Healing Arts Certificate Program


The Healing Arts Certificate Program at UNM is designed to provide an introduction to the healing arts for all interested students, members of the community, and professional health care workers.

The term ‘healing arts’ refers to a wide range of creative and disciplined practices that foster an individual’s innate healing potential thereby promoting health, wellness, coping skills, and personal change.

The program will not focus on any one particular healing art but rather provide an overview that includes examination of current research, exposure to various historical, cultural, and spiritual approaches to healing, and clinical observation and experience. Although participants will be required to obtain further training in their chosen area of expertise, the program will provide a substantial theoretical grounding for all potential healing arts practitioners and an introduction to the Arts-in-Medicine Program at the University of New Mexico Hospitals.


  • Course #1, #2, #3 and #4 can be taken in any order and have no prerequisites.
  • Students can choose between course #4 and course #5 to fulfill the fourth course of the certificate program.
  • Course #5 has a prerequisite of course #1, #2, and #3.
  • Four courses must be successfully completed before applying to take course #6. If application is approved, students may register for course #6 with instructor approval.
  • Participants can register as UNM students or as community members (call 277-0404 for more information).


1. WHOLE PERSON CARE: Healing Arts I (FA*401)
This course is an exploration of the transformative power of the creative process in relationship to physical, mental, and spiritual health. Emphasizing personal discovery of health and wholeness, the course provides an introduction to the healing arts including, but not limited to, visual art, music, movement, reflective writing, drama, meditation, guided imagery, various forms of bodywork, and energy medicine.

Through readings, discussion, research assignments, small community projects, observation of the Arts-in-Medicine Program at University Hospitals, and a wide range of creative encounters in the classroom, participants gain an overview of diverse practices and methodologies that make up the healing arts. Teaching style will be based on principles of adult learning as espoused in holistic, experiential, project-based, self-directed and transformational learning theories. (The former ‘Arts-in-Medicine I’ course can substitute for ‘Whole Person Care’.)

This course explores the nature of creative collaboration, the essential role communication plays in the collaborative process, and the transformative/healing potentialities that lie therein. Participants will learn a variety of communication strategies that support different models of collaboration. In addition, they will gain hands-on experience by collaborating on a creative community-engagement project of their choice. Learners from many different backgrounds and disciplines will benefit from the course including healthcare workers, artists (musicians, dancers, actors, visual artists, writers), educators, for-profit and nonprofit business leaders, and community activists.
3. BODY AS LIVING STORY: Healing Arts III (FA*403)
This course is an inquiry into multiple ways of knowing which will enable participants to view the multidimensional and complex nature of the body. Participants will broaden their awareness of allopathic medicine through a brief overview of major bodily systems (i.e. Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Endocrine, Immune, Nervous, Digestive, Urinary, Structural, Integumentary, etc.) as they relate to various other approaches to healing (i.e. Ayurveda, Oriental Medicine, Energetic Medicine, Indigenous Healing, Mind-Body Modalities, etc.).

From this expanded view of healing, participants will investigate how “dis-ease” within the body may reflect a person’s “living story”. Common symptoms will be explored including the multidimensional nature of pain and suffering. Teaching style will be based on principles of adult learning as espoused in holistic, experiential, project-based, self-directed and transformational learning theories. This course is particularly appropriate and useful for healthcare workers in the community who may be interested in taking one course only as an introduction to the healing arts. Participants can register as UNM students or community members (call 277-0404 for more information).

This course provides a hands-on approach to learning about arts-based community projects. Students will study successful contemporary models of community-engaged projects from around the world. The majority of time, however, will be spent working on a single arts-based

community project in collaboration with a local organization. This work will integrate the following core values as a framework to guide implementation practices: appreciative inquiry, active imagination, deep listening, positive feedback, reflection and resolution. Students will develop a variety of skillsets needed to design, implement, manage, document, and assess projects including but not limited to community organizing and communications, event/volunteer coordination, public relations, graphic design, and fundraising. Students from many different backgrounds and majors will benefit from taking this course including healthcare workers, artists (musicians, dancers, actors, visual artists, writers), educators, for- profit and nonprofit business leaders, and community activists. (In some years this course may also take place abroad.)

This course is only open to students who have completed the first three courses of the Healing Arts Certificate Program and are planning to complete the certificate program. It provides an opportunity for advanced, concentrated, and individually directed study in the area of the healing arts. Students must have permission from the director of Arts-in-Medicine to register for the course. Specific course requirements will involve research, writing, and/or practice and will be determined together by director, faculty advisor, and student.
6. PRACTICUM: Healing Arts VI (FA*497)
Before registering for this course students must a) successfully complete the other four courses in the Healing Arts Certificate Program, b) complete an application form, and c) be formally accepted into the course. Upon acceptance, the course will be collaboratively designed by student and faculty advisor with the goal of providing a more comprehensive and in-depth experience of the healing arts in either a medical or community setting.

The internship will consist of 65 hours (undergraduate) or 75 hours (graduate) over the course of one semester at a particular site, plus additional meetings with instructor and/or other students. The course can be repeated if the student would like experience in different venues.

Dr. Patricia Repar

Melissa Sandoval
Program Coordinator

Clinical Services

Healing Arts and Creative Encounters for patients and families, as well as staff and providers at The University of New Mexico Hospitals


Healing Arts Certificate Program for undergraduate and graduate students, healthcare professionals, and the community-at-large. One of the six courses offered is an optional study abroad course in southern Africa


Various projects to evaluate the program as a whole as well as specific interventions for specific populations

Community Outreach

Projects to promote and develop arts and health initiatives in local and regional community organizations and healthcare facilities

International Collaboration

Work with various international organizations and universities to promote and develop arts and healthcare programming in other countries; several projects currently underway in southern Africa

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