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The 5th Annual Expressive Therapies Summit

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Sunday, November 9 • 10:00am - 11:20am
Using Scent in Trauma-focused Art and Play Therapy

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ROOM 810

Smell is the most powerful sensory modality in relation to memory, yielding vivid emotional associations while often bypassing cognition. This paper presentation will explore the use of smell and scent in trauma treatment through a multi-modal approach, going beyond basic aromatherapy (scent for 'soothing') to utilize olfactory stimulation to help trauma survivors process sensory-encoded memories. The presenter will examine ways to use scent-triggers to evoke a safe space, providing a coping mechanism for patients when destabilized. Participants will learn methods of incorporating olfactory components into art and play therapies, as well as mindfulness strategies to aid the process.


Mikella L. Millen, MA, ATR, LCAT

Mikella L. Millen, MA, ATR, LCAT, is a clinical trainer and art therapist in private practice, and a graduate of New York University’s art therapy master’s program. She has worked extensively in the child welfare system, using art therapy to treat children, adolescents, and parents with trauma response and grief. Mikella specializes in the use of mindfulness and non-traditional materials in trauma treatment. She is also trained in a... Read More →

Sunday November 9, 2014 10:00am - 11:20am
Executive Conference Center 1601 Broadway, New York, NY