Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between expressive art therapy and traditional art therapy?

The main difference is that Expressive Arts (EXA) uses all the disciplines of art: visual, movement, music, drama and writing/poetry, instead of focusing on just one. Expressive Art therapists can offer a client as many art options as possible. Traditional art therapy refers to a single art discipline such as drama therapy, music therapy and so forth.

2. What happens at each session?

Most sessions last an hour and a half. 

Each session starts with assessing the state of the client and  his/her goals. This is followed by directed art making.  We emphasize the art making process and NOT the product. Then we discuss the art making process and the images that have emerged and what they tells us about real life experience/challenges.

3. I'm a terrible artist.  I don't know how to draw, paint or play music. Is expressive arts a good fit for me?

Expressive arts therapy is process focused.  We aren't evaluating the quality of the art.  We are just using the art to understand our internal emotional process. No art experience is necessary  or important to the experience. 

4. How do you analyze my art?

The therapist/facilitator uses observations about your work to ask guiding questions. Together, the facilitator and client unfold  the meaning of the art making process for each individual.  Since every person is unique, they come with unique artistic interpretations. For instance, if a client uses a lot of red in a painting the therapist does NOT decide that the person is angry.  The facilitator helps the client decide if there is any meaning to  using a dominant color and exploring it's meaning.  It could be a client's favorite color or  it might be a color the client associates with a certain person or experience.  

5. How do you decide what art modality we will be using in the session?

There is no recipe book for a session. Our training teaches us to tailor art projects to specific goal outcomes and specific clients needs. 

6. Is art making a part of your daily life?

I use art in my personal life on a regular basis. For the last several years I've been dancing Jazz and hip hop. I also play the drum and the clarinet. I'm also a member of the playback theater troupe, Mistrels of Story.

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