Calling all creatives!
- Has your creative capacity diminished due to past traumas or distressing experiences?
- Does your creative output get stalled by paralysis, spaciness, overwhelm, fear, shame, or emotional dysregulation that may be tied to older emotional wounds?
- Do certain aspects of creative work, like rejection or vulnerability, trigger trauma-like responses that make it difficult to move forward?
- Do you wish you could better integrate all of these things–your wounds, your creativity, your self–with your faith?
Trauma and other wounding experiences can limit our capacity to face life with creativity and imaginative hope. This is particularly distressing for people whose identities or livelihoods are tied to generative creative work (including writers, visual artists, music writers, and more).
EXPAND is the only trauma-informed group coaching program tailored to the unique needs of professional and aspiring-to-be-professional creatives. It equips creatives who have experienced trauma and other inhibiting life wounds with the insights and practices they need to gently and intentionally re-awaken their creative lifeforce.
Inspired by the life-giving words of Isaiah 54:2, this 8-week journey is an invitation to “expand the tent” of your creative habitation, to lengthen and strengthen the cords that connect us to ourselves, to our creative perception, to the world around us, and to God.
In a world that emphasizes output and market value of creative work, EXPAND holds space for participants to go deeper and rebuild their creative foundation without pressure or judgment. Only by learning to access the sources of emotional and physiological regulation already within us can we re-inhabit our lives and creative work expansively, fruitfully, and imaginatively.
- WHEN: June 13 – August 15, 2022 – be part of the inaugural cohort!
- WHERE: All content and coaching sessions will be conducted virtually
- COST: USD$99/month for two months (use coupon code EarlyExpand22 at checkout until May 31 to get $10 off!)
- This is a special offer! The EXPAND program is valued at over $650, but members of the inaugural cohort (June-Aug 2022) can sign up at this one-time low price to help me test and improve the concept for future groups.
(Psst! Use coupon code EarlyExpand22 at checkout until May 31 to get $10 off!)
What you get
- Weekly 75-minute group coaching sessions via Zoom (Mondays 2PM – 3:15PM EDT; additional slots may open up depending on cohort size)
- Access to video files of each group coaching session for a minimum of 7 days following each call
- Online course curriculum materials with weekly themes and daily creative prompts and exercises
- Access to private EXPAND Community to connect with the rest of the cohort between sessions (NOTE: this will be hosted on a coaching community platform NOT on social media)
- An end-of-program virtual reception where participants will have the chance to share the creative fruits developed during the Expand! Program
Hi, my name is Nicole Roccas. I’m an author, communications professional, and certified trauma-informed coach based in Hamilton, Ontario.
For much of my life, writing has served as a conduit for translating the chaos and pain of the world around me into order and meaning. My three published books, podcast, and social media presence share a common theme of trying to give voice to the pain and blessing of what it means to be human in a broken and sometimes painful world.
Much of my own pain as of late has revolved around acknowledging and healing from experiences of trauma. The further I travel the healing journey, the more I realize how much my emotional scars affect my ability to write and think creatively, and offer the fruits of my creative work to a world full of people who have the ability to hurt me.
In 2021, I completed my trauma-informed coaching certification through Moving the Human Spirit. My hope was to be able to help others with a history of trauma, especially fellow writers, locate strength and resilience within themselves and re-engage their lives and work creatively and expressively.
I created the EXPAND Program to address the unique needs of trauma survivors who are also creatives like myself. Whether we are newly aware of how past experiences have wounded us or we’ve been on the healing journey for yaers, we haven’t yet been able to fully integrate all of this into the vulnerable, generative, mysterious space of our creative work.
I hope you’ll join me!
Who is EXPAND for?
- Creatives whose process has in any way been impacted by trauma or emotionally distressing experiences. (NOTE: I define “creatives” as professional, avocational, or aspiring creatives of any medium, including writers, authors, visual artists, songwriters, or others.)
- Christian creatives of any tradition or background trying to integrate faith into the journey of creating through trauma
- Creatives who want to learn how they can better support themselves when writing/creating about distressing personal experiences (e.g. personal memoirs)
- Christian creatives who experience distress and dysregulation in reaction to key aspects of the professional creative life (e.g. rejection, vulnerability of self-expression, reviews, self-promotion, in-person talks, etc.)
Will I have to write/create about my trauma (or hear others’ accounts of trauma)?
No. None of the writing and creative prompts in the Expand! Program ask participants to talk about trauma(s) or distressing experiences. They aim, instead, at expanding space for the connectedness, groundedness, and creativity that trauma and dysregulation often deplete.
How will this program help me learn to support myself when writing or creating about distressing experiences?
The EXPAND Program will employ a combination of “top(or mind)-down” and “bottom (or body)-up” strategies. This means that we will work with both the conscious mind and the feeling body to build habits of self-awarenss, regulation, and resilience, with particular focus on expanding and strengthening our creative footprint.
Rather than continuously diving into the past of what happened to us, we will operate from the present, learning strategies to access emotional and nervous system regulation to help us dwell more deeply in our creative work.
Ultimately, these strategies will help participants
- Become more aware of the subtleties of dysregulation and how they hinder creativity;
- Better regulate distressing experiences and memories, particularly in the context of creative expression;
- More meaningfully integrate past wounds (and the ways they still affects us) with the totality of our creative selves.
How will I benefit from EXPAND?
By the end of this group coaching program, participants who have remained active and engaged to the best of their ability can expect to have gained the following:
- The ability to better identify and bear witness to the ways trauma and emotional distress affects their creative work;
- A greater degree of emotional regulation and peacefulness than when they started—both within their creative process and with the public-facing dimensions of creative work;
- A variety of tools and strategies for staying creative and fruitful during times of dysregulation and pain;
- A community of other creatives who are trying to merge the healing path with the creative one.
How will the EXPAND program be structured?
- Weekly coaching sessions will be conducted via Zoom and feature a short learning portion or talk by Nicole that addresses connections between trauma/ healing and our creative capacity. This will be followed by structured exercises, interactive discussions, and/or sharing between participants (you will always be able to choose the degree you wish to participate interactively).
- Asynchronous course content between weekly coaching sessions will provide participants with weekly themes and daily writing/creative exercises to help participants apply session insights to their lives. Participants are free to choose when and whether to complete the prompts and exercises based on their schedule, desire, or capacity on any given day. While many of the creative exercises were initially developed as writing prompts, participants are encouraged to adapt them to their own medium—if they are visual artists, they may find it more useful to complete these exercise as sketches or paintings.
- The Expand! community forum is available at all times for cohort members to check in with one another, build relationships, and share insights, wins, and struggles. The forum will be private and NOT run through a social media platform.
Is EXPAND only for creatives who identify as Christian?
EXPAND is intended for folks who on some level draw their sense of creative vocation from Christian faith (broadly defined). But it also recognizes that faith can be a difficult and sensitive area for many, and may even be tied to experiences of trauma for some. Therefore, although EXPAND content will provide rich avenues for willing participants to seek further integration between faith, past traumas, and the creative calling, this will in no way be forced or required, nor will it be tied to any particular expression of Christianity.
Disclosure: I (Nicole) identify as Eastern Orthodox.