Expressive Arts Therapy

flowers on opened book
Photo by Alina Vilchenko on

Expressive arts therapy is like a compassionate, warm light calling into the dark, wild, unknown places of your full self. To another, more soulful map of the places within that no words can reach. Similarly, it invites you to discover the parts of you that you have forgotten, or perhaps never met. It can bring forward the parts of us that grieve, that love, and that hold our deepest desires and pain. Through the use of art we can therefore discover the parts of ourselves that have remained hidden, and give them life.

What is Expressive Arts Therapy?

woman chilling in meadow with headphones on legs
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Expressive arts therapy offers arts based practices as a pathway to healing and expression. Because expressive arts therapy does not rely solely on verbal communication, it reflects the way you truly experience the world. There are multiple ways of encoding memory and communicating. Using the arts as communication opens up those pathways.

The experiences we have throughout our lives are not always easy to understand or access through verbal communication only. Especially vast worlds and ecosystems exist within, embodying different languages and communication. Significantly, it is the symbols, dreams, metaphors, movements, sounds, etc that often hold they layers of your life. Therefore it is through the integration of arts based modalities into sessions that we are able to give voice to these parts in a way that makes sense for them.

What does an Expressive Arts Session Look Like?

lady looking at paintings while sitting on floor in studio
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In a typical session, I will invite you to use of a variety of arts modalities to explore a theme. We will work together to reflect on your creative exploration and especially on what deeper meaning emerges.

Expressive arts therapy sessions can include: poetry, guided visualizations, ceremony and ritual, and sound healing through drumming and rattling. They can also include drawing, collage making, and viewing art together. Additionally, they can include dance and movement, listening to music, role play, lyric writing, drama, and even singing. In extended sessions, we will have time to explore through multiple modalities. This offers a more in-depth, layered experience to explore.

The goal is never to have a professional finished product. You don’t need to have any skill with art forms at all! Rather, the intention is to allow these unspoken, undiscovered parts of ourselves to be to explored in their own unique creative language, without judgement or expectation.

” ‘This picture tells a story, ‘ she says.
Her black eyes looking inward and outward.
‘No one who buys this could ever understand-
the meanings in the pattern. What it is
really worth.’ Clouds. A
bird. A man. The earth. Her fingers
feel the beads. ‘There is a story here.
It takes three days and nights to tell it.’ “

“love belongs to those who do the feeling” by Judy Grahn

I offer a variety of services in my virtual therapy office that can support you on your journey: