Teacher Training

7 Day Teacher Training: February 9-16, 2017, in Oracle, Arizona (near Tucson). Please email Aviva if interested. Coming to a workshop is required for consideration for the PFTS Teacher Training.

Dear Prospective PFTS Teachers,

Following are the basic details for PFTS future teacher training programs.


PFTS Training is now 7 days. Training was previously 1 year (and 2 years in 2001). We are now able to complete Training in 7 days because of my greater teaching skill and the careful selection of advanced candidates who have also previously attended a number of PFTS workshops. Session typically begins before dinner on a Wednesday evening and ends after lunch on following Wednesday afternoon. The date of the next session depends on when an appropriate group of 10 has assembled, usually Winter, when it can be delightfully mild in Ojai.


This means that the successful completion of the 7 day teacher Training will give you a "certificate of completion" but not legally entitle you to call yourself PFTS Practitioner or use the PFTS name or logo for your flyers and advertisements. After successful completion you may, of course, add "Completion of 7 DAY PFTS Teacher Training with Aviva Gold" to your resume and Bio.


Emphasis will be on deepening your own painting and personal spiritual process with in depth study of Aviva’s book and PFTS Training Manual plus emphasis on tailoring a program to your individual needs. The part of the process where we embody and express our painting through voice (music), theater, movement and poetry (using Gestalt Techniques), which is unique to Aviva’s work, will be practiced and taught in depth. You will also be taught how to maintain the essential “safe container” from which the transformative work is born. Between session’s there will be reading (from a variety of suggested books that support the process), painting assignments, and for those wanting it, support sessions on telephone or e-mail (for international students) available at a minimal additional cost.

Those in mental health or healing arts occupations and/or working with various populations like children, prisoners, terminally ill, or yoga students, will gain the necessary process painting skills and experience to incorporate the painting process into your work with any population. The basic skills and information will also be available for those desiring and ready to offer their own process painting workshops.

The PFTS Training will aid you in establishing your own ongoing painting practice, as well as enhance your personal growth, including more clarity on how to best use your gifts in the world. Many areas of your life besides creative and occupation will develop, mature and evolve. You will have fun and a tribe of people who will be a support system to you long after training is over. Other skills you will learn (and thus be prepared to teach) include:

  • Trusting your intuition for problem solving and guidance.
  • Learning how to access and use creative techniques and dreams for relaxation, guidance, and wisdom.
The most important reason for painting from the source is so your inner source - that is, the real you - can come out and play.
— Aviva Gold
  • Learning group processing techniques to build a safe productive community.
  • Overcoming shyness and in general ask for and get what you need in work and personal life.
  • Unblocking creative flow, enabling more spontaneity, fun, sensitivity and access to experiencing and expressing emotions (connection with body).
  • Creating art that emanates authenticity and soul beauty from which you will gain a sense of accomplishment, self worth and empowerment that spills over into all experiences of life.
  • Riding out fear of the unknown and trusting the process through which core beliefs such as "the universe is basically hostile" are replaced by "the universe is basically supportive".
  • Learning techniques and new paradigms for reframing and accepting previously
  • Perceived negative/detrimental situations and character traits, thus enhancing self-image, health, intimacy and well-being.
  • Learning effective teaching techniques to open free flow of creativity and health for children, students and clients of all ages.



Ojai is a scenic valley surrounded by national Forest 25 minutes from coastal Ventura, one and a quarter hours north of Los Angeles and one hour south of Santa Barbara. Ojai, which means nest of the moon (in local Chumash language), enjoys mild weather year round.


The full price of tuition is $2,540, but if you register before Jan 1, it is half price, $ 1,650 US currency! The price includes, full tuition, all materials, select parts of the teacher training Manual in digital format, TT DVD, snacks and studio setup fees. After Nov 1, you can pay a deposit of $500 and the balance 1 months before Teacher Training begins. The fee does to include, lodging, meals and travel. Lodging and meals can be arranged individually at reasonable rate.


To be considered into the program, candidates must attend a recent workshop and Aviva clearly remember your process. If not remembered or not considered ready, you may need to attend an additional workshop before consideration. Other requirements include: Completion of a 5 page application, completion of Aviva's book, financial ability to pay fee, above age 30, have working e-mail that is checked at least a few times a week, willingness to be in personal therapy, no active addictions (includes tobacco smoking). 



Training Work Scholarships

As mentioned in the Training Information Letter above, there are 2 work scholarships available. These are offered to people not only in financial need, but people who have taken a number of workshops over the years and very successfully assisted Aviva before. Geographic proximity is also a consideration.

Note from Aviva

Some of what I have learned about training others:

For years workshop participants have asked me to teach them to do what I do. In 1999 I jumped at the challenge, but did not really know what would happen. It was a grand experiment.

Today, after training two groups (a 2 year group and a 1 year group), I have some answers.

  1. I can very effectively offer a safe container for each trainee's individual leadership and teaching style to emerge. ...same space that I offer for participants paintings to emerge.
  2. Trainees can go deeper into their painting process than previously thought possible.
  3. No matter how gifted, charismatic, knowledgeable the trainee, if they are fearful of putting them self out there, resistant to charge money, I cannot teach courage and motivation to lead their own workshop. Sometimes it is the support of the group (and personal therapy) that melts the fear.
  4. Probably the most impressive, profound, constant and unexpected result is the "friends for life" tribal community bond that forms within each group. Rooted in love and mutual support, this bond sprouts a growth spiral, flowering into our best self.

I can only guess that painting, learning, doing sacred rituals, honest sharing of deep self, all together, periodically over an extended amount of time, is a chemical recipe for growth, a yeast for personal empowerment.