Beyond Words: How the Expressive Arts Help Heal Trauma


Beyond Words: How the Expressive Arts Help Heal Trauma, Matt McGaughey & Susie McGaughey, ATR, LPC

Attendees will be introduced to the neuroscience of trauma and the 6R’s of Effective Therapeutic Interventions. They will learn about the developmental impact of trauma and gain knowledge on how effective intervention strategies rooted in the expressive arts can be used in various settings. Presenters also will highlight Great Circle’s expressive arts program, demonstrating how it utilizes principles of The Neurosequential Model and sharing stories of how the arts are a natural therapy for kids struggling with trauma.

Attendees will be able to:

  • Understand the neuroscience of trauma
  • Gain knowledge of “The 6 R’s of Effective Therapeutic Interventions”
  • Become aware of how expressive arts are an effective tool in working with traumatized children

Susie McGaughey is a registered art therapist and licensed counselor with more than 12 years of experience working with children and adolescents with histories of trauma. As a Great Circle therapist, she has completed Phase 1 training in The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics© and focuses on integrating expressive arts therapies into her trauma work with children and adolescents. McGaughey also has worked with patients and families facing serious medical illnesses or in hospice, and in bereavement. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater from Webster University and a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy Counseling from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

Matt McGaughey is Great Circle’s director of expressive arts, collaborating with educators and clinicians to incorporate arts programming into therapeutic strategies as part of Great Circle’s trauma-sensitive environment. He has more than 10 years working in assisted living and hospice provider settings in both administrative and programmatic capacities. While a professional actor and educator in Chicago, he implemented arts education programs in the public schools, and in St. Louis, acted with the Imaginary Theater Company and was active in the local music scene. McGaughey has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from Webster University.

in art therapy counseling from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville


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