The Experience of Expressive Arts Therapy
When Words Are Not Enough
The use of creativity in therapy offers clients multiple ways to explore feelings in a safe and validating environment. Expressive Arts Therapy uses imagery, visual arts, movement, music, and storytelling in combination with conversation to help clients express feelings that are not always accessible only though the spoken word.
When words are not enough, we turn to images, symbols, movement, and sound to tell your story. You use art to let go and express feelings, emotions, perceptions, or personal experiences. By telling your stories through art and other creative process, depth of self-knowledge expands and you begin to heal emotional pain. You find pathways to wellness, healing, and transformation.
Traditional psychotherapy is a verbal form of therapy that requires a person to explain emotions through words. Although words are our primary method of communication, often words cannot express the complexity of our internal and emotional life. It can be difficult to convert inner feeling and sensations into rational concepts. Art therapy is the answer.
The expressive use of art becomes a new language that speaks to both the client and the therapist. This expression is more immediate and direct, unrefined and uncensored. At Art + Counseling, you can choose from an array of art materials and other forms of expression including: painting, drawing, clay, collage, photography, authentic movement, musical improvisation, poetry and journal writing.
Art therapy is a holistic process that fosters long-term growth and wellness. As your therapist, my role is to help you explore and navigate your story through the creative process. Rather than assume the role of the expert, I partner with you on your journey. I assist with gaining insight from your creative expressions and understanding how you will use it to develop a greater sense of wellbeing and higher quality of living. See the sidebar to learn how is expressive arts therapy differs from other types of art therapy.
About Expressive Arts Therapy Sessions
I work with you to find an approach that is comfortable for you. I like to begin each session with a time of drawing inward. These few moments allow you to let go of the busyness of life, become present in your body and bring focus to our time together. Following this grounding time, you are empowered to choose the flow of your session. Typically, we talk about what you want to focus on, and then move into creative process blending different forms of expression. You may choose to move into creative process without talking first and I will follow your lead.
During your creative process, I hold space and create a container of safety. I am there to facilitate insight, offer suggestions, validate your feelings and listen actively. When you are ready, we dialogue with and about what you’ve created and listen inwardly for new insight. We close the session with deep breathing or other grounding practice before you reenter the world outside the studio.