BC
Board Certified Music Therapist; obtained her degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2008; experienced working with children with special needs and has practiced in schools, hospitals (both medical and psychiatric) hospice, shelters, day cares, and treatment centers.

Catherine Mogil, PsyD – Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior; licensed clinical psychologist; Director of Training and Intervention Development for the Nathanson Family Resilience Center; Director of the Family Development Project; Co-Director of the Child and Family Trauma Service; consultant for the National Military Family Association Operation Purple Family Retreats, the Uniformed Services University, and a military project with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health; certified in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities.

Paula Thomson, PsyD Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge, Professor Emeritus, York University, affiliated faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute and faculty at OperaWorks; licensed Clinical Psychologist; certified Sport Psychologist; part-time  private practitioner in Tarzana, California; Past teacher at numerous international schools; Past Artistic Director; dancer and choreographer for Northern Lights Dance Theatre; professional movement coach/choreographer for most of the premier theatre and opera companies in Canada.

Lora Wilson Mau, MA, BC-DMT
– Public Relations Chairperson, American Dance Therapy Association; past President of the California Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association; Lecturer at California State University, Long Beach, Department of Dance. Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist.

Directions & Parking:

The conference is located at Schoenberg Hall. Schoenberg Hall’s address is 445 Charles E Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA. Please read through the directions and parking instructions below and review our custom Google map for the event. The UCLA campus is quite large, and a vehicle's GPS system will NOT give you exact directions.

UCLA’s main campus is bound by Sunset Blvd to the north and Le Conte Ave to the south; the east border is Hilgard Ave, and the west border is Gayley Ave. The entrance to “Parking Structure 2” is on Westholme Ave. in between Hilgard and Charles E Young Drive East.

From 405 North (San Diego Freeway):

1. Take 405 North to Wilshire Blvd East

2. Travel east three blocks to Westwood Blvd

3. Turn left on Westwood Blvd

4. Turn right on Lindbrook Dr.

5. Keep left onto Hilgard Ave.

6. Turn left on Westholme Ave.

7. Parking Structure 2 is immediately on your left.

8. From Structure 2, walk north along Charles E. Young Dr. East to Dickson Plaza. Enter Schoenberg Hall from Dickson Plaza.

From 405 South (San Diego Freeway):

1. Take 405 South to Sunset Blvd East

2. Take Sunset east to Hilgard Ave.

3. Turn right on Hilgard Ave.

4. Turn right on Westholme Ave.

5. Parking Structure 2 is immediately on your left.

6. From Structure 2, walk north along Charles E. Young Dr. East to Dickson Plaza. Enter Schoenberg Hall from Dickson Plaza.

From 10 East (Santa Monica Freeway):

1. Take 10 East to 405 North

2. Take 405 North to Wilshire Blvd East

3. Travel east three blocks to Westwood Blvd

4. Turn left on Westwood Blvd

5. Turn right on Lindbrook Dr.

6. Keep left onto Hilgard Ave.

7. Turn left on Westholme Ave.

8. Parking Structure 2 is immediately on your left.

9. From Structure 2, walk north along Charles E. Young Dr. East to Dickson Plaza. Enter Schoenberg Hall from Dickson Plaza.

For the UCLA interactive map, click here.

Continuing Education (CEU) Information:
Provider name is Arts and Healing Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Provider number is 4468.

This course meets the qualifications for six 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 six 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 about research on the biology of creativity and the neurophysiology of flow/dissociation, creative arts applications for autism, mental illness, trauma.

2.  Participants will experience group art therapy.

3.  Participants will experience group dance/movement and music therapy.

4.  Participants will experience group drama therapy.

5.  Participants will experience group poetry therapy.

6.  Participants will be able to state at least two ways in which creative arts therapies can be helpful in the practice of nursing.

Additional Registration Instructions:
  While we accept registration at the door, advance registration is the only way to guarantee that space will be available.  If the conference is full, you will be given the option of joining a wait list before you pay anything during the registration process.  There are always people who don't show up on the day of the event, so you are likely to be able to get in at the door.

Online registration gets your name on the roster immediately. 

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

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.

TO REGISTER NOW, CLICK "ADD TO CART" (located above the list of sponsors, at the top on this page).

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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