John F. Kennedy University           School of Holistic Studies

Department of Arts and Consciousness   Fall 2008

A&C5200 A1 Transformative Arts Education: Art and Healing

Instructor: Michael Samuels, MD

"Michael Samuels" and

Dates: October 11 & 12 10am-6pm and December 6 & 7, 10am-6pm  Studios S1/S2

3 Units    This class is Credit/No Credit


Course Description: 

Prayer, art, and healing, all come from the same source, the human soul. Art and Healing will free our inner healer by embracing the passionate, creative, artist in each one of us. It is about healing yourself, others, or the earth, by tapping into the creative energy that makes us and keeps us alive.  In ancient times, the first artist and the first healer were one person, the shaman. Now, this figure is the artist-healer. This course will examine the experience of artist healer through discussion of the physiology and history of art and healing and explore how to use the various expressive arts (writing, movement, art/image, silence and sound) in the healing process of body, mind and spirit. It will review case studies and examples from the doctors, nurses, therapists and hospitals that are incorporating the arts into patient care and explore options for such care in our own community and as a career path.  It will also examine how artists use art to heal relationships, neighborhoods, and ecosystems. We will work with guided visualizations, and creative process throughout the course. Students will develop a creative project using visual arts, word, dance, music or ceremony to heal themselves, others, community or the earth. 

Learning Objectives: Students successfully completing the course will have:

  1. Gained knowledge and experience of the physiology and history of art and healing.
  2. Explored the ways that art and healing is practiced by artists within contemporary society.
  3. Acquired new tools for and perspectives on their own creative/healing work with physical, psychological, personal growth and social issues.
  4. Identified a variety of possible career paths that are available to artists who work within the field of art and healing.

Grading: credit will be based on the following:
*A journal tracking your involvement in art and healing throughout the course.
*A project using visual arts, (word, music, dance, or ceremony) to heal yourself, others, or the neighborhood/earth.

*A 3-5 page paper documenting your process with the project.

Required books

Creative Healing, Michael Samuels, M.D., and Mary Rockwood Lane, Ph D., Harper
San Francisco, 1998.
Spirit Body Healing, Michael Samuels and Mary Rockwood Lane, Wiley, Oct 2000.  (both available used or online. )

Michael Samuels, M.D. is the founder and director of Art As A Healing force, a project
started in 1990 and devoted to integrating the arts and healing. He lectures nationwide to physicians, nurses, artists and patients on how to use art in healing.  He is the author of  seventeen books including the best selling Well Body Book, Well Baby Book,
Well Pregnancy Book, and Seeing With the Mind's Eye. He is author with Mary Rockwood Lane of Creative Healing, How Anyone Can Use Art, Writing, Music, and Dance to Heal Body and Soul, and Spirit Body Healing. He also has a private practice using art and guided imagery with cancer patients and others with life threatening illness. 





For non-degree/audit/alumni registration information: please contact Caroline Lovell at 925-969-3429 or

For general information about the university: