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.
What is expressive arts therapy?
Expressive arts therapy combines the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing and other creative processes to help a person express and visualize emotions, and facilitate growth and healing. Unlike art education, where the focus is on the quality of the finished product, art therapy stresses the process—what the person learns about him or herself while creating the piece of art. The creator’s explanation and discussion of what the art project represents is a key component of the therapy.
Expressive arts therapy integrates the fields of human development, expressive art, and the creative process with models of counseling and psychotherapy.
Today, counseling centers, schools, hospitals and many other community agencies increasingly include expressive arts therapy programs along with traditional “talk therapies,” because they recognize that the creative process of art making enhances recovery, health, and wellness.
Who Can Be Helped By Art Therapy?
Expressive arts therapists work with people of all ages in many different environments to address challenging mental, physical, and social issues.
Expressive arts therapy is used to treat a wide range of issues and conditions, including family and relationship issues, depression and other mental health conditions, substance abuse and addiction, abuse and domestic violence, social and emotional issues related to disability or cognitive loss, trauma, and psychosocial difficulties related to medical illnesses.