Expressive Arts in Therapy

Many people find they have had some experiences that defy language. Art is one way people express themselves beyond language. However, many people have fear about making art. I hear things like, "I can't even draw a straight line. I can only make a stick figure. I wouldn't know where to start." When it comes to using art in therapy it is important to remember that we are not concerned with making "fine art." We are interested in finding ways for you to learn more about yourself. 

 

While some people like to make objects and pictures that have a message, others use the process of making lines, shapes and colors as a way of getting in touch with difficult to express thoughts and feelings. Sometimes these thoughts and feelings are previously unknown or considered "unacceptable." Nonetheless, they have been draining the person of energy or having a negative impact on their sense of well being. 

Using the art making materials is always a choice.  I may suggest a prompt for using the art materials, a focusing activity that utilizes a mind-body approach or a short writing exercise. Sometimes we pair these activities for the greatest result. Most people find these approaches helpful for accessing thoughts and feelings that they haven't been able to express verbally and for increasing self awareness. 

Expressive arts facilitation is appropriate for both individual and group settings. If you are interested in learning more about how I use art in therapy please do not hesitate to contact me.