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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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

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

Get those feelings out there! I enjoy using expressive modalities from narrative, to sandtray, to art. Whatever moves you to share your feelings or get them out in a way that feels more inviting and less threatening! Expressive modalities are a creative way to approach deep content from another angle in a safe, contained way.

— Safrianna DeGroat, Counselor in Frederick, MD

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

When I have too many ideas and feelings to keep inside it can help to draw them out. You do not need to be a self-proclaimed artist to participate in any art or drama techniques. Sometimes what cannot be conveyed in words, can be more easily expressed in a doodle, image, song or movement. Role playing, art cards, storytelling, and poetry are all possible in this space and all you need to bring is a bit of curiosity.

— Arianna Wheat, Creative Art Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

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

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

We have a meditation guide, an adult coloring book and various journal prompts that we use to aid clients in their therapeutic process.

— Ebony Davis, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor

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

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

I hold a certification in creative and expressive arts therapy. This modality is not only fun, but truly transformational. Expressive arts therapy allows you to tap into your inner child and feel and express those stuck emotions in a healthy way. You've gotta feel it to heal it.

— Erin Powers, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor in ,

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

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 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

Words are just the beginning when it comes to self expression! Are you drawn to dance, music, drama or art? Are you curious about these expressions but don’t necessarily use them in your life? Whether a professional or just a curious human, using the arts in therapy can allow areas of process, deeper understanding, and fulfillment untouched by talk therapy.

— Kimberly Bevans, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in West Roxbury, MA

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 Associate in Plano, TX

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