(Self-study, 1.5 CEs) The Heroine's Journey (Part I): Theory

A Creative Arts Therapies Approach to Working with Women's Depression and Anxiety

Applicable for self help and mental health professionals.

(1.5 Live event, continuing education contact hours for LCATs in New York State.)

In a modern, fast-paced world, many women today experience a painful disconnect from the deep Feminine. Raised on psychologies that examine a woman's femininity as a reaction to a male paradigm, as opposed to her own inherent trajectory, women have become lost and unable to find our way back to center, leading to the highest rates of depression and anxiety ever recorded.

This course offers an introduction to a dynamic model for understanding and embracing a feminine identity through the framework of “The Heroine’s Journey,” by Maureen Murdock.

This presentation includes:

  • Review of Psychodynamic Theory as it Applies to The Heroine’s Journey
  • Important Aspects of Female Adolescent Development
  • An introduction to an 8-week treatment protocol, Embracing the Feminine.
  • A Sample Experiential

This course is right for you, if you are...

  • A creative arts therapist
  • A mental health professional
  • Seeking self-help
  • Seeking creative inspiration

The framework of The Heroine's Journey, and the practices in this challenge are primarily focused on the experiences of cisgendered women. However, I do believe that the work we cultivate around the "womb space," which is also the sacrum or sacral chakra, can apply to all who wish to cultivate their feminine aspects.

The sacral chakra is associated with receptivity, emotional intelligence, affect regulation, the embracing of dualities, sexuality, pleasure, play, and creativity. It is where we first explore and learn to organize our sensuality and felt experiences. Exploring this part of the self as represented by the energetic or spiritual body is a benefit to all, even if the physical "parts" may be different than that of a cisgendered woman, or have been surgically altered, removed, or damaged.

Now, before you say, "I'm fine"...

Ask yourself if you feel:

  • Nervous or "empty"
  • Guilty or worthless
  • Very tired and slowed down
  • You don't enjoy things the way you used to
  • Restless and irritable
  • Like no one loves you
  • Like life is not worth living
  • Constantly questioning yourself or your decisions
  • Panicky or restless for no reason

Or if you are:

  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Having persistent headaches, stomach aches, or chronic pain
  • Constantly in motion
  • Always have to be “productive” or doing something
  • Avoid stillness and silence as much as possible
  • Turn to stimulating activities or distractions to avoid your own thoughts

If these symptoms keep occurring and are interfering with your daily life, they may be signs of depression or anxiety.

Approximately 12 million women in the United States experience clinical depression each year (nearly twice the rate of men). About one in every eight women can expect to develop clinical depression during their lifetime. Additionally, depression occurs most frequently in women aged 25 to 44, and girls ages 14-18 have a consistently higher rate of depression than boys at this age.

There is an interrelationship between the bio-psycho-social-spiritual aspects of life, and we must approach treatment from this integrative perspective.

With this course, women will tap into a resource for healing all of the above factors. It involves shifting from an overemphasis on external strivings and an essential disconnect from your “true self,” to focusing on your spiritual core, and reintegrating your feminine aspects with the masculine.

As you engage with the practices in this course, I hope you become empowered to take ownership of your journey to self-discovery, which will allow for the manifestation deeply loving and intimate relationships.

Participants of this event will be able to identify the following on a multiple choice quiz and learning assessment, which will be part of the course evaluation:

  • Identify at least two stages of the Heroine’s Journey
  • Identify two important aspects of treating "The Feminine Wound."
  • Identify at least one Mindfulness-Based, Creative Arts Therapies directive in Working with Women’s Depression and Anxiety.

If you are interested in continuing education contact hours...

This course is currently offering 1.5 self-study, continuing education contact hours, for Licensed Creative Arts Therapists in New York State.

In order to obtain these contact hours you will need:

  • To complete all Lesson modules (there is a tracking system that monitors if you watched all lectures to their completion and opened all lesson modules, etc.).
  • To complete a course evaluation through Survey Monkey.
  • To complete a graded learning assessment (you must answer at least 75% of the questions correctly; this score will trigger the release of your certificate by email).

A reminder about self-study and continuing education:

For LCATs in New York State, a self-study course can only equal 1/3 of the required contact hours for your license renewal. So, if your license renews in three years, you will require 36 continuing education contact hours, thus a maximum of 12 of those hours can be self-study. The rest of your contact hours must be live events. This includes online webinars, which will be offering on a monthly basis, starting in February of 2017. All enrolled students will be updated on new live and self-study course launches, so keep an eye out for our newsletter!

Please click here for Webinar FAQs.

If you have any problems or technical difficulties, please contact Briana MacWilliam at [email protected] is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Creative Arts Therapists. (#CAT-0014.)

Your Instructor

Briana MacWilliam MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT
Briana MacWilliam MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT

After graduating with a BFA in Illustration and a minor in psychology, Briana MacWilliam moved to New York City where she earned her Master’s in Professional Studies and Creative Arts Therapy (MPS) from Pratt Institute.

For over a decade, Ms. MacWilliam has practiced as a Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist (ATR-BC, LCAT) in various healthcare settings throughout New York City, working predominantly with traumatized women and addiction. For the past four years, she worked as a research coordinator at the Amen Clinics Inc., an agency focused on using brain scans and SPECT technology to provide accurate diagnosis and integrative treatment for mental health problems, poor nutrition, and other obscure conditions.

Dr. Amen has been a guest on CNN, PBS, Dr. Oz, Entertainment Television, Dr. Phil, The View, TedX, Rachel Ray, Larry King, and more. To learn more about The Amen Method, which focuses on the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of life and treatment, click here. To take an online brain health assessment, click here.

Currently, in addition to private practice, Ms. MacWilliam is a professor for Pratt Institute’s Graduate Creative Arts Therapies Department, where she teaches personality development, thesis research and clinical supervision.

Writing, drawing, and painting have always been her passion, and she strongly believes in the curative powers of the creative process.

To learn more, please visit her website at Or her community blog for artists and writers at Yellow Bricks. You can also follow her weekly posts on mindfulness and artmaking on Instagram or her Facebook Page.

Course Curriculum

  Video Lecture
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days after you enroll
  Tools and Giveaways
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days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We welcome any and all feedback! Please leave your comments on the course evaluation form, which is required to receive your continuing education contact hours certificate.

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