Expressive Arts Therapy
Expressive arts therapy refers to a therapeutic approach with individuals, couples, families, groups, and community-based programs that integrates a wide range of arts modalities in the service of human growth, development, and healing. Expressive arts therapists seek to build a compassionate, supportive, and culturally-sensitive relationship with clients. An expressive arts session is not an art class; rather, it is about enabling self-expression in a safe environment with no judgement of self or others.
Expressive arts therapy combines visual arts, movement, drama, music, and poetry to foster deep personal growth and community development. By integrating the arts processes and allowing them to flow, we gain access to our inner resources for healing, clarity, illumination, and creativity. Unlike traditional art expression, the process of making art is emphasized rather than the final product.
Expressive arts therapy is used in a therapeutic, rehabilitative, educational, and communal setting to foster holistic health, communication, and expression. The therapist does not interpret colors or images: in expressive arts, the client and therapist work as a team. Together, they explore what the art work means.
In expressive arts therapy, clients can communicate ideas and feelings that may be hard to put into words, such as negative feelings, and other personal experiences. Expressive arts therapy helps with resolving emotional conflicts, increasing self-awareness, developing social skills, managing behaviors, reducing anxiety, and increasing self-esteem.