Expressive Art Therapy

Expressive art therapy uses the creative arts as a form of therapy. Similar to art or dance therapy, expressive art therapy uses the creative process of each individual to promote healing. The goal of expressive art therapy is to facilitate self-discovery, increased awareness, connection and understanding. The act of creating art helps to unlock the expression of inner feelings, and the creative process is the path toward better emotional health. Rather than focusing on the final product, the process of creation via nonverbal language is the emphasis. This type of therapy is often used with children, who may participate in music, movement, or finger painting while the therapist observes the activity and encourages the child to talk about the experience. Adult clients might journal, dance, or create videos in order to connect better with themselves and others. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s expressive art therapy specialists today.

Meet the specialists

I earned my master's degree in Counseling Psychology with a focus on Expressive Arts Therapy. I regularly use expressive arts in my work and, even when I don't, I consider Expressive Arts Therapy a valuable perspective based on the premise that people and communities have the capacity to create and heal.

— Christy Booth, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA
 

I was trained in expressive arts through my graduate program and enjoy using drawing, painting, sand tray, play therapy, and drama therapy to help support your growth. Let me know what your interests are and we\'ll find a way to incorporate it into your treatment plan!

— Emelie Gagliardo, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

Even people who say "I'm not an artist" or "I can't draw" find that expressing themselves creatively gives them insight. Sometimes words aren't enough. Expressive therapy taps into emotions, sensations and memories, to discover sources of pain and light.

— Lisa Hedden, Counselor in Tucker, GA

In addition to traditional art therapy, I also use other forms of expressive therapies including narrative, geek therapy, comic therapy, and use gamification to help clients achieve their goals.

— Alison Maples, Counselor in Milford, MI
 

The arts are therapeutic tools in my world, meaning I draw, write, dance, and paint a lot and love to incorporate these modalities into therapy sessions. In using the arts, you will find that you access different ways of thinking than when you process simply using analytical thought, reason, and conversation (which are also great tools!). By feeling into your experience and expressing it in more than one way, you can discover more about yourself, and learn new skills for managing your emotions.

— Anna McDonald, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I completed a rigorous, 3 year master program specializing in Expressive Art Therapy. This is one of my specialty treatment orientations because I have been trained in it extensively and have utilized it as a School Counselor at two different schools in the Bay Area.

— Catharine Pritchard Hawks, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA
 

I incorporate different creative modalities such as picture cards, drawing, clay and games when needed to help facilitate, healing, insight and growth.

— Tara Farley, Licensed Professional Counselor in Gladstone, OR

Music therapy is a powerful medium. Unique outcomes are possible. In music therapy, each individual is provided support and encouragement in the acquisition of new skills and abilities. Because music touches each person in so many different ways, participation in music therapy offers opportunities for learning, creativity and expression that may be significantly different from more traditional therapeutic approaches.

— Megan Dozler, Creative Art Therapist in Napa, CA
 

I have my BA in Women's Studies and Theatre Arts from UC Santa Cruz and my Master's in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Drama therapy from California Institute of Integral Studies. My practice is infused with creative arts methods including drama, visual arts, movement, storytelling, and sand tray therapies.

— Sarah Korda, Counselor in San Francisco, CA

I am an internationally registered expressive arts therapist through the International Association of Expressive Art Therapies. When not using traditional studio art I help clients find their voice in movement, creative writing, play and acting. In these ways you can finally express all the internal thoughts, feelings and desires that words cannot express.

— Emily Reim Ifrach, Art Therapist in Watertown, CT
 

As a Registered Drama Therapist, I am trained to use dramatic and other creative techniques along with verbal therapy in sessions.

— Krista Verrastro, Creative Art Therapist in Reisterstown, MD