Expressive Art Therapy

Expressive art therapy uses the creative arts as a form of therapy. Similar to art or dance therapy, expressive art therapy uses the creative process of each individual to promote healing. The goal of expressive art therapy is to facilitate self-discovery, increased awareness, connection and understanding. The act of creating art helps to unlock the expression of inner feelings, and the creative process is the path toward better emotional health. Rather than focusing on the final product, the process of creation via nonverbal language is the emphasis. This type of therapy is often used with children, who may participate in music, movement, or finger painting while the therapist observes the activity and encourages the child to talk about the experience. Adult clients might journal, dance, or create videos in order to connect better with themselves and others. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s expressive art therapy specialists today.

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Certified in Healing Trauma with Guided Drawing: A Sensorimotor Art Therapy Approach to Bilateral Body Mapping by Dr. Cornelia Elbrecht’s Institute for Sensorimotor Art Therapy (2019) Certified in Level 1 & 2 Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy with Dr. Cathy Malchiodi’s Trauma-Informed Practices & Expressive Arts Therapy Institute (2018-19)

— Aly Dearborn, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

Art is a way to express your inner self without the limitations of words. Colors, sounds, flavors, and all other sensory experiences are information that can be communicated through various mediums of art. Art leads to connection where there may be isolation. In all shapes and forms, connection and communication is the purpose of art, and connection and communication are the foundations of healing. No level of artistic ability required

— Sidrah Khan, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX

I utilize sacred cultural storytelling to support BIPOC & Immigrant folks in giving voice to (or writing, or singing) narratives and stories of cultural & ancestral resilience, dignity, joy, worth, respect, laughter, solidarity, struggle, & empowerment. I use expressive art practices including: somatic embodied movement exercises, story telling, improv games, free association, dance, dreamwork, creative arts, parts work, sounding, and role play.

— Nima Saalabi, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Sebastopol, CA

Using art in therapy eases the pressure of talk therapy. It allows for some creativity and freedom.

— Patricia Bishop, Clinical Social Worker in Knoxville, TN

Expressive arts therapy modalities include dance/movement/yoga, writing, poetry, music, sound, drama/enactment/role play, embodiment, art, dreamwork, metaphor and symbolism (often through nature or imagery), and more. My version of expressive arts therapy is inspired by nature, intuition, narrative, and curiosity. Why just talk?

— Becky Robbins, Creative Art Therapist in Kenmore, WA

Think of me as your personal guide in finding your inner creative muse. We use the process of art makings and markings to explore and provide outlets for what gets trapped inside, smothered and stepped on. I want to help you tap into flexing, stretching, and growing these expressive muscles. You need no special skills to engage in this process, you have them already.

— Andrea Picard, Counselor in Chicago, IL

Sometimes, the words we use to describe what we are going through (talking) doesn't completely explain our pain or difficulties. Some things are difficult to put into words, yet are felt and sensed quite clearly. This is where non-verbal practices (art, movement, music, writing, storytelling, ritual) can be helpful, as they express--via creativity--the how, what and why of our situation. I am trained in facilitating expressive arts therapy sessions, and have simple tools to offer.

— Amanda Rebel, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Wheat Ridge, CO

Creativity like visual and 3D arts, writing, poetry, and movement can all be amazing ways to express and explore emotion, challenge our inner critics, and flex our ability to imagine new possibilities.

— Adrian Eraslan, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

I am a certified expressive arts practitioner (CEAP) and I integrate this work both in person and in Telehealth settings in cases where it may be helpful for one to get out of their head to discover feelings that may be lingering. Expressive arts is used as an adjunct and is a multi-modal approach to healing. It may include; dance, drama, journaling, music, writing and more.

— Michelle North, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Encinitas, CA

Art brings the power of mindfulness and the joy of self-expression together to foster some truly magical healing. Being able to play, to express yourself without words, and to create a new felt experience is one of the most effective (and enjoyable) ways to heal. You don't have to be "good at art" to find peace and release through creation... you just have to give it a try.

— Katrina Knizek, Counselor in Spokane, WA

I have expertise in utilizing expressive arts therapy, with a specific focus on dance and movement. I understand the transformative power of movement and the profound impact it can have on emotional expression, self-discovery, and healing.

— Catherine Liang, Clinical Psychologist

Certified in Healing Trauma with Guided Drawing: A Sensorimotor Art Therapy Approach to Bilateral Body Mapping by Dr. Cornelia Elbrecht’s Institute for Sensorimotor Art Therapy (2019) Certified in Level 1 & 2 Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy with Dr. Cathy Malchiodi’s Trauma-Informed Practices & Expressive Arts Therapy Institute (2018-19)

— Aly Dearborn, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

Over 20 years of practice developing and implementing expressive arts therapy programs and activities with children, adolescents, and adults. Systems aware and trauma-informed care that is scientifically proven to relieve feelings.

— Mary Beth Rabon, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Charlotte, NC

As an artist myself combined with my undergraduate concentration in the psychology of art and artists, I recognize art as being a powerful tool for positive mental health changes. I enjoy the process of exploring and discovering artistic voices and how to tell your story through expression.

— Michael Nolan, Therapist in New York, NY

Expressive arts intervention is a creative and holistic approach that uses various art forms, such as painting, writing, and music, to support individuals in their therapeutic journey. By engaging in artistic expression, clients can explore their emotions, release tension, and gain insights into their inner world. Expressive Arts Interventions can be particularly beneficial for individuals who may struggle with traditional talk therapy or find it difficult to express themselves verbally.

— Grace Shivka, Licensed Professional Counselor in Phoenix, AZ

I have formal training in Expressive Art Therapy from the American Play Therapy Association.

— Nicole Jenkins, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Brooklyn, NY

I've experienced firsthand the power of creative expression to foster healing in my life, and I've seen the way it impacts others as well. With a certificate in expressive arts therapy, I am excited to explore any form of creative expression that lights you up, including visual art, music, writing, movement, singing, drama, and more.

— Bex Lipps, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

I am trained in expressive arts techniques which provide people with opportunities to connect with themselves through different mediums and in more abstract ways. I use a technique called PeaceLove to help people safely create an understanding of what brings them peace of mind by reaching that state through artistic expressions.

— Kate St. Onge, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Burlington, CT

While I work remotely I do a great deal of art therapy with clients who are interested. I send materials to clients homes, as well as do art therapy with material individuals have at home.

— Rachael Rosenberg, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los altos, CA