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Expressive Arts Global Health

Health-building and the Expressive Arts: Trauma Informed Practice in Communities and Society

October 24th - November 3rd, 2024; Valletta, Malta

The Arts, Health and Society Division of the European Graduate School (EGS) offers professional development for students and current facilitators interested in arts-based approaches in communities. This program provides didactic learning and practical skills training for artists, peacebuilders, humanitarian workers, health care providers, teachers, and change agents from all fields who work with individuals, groups, and communities experiencing traumatic stress and crisis.

More than one billion people have been affected by violence and disaster throughout the world.  Despite growing evidence of the individual and collective consequences of trauma, concrete actions to address these invisible wounds are still often inadequate, if not entirely missing in peacebuilding and development programs. This program offers a transformative training experience to create a network of global leaders who integrate the arts in community based work. In the aftermath of COVID-19, pervasive systemic injustices such as racism, misogyny, and poverty, and escalation of international wars, it is argued that we, as a global community, are living in collective trauma (APA, 2023; Saul, 2022; Watson et. al., 2020). We have adjusted the content of the program to face the current time we are living in and the issues we must face as a collective society. 


As a global community, our social body at times feels fragmented with an increased reality of polarization, disruption in interpersonal relationships, solitude, and the inability to hold difference.  In the midst of so much difference, there is a collective and global sense of dire straits. Arts-based interventions led by experienced facilitators have helped communities utilize the arts to realize their resilience to trauma caused by war, displacement, and systemic injustice, while also empowering them to take steps to create change in their own ways. Thus, fostering personal and communal agency and desire for change can reignite a group’s capacity to act in the face of conflict. 


Efforts to cultivate global health and peace have never been more crucial - the overarching philosophy of salutogenesis is that health-building is peacebuilding. Psychosocial based interventions and well-being are essential for regaining a sense of dignity, self-worth, and continuity.  Research supports body based practices and the arts as vital interventions that can promote healing and engage restorative capacities.  This course offers focused training and practices for global leaders to create spaces for health, connection, belonging and empathy, a way to return to the body and the senses through the arts: essential capacities for anyone engaged in the work of change and justice. 


Topics that will be addressed include:

  • The role of poiesis and conflict transformation

  • Introduction to conflict transformation theories

    Health-building as peacebuilding: The salutogenic model as a theory to guide health promotion

  • Stress and trauma: trauma informed care through an EXA lens

  • Building the immune system of communities

  • From senseless to sensitivity

  • The relationship between everyday ritual and ambiguous loss.

  • Arts and social change:  expanding the play range to get out of feeling stuck/dire straits with communities and groups.

  • Introduction to the Expressive Arts in Transition (EXIT) program and methodology: an evidence based stress management program for people suffering from traumatic stress.




  • Co-Director: Shabrae Jackson, ABD

  • Co-Director: Chelsea Wilkinson, PhD

  • Founder, EGS Core Faculty:  Melinda Meyer, PhD


Course Format:

This course offers a diverse learning experience with 10 days onsite in Malta. The program is led by an internationally acclaimed faculty and was initiated as a pilot program in April 2016. Students will engage in interactive trauma-informed practice as well as attend lectures via Zoom with scholars in the arts and global health. This learning experience concentrates on themes of arts-based trauma intervention and community health, while touching on key concepts from the conflict transformation and peacebuilding fields.


Students can receive 10 ECTS points upon completion of the course and all corresponding work assignments. 


*Please note: This continuing education program is required for students specializing in Expressive Arts in Conflict Transformation & Peace building at EGS with the exception of those students who have a graduate level academic background in arts-based trauma interventions and/or conflict and peace studies.


Location: This 10-day intensive will take place at Fort St. Elmo in the Maltese capital of Valletta. Students are responsible for their own accommodations in the city. 


If you are not an EGS student, an admission interview is required to register for the seminar. You can connect with Lucia De Urioste, or Program Directors Campus, Malta, Shabrae Jackson,, and Chelsea Wilkinson,, for an admission interview.



Registration form can be found under the Downloads section on the website.  Click the “Downloads” button, found at the top right corner, above the website menu bar.  

Please send the registration form to the Administration Office:

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