Expressive Art Therapy
Expressive art therapy explores the capacity
to heal and to express your unique essence through a variety of
art forms. In a supportive and nonjudgmental environment an expressive
art therapist uses various techniques to help clients access deeper
parts of the self and express them through the chosen art medium.
This can include drawing, painting, sculpting and collage as well
as poetry, creative writing, music and dance. These techniques unblock
emotions, create higher awareness of the inner self, access intuitive
guidance, and allow full expression of the creative self.
This form of therapy also offers a means for
people to address their deeper concerns by expressing them in a
nonverbal manner. Art symbols and metaphors allow a non-threatening
way to communicate troubling experiences and feelings. Creating
art together allows the individual and the therapist to explore
the feelings that surface in the process. Through art, the past,
present and future are better understood.
Expressive art therapy plays with the energy
within and helps explore, create and express the authentic self,
especially the playful joyful part. It enhances creativity and is
a wonderful way to learn to play and open up to imaginative ways
to enhance our lives. It is healing, healthy and fulfilling.
Expressive art therapy is useful for people
of all ages to enhance understanding, growth and insight. It is
especially helpful for coping with grief and loss. And one of the
most exciting things about expressive art is that you don’t have
to be artistically talented to participate and benefit! People find
just the process of exploring the medium – the drawing, painting,
sculpting, collaging, etc. – to be an emotionally healing experience.
It has also been shown to have positive physiological effects that
contribute to physical healing.
“The task of therapy is not to eliminate suffering but to give a voice to it, to find a
form in which it can be expressed. Expression is itself transformation; this is the message
that art brings. The therapist then would be an artist of the soul, working with sufferers
to enable them to find the proper container for their pain, the form in which it would be
embodied.” - Stephen K. Levine
Although not a certified art therapist, I have training and experience in using the
expressive art process with individuals and groups. I am a trained SoulCollage® Facilitator,
and offer workshops in this and other modalities, as well as individual sessions. For more
information on workshops and other events, please
see ART HEALS THE SOUL.