We express emotions in art and music!
Expressive arts therapy is a multimodal approach to therapy similar to drama therapy and music therapy. Expressive arts therapy may incorporate writing, drama, dance, movement, painting, art, and/or music. Clients utilizing expressive arts therapy are encouraged to explore responses, reactions, and insights through pictures, sounds, explorations, and encounters with art processes. A client is not required to have artistic ability to use or benefit from expressive arts therapy.
The accessibility of expressive arts therapy is due to the focus being not on artistic outcomes, but rather the process of creating. Clients who utilize expressive arts therapy are not required to have any artistic ability. Rather, through the use of individual senses, the imagination can process, flourish, and support healing. This process is referred to as “low skill, high sensitivity.”
Each creative arts modality is unique, and use of each is carefully considered our therapist. For example, journaling may be an appropriate expressive outlet for someone new to therapy. On the other hand, a client who has already established a strong therapeutic relationship with his or her therapist may appreciate the use of movement or drama. Careful use of each modality is determined by the strength, timing, pacing, and readiness of the individual in therapy.