Expressive Arts Therapy
What is Expressive Arts Therapy?
From Appalachian Expressive Arts Collective, 2003, Expressive Arts Therapy: Creative Process in Art and Life. Boone, NC: Parkway Publishers. p. 3
Expressive arts therapy or creative arts therapy, is the use of the creative arts as a form of therapy. Unlike traditional art expression, the process of creation is emphasized rather than the final product. Expressive therapy is predicated on the assumption that people can heal through use of imagination and the various forms of creative expression.
Expressive arts therapy is its own therapeutic discipline, an inter-modal discipline where the therapist and client move freely between drawing, dancing, music, drama, poetry, etc. Although often separated by the form of creative art, some expressive therapists consider themselves intermodal, using expression in general, rather than a specific discipline to work with clients, altering their approach based on the clients' needs, or through using multiple forms of expression with the same client to aid with deeper exploration.
Expressive arts therapy is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, dreamwork, and visual arts together, in an integrated way, to foster human growth, development, and healing. It is about reclaiming our innate capacity as human beings for creative expression of our individual and collective human experience in artistic form. Expressive arts therapy is also about experiencing the natural capacity of creative expression and creative community for healing.
Click here to link to Natalie Rogers' article on Expressive Arts Therapy. Natalie was one of my mentors in my expressive arts training along with other faculty from the Person Centered Expressive Arts Therapy Institute.