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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You don't need to be any kind of artist to know that sometimes a picture, poem, sound, or movement is worth 1,000 words- which can be very helpful in therapy! We can try things like drawing a diagram of your relationships, choosing colors to represent your emotions, curating a playlist or image board about your family or job, speaking to your partner as if they're in the room with us, or finding an object that represents you in some way.

— Danielle Blais, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in , MA

I use visual, dance, music, writing, poetry, and nature-based practices to help you explore yourself.

— Justina Janda, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Asheville, NC

Expressive Arts help the client experience new personal states of being that talk alone doesn't reach. It is an experiential therapy powerful for accessing emotions, increasing mindfulness and stress reduction, and activating personal resources of creativity and expression. I am a former art teacher with training in expressive arts for children, teens, and adults.

— Amy Burley, Licensed Professional Counselor in Plano, TX

Expressive Art Therapy is a multi-modal approach to heal; it is an adjunct I use to more traditional methods. It may include music, writing, dance, art and more.

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

I use Active Imagination developed by Carl G. Jung in guiding clients to discover the wholeness of the Self through Expressive Arts. Our images, whether created visually, musically, in performance, or in dreams, are reflections of our personal unconscious. Embracing the wholeness of psyche allows vital integration of repressed parts of the Self, to release old patterns. Through arts therapy we can each reacquaint with our unique energetic spark.

— Rebecca Spear, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA

I was trained in expressive arts through my graduate program and enjoy using drawing, painting, sand tray, play therapy, and drama therapy to help support your growth. Let me know what your interests are and we\'ll find a way to incorporate it into your treatment plan!

— Sprout Therapy PDX, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

I have used expressive arts in counseling/psychotherapy since 2010. Expression IS an integral part of psychotherapy.

— Steven Fields, Sex Therapist in Hampton, VA

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

The arts are therapeutic tools in my world, meaning I draw, write, dance, and paint a lot and love to incorporate these modalities into therapy sessions. In using the arts, you will find that you access different ways of thinking than when you process simply using analytical thought, reason, and conversation (which are also great tools!). By feeling into your experience and expressing it in more than one way, you can discover more about yourself, and learn new skills for managing your emotions.

— Anna McDonald, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I have studied expressive arts since I was a child and through out my counseling career I have focus on expressive art therapy to help others cultivate their mental health wellness.

— Carolina Castano, Licensed Professional Counselor in Cincinnati, OH

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

I was trained in Expressive Therapies, with a specialization in Visual Arts at Lesley University. When appropriate for the client, I use interventions in the visual arts, music, movement and writing/literature to help clients meet their goals.

— Linda Lufkin, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Plymouth, MA

Getting to do Expressive Art Therapy is the reason I became a therapist. It started with my interest in expressive writing. I have a background in writing and have relied on storytelling and poetry to help me through hard times. Then I discovered Natalie Rogers' book, The Creative Connection: Expressive Arts as Healing, and my interest opened up to other art forms.

— Meredith Lynne Simonds, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist

Expressive arts therapy uses a variety of creative techniques such as Sandtray, art, writing, and movement to safely express emotions and difficult experiences and to increase self-awareness through pictures, sounds, explorations, and encounters with the artistic processes. Artistic ability is not necessary because it is the engagement in one's senses the use of the imagination that supports healing.

— Tara Beardsley, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Asheville, NC

The goal of expressive arts is to bypass your more analytic brain, as well as your more default mode of being. Interventions may include using symbols to represent feelings or memories or drawing or writing with focus on the process, not the product, to elicit deeper understanding of the topic at hand. Sometimes by circumnavigating the more literal content what’s underneath is discovered.

— Jennifer Alt, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

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

I completed a Certificate in Intermodal Expressive Arts with Expressive Arts Florida Institute. In addition to a Master of Social Work, I have a Master of Music. I use a multi-arts approach in individual and group therapy. This means I use visual art, music, movement, writing, and mindfulness as therapeutic tools to initiate healing and change. Since this work is based on the creative process and not the resulting product, no background or training in the arts is required to benefit.

— Julie Collura, Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR