Expressive Arts Therapy
Expressive arts is a way of supporting people (of all
ages) to express, understand and discover while using experiential mediums such as paint, writing, drawing, photography, movement, music, crafting etc. This page will give you a little more information on using expressive arts as an adjunct to therapy and as a way of supporting the changes and solutions you are looking for.
Expressive Arts is a Little Different from Art Therapy:
Expressive arts uses many different ways for people to do the work of reflection and change. Expressive arts also uses something called the intermodal process.
The Intermodal process means:
using multiple mediums in one session in order to gain a deeper understanding. For example, you might start by creating an image and then you may write about the image or you may start by listening to some music and creating a drawing in response.
Expressive arts can be helpful for all ages (children and adults alike!) and all stages. You don't need to be an artist or even to think you are creative. All you need is a little bit of curiosity and an open mind. It can be as simple as starting with scribbles or creating a mini sculpture with pipe cleaners.
How is expressive arts going to help me with my mental health? When clients use expressive arts in session, often times, they are surprised at what they notice and what comes to their awareness. Expressive arts can help people transform an emotional response (e.g. anxiety to calm). Express arts can help people put into images or art feelings and thoughts that are difficult to put into words. Expressive arts can also help take an experience that feels scary and big and make it into a tangible creation that isn't as overwhelming.
Expressive arts can be used occasionally during sessions as an adjunct, an additional way to process thoughts, feelings, experiences. It can also be used as the main technique of your counselling process. You and your therapist can discuss what this can look like and find the right fit for you.