Transforming Trauma to Growth: Arts-based Group Journaling


Trauma-informed Care Series

 in helping professional practice


Transforming Trauma to Growth: Arts-based Group Journaling


Trainer︰Ms Fiona Chang 

Workshop Description:

This training workshop combines the theoretical foundation of Person-Centered
Expressive Arts for healing physiological-psychosocial wounds. It is a practicebased
professional training of applying multi-modal arts-based journaling to enhance human growth and group development. The workshop is designed for any helping professional who is interested in applying arts in their practice, pursuing expressive arts as a professional path, providing arts-based group therapy training and clinical supervision. Expressive arts are creative tools for expression, communication, healing and transformation. This creative practice is person-centered, engagement-oriented and process-focused. Participants will have opportunity to experiment the use of arts-based journaling for reviewing challenges in life and understanding the impact of traumatic experience. In the synthesis of hands-on creative healing and conceptual learning, they can be empowered individually and professionally.


Arts-based group journaling is a powerful tool to understand and transform our life experiences. The workshop will be taught through individual and group experiential activities. Working principles will be integrated with practice through sharing of frontline experiences, experiential exercises, self-study, live facilitation, witnessing, sharing of reflections and creative collectiveness. The arts modalities, including visual art, music, sounding, dramatic exercises, body movement, writing and mindfulness practice, will be explored in the learning.


​On completion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

a. understand the core principles of using arts-based group journaling for trauma healing and recovery.

b. develop a person-centered being, skills and sensitivity for applying multimodal of expressive arts in clinical practice with cultural consideration;

c. understand the Person-centered facilitation in group work for individual and professional growth.



  1. Hands-on activities

  2. Live demonstration

  3. Reflective practice

About the trainer:

M. Soc. Sc., PhD Candidate, CUHK


Fiona is a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist affiliated with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) and a Registered Social Worker in Hong Kong. She is currently enrolled in the Ph.D program at the Department of Social Work of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She was trained in Personcentered Expressive Arts Approach under the founder Dr. Natalie Rogers at Saybrook University in the U.S. She founded the Three-year Expressive Arts Therapy Training Program of the Centre on Behavioral Health of the University of Hong Kong (HKU). She has been an Honorary Lecturer of the Department of Social Work and Social Administration of HKU since 2006. She wrote several chapters for internationally and locally published books. She is an international trainer, amateur artist, unpaid photographer and full-time mother.

Fiona is the Vice-chairperson of “Art in Hospital” and President of the Expressive Arts Therapy Association of Hong Kong (EATA HK). She has integrated multimodal expressive arts processes in counseling and group therapy for nearly 24 years. She has practiced expressive arts therapy in a variety of setting, working with people with health and mental challenges, deprived women, parents and children with special needs, ex-drug addicts and helping
professionals. She pioneered the Patient Resource Centre in public hospitals and has been honorary advisors of several patient self-help organizations since 1993. She received the H.K. International Cancer Congress Young Investigators’ Award, Outstanding Staff of Hospital Authority and Distinguished Social Work Alumni of HKU.

Regarding international involvement, she is the former Co-chair of the Regional Committee, the Conference Co-chair, and the current Executive Co-chair of IEATA. She is the honorary advisor of the "Art Therapy Without Borders", the South Western College in Santa Fe and the Mind-Body Department of the Five Branches University in California. She was the honorary board member of the Ragamuffin Project in Cambodia from 2011 to 2013. She has taught expressive arts at numerous universities in Hong Kong, the US, Malaysia and India, and also for NGOs in Mainland China and Cambodia. She joined the Nepal expressive arts therapy project of Harambee Arts in 2013. She recently initiated expressive arts project with Orphans with HIV in Cambodia, a Wellness CD project for cancer patients in Hong Kong and hosting the IEATA Conference in Hong Kong in 2015.

She wrote several chapters on expressive arts therapy for internationally and locally published books, including "The Creative Connection for Groups: Personcentered Expressive Arts for Healing & Social Change”, “Art Therapy in Asia: To the bone or Wrapped in Silk”, “Art Therapy and Health Care”, “Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care in Hong Kong: The first decade” and “ 千帆並舉 - 社會工作小組新貌" - Group Case book (in Chinese).