Why Do Expressive Arts Therapy?
We do expressive arts to feel better—psychologically, emotionally, physically.
We do it to free things up that got stuck somewhere, get things moving, shift a long-held pattern that keeps replaying in our lives, keeping us somewhere we might not want to be anymore.
We do it to change perspectives and to be surprised by ourselves.
We do it to engage our senses, and get out of our heads, our intellects. To play!
We do it to find ways to recover from what’s hurting us.
We do it to rediscover our own abilities to heal, to change, and to find new possibilities.
We do it to learn more about ourselves.
And we do it because it feels good.
What is Expressive Arts Therapy?
Expressive arts therapy uses all kinds of creative arts expression, such as music, sound, writing, poetry, drama, movement, dance, photography, and all of the visual arts, in inter-modal, free-flowing, creative ways in a session.
But it doesn’t require you to have any artistic skills or experience at all.
You won’t be put on the spot or asked to take risks you are not ready for.
It’s a slow, gentle process in a safe, supportive environment.
As an expressive arts therapist, I gently help you bring out what needs to emerge, and be there with you to support you and what arises in your discovery.
Together, we explore what has arisen in various ways. There is no “analysis” or judgement of artistic merit involved.
For example, I might give you some pastels with which you can create a visual image of something that has come up in our session. I will then suggest ways for you to interact with and explore the image—perhaps through spoken or written words, sound, or movement. We see what comes out of your interaction with the image, and follow that either into another arts modality or back to the image itself, for further work on it, changing what you want to change in it, reshaping it.
Often a personal transformation, a shift in patterns, behaviours, and beliefs, occurs during the experiential process of engaging with the arts. Because many levels of your self—including your body, your organs, nervous system, cells—are participating in the process, the shifts that occur do so on all of these levels. And healing can happen spontaneously, through the openings into fresh ways of being that you have rediscovered in yourself.
As you can see, expressive arts is a means to explore your inner world by allowing it to come forth. Together, we can harvest its riches and access your own vital, untapped energy, wisdom, and resources—and discover new possibilities, new ways.
You are the expert in yourself. I am your witness, gentle guide, and creative collaborator, honoured to join you in this artistic process of self-discovery, healing, and change.