News & Events

A Sensorimotor Approach to Healing Using the “Clay Field”

Sunday, November 4th, 2018 12:30-3:00 PM
Greenwich House
27 Barrow Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10014

The presenters will introduce and demonstrate Work at the Clay Field, in which a person engages with a flat field of clay held in a shallow wooden box. What emerges as they follow the impulses of their hands is a sensorimotor experience that facilitates the meeting of developmental needs and the release of the effects of trauma held in the body. It can be used with all age groups, from toddlers to the elderly.  Work at the Clay Field is little known outside of Germany and Australia. It was developed in Germany in 1972 by Heinz Deuser and has only recently been available to non-German speakers, primarily through the trainings offered in Australia by Deuser’s long-time student Cornelia Elbrecht, whose book Trauma Healing at the Clay Field was published in 2013. International trainings in English became available only in 2016.

Michelle Rhodes LCSW-R, ATR-BC, NCPsyA

Michelle’s love affair with clay began at the age of 5, when she attended the Queen Street Settlement in Philadelphia. It continued through high school, college, and beyond, including apprenticeships to potters in Japan. She has taught ceramics at Hofstra University and Wagner College.

As a therapist Michelle has experience working with all ages in psychiatric hospitals, clinics, residential settings, and private practice, and has a special interest in the use of clay, sandplay, and other non-verbal approaches to trauma treatment. A Board Certified Art Therapist, NY State Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Nationally Certified Psychoanalyst, Michelle maintains a private practice at her Deep Clay Expressive Therapy Center in Gardiner, NY. She is currently completing her professional training in Work at the Clay Field.

Elaine Oswald LCAT, ATR-BC, CCEP

Elaine is a NY State Licensed Creative Arts Therapist with 18 years experience working with individuals, families, and groups. She is board certified by the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) and received her Master’s in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute. Elaine is also a somatic psychotherapist and Certified Core Energetics Practitioner.  Her professional experience includes 10 years working with children and families at a NYC agency, with a focus on trauma and resiliency. Elaine has also worked with youth in foster care, and adults in substance abuse recovery. She specializes in working with siblings of people with special needs, and with Highly Sensitive People. In addition to her private practice, she leads art therapy groups for autistic children and adolescents at a NYC school.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe physical and technical elements of Work at the Clay Field.
  2. Identify the process of Work at the Clay Field with Children and Adults to heal trauma.
  3. Explain three sensorimotor aspects of Work at the Clay Field.

There will be 2 CE’s offered for LP’s, LMSW’s, LCSW’s and LCAT’s; proof of attendance for all others.  It is the responsibility of the participant seeking CE credits to comply with requirements.  Upon completion a certificate of attendance will be emailed to all participants.

This event is free for IEA students & members.  $100 for non-IEA members.

Cancellation Policy: Please be advised that no refunds are offered after registration is complete.

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IEA offers a personal, intimate training atmosphere based on the belief that every analyst must find her/his own therapeutic metaphor, style, and way of integrating the many dimensions of training.

IEA’s consultation center is also available for low-fee psychotherapy referrals.

The curriculum provides diverse theoretical approaches, including:

  • Object Relations
  • Self-Psychology
  • Relational Psychoanalysis
  • Jungian
  • Contemporary Freudian theory

Training focuses on both verbal and nonverbal aspects of treatment and is applicable for both private practice and institutional settings.

Why is IEA Unique?

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE – IEA provides students with a flexible schedule, not disrupting one’s day job.Our classes meet on Monday evenings after work hours. Child and Adolescent classes meet Wednesday mornings.

TIME EFFECTIVE & COST EFFECTIVE – IEA meets New York State’s requirements for licensure and we work to offer a cost-effective and time-effective path to licensure in psychoanalysis (LP).

ECLECTIC – IEA is the only psychoanalytic institute offering an eclectic program incorporating various creative and expressive modalities.

GROWTH – IEA’s community provides an environment geared towards developing every candidate’s own particular voice.

SMALL GROUP EXPERIENCE – IEA’s classes take place in an intimate setting – the private offices of the instructor.

REFERRALS – IEA’s Consultation Center offers sliding scale therapy services, aimed to provide a constant flow of referrals for our candidates.

ACADEMICS – IEA offers regular scientific presentations that may satisfy continuing education credits, supports a collegial community, and offers opportunity for sharing clinical and theoretical ideas.


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Fall 2009 – Present

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