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

 

Expressive Art Therapist is the use of art, music, and other forms of expression to work on therapeutic topics. We are proud to have board certified music therapists available to engage with you in a new and creative outlet. We also have counselors with experience using expressive means such as drawing, writing, and other forms of expression to help you enhance your therapeutic process and explore a deeper sense of self.

— Virtual Counselor, Counselor in Easton, PA

Expressive Arts Therapy is inclusive of all modalities of art in a therapeutic context for deepening connection, healing, self-awareness, and growth. Modalities of art include visual art (drawing, painting, collage, clay and sculpture, etc.), music and sound, dance/movement, drama, poetry, and many more. The arts offer a new lens with which to view one’s life, relationships, challenges and triumphs and can bring forth insight and meaning that may not come as easily from traditional talk therapy.

— Danielle Saporta, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA
 

Playwright, Screenwriter, director and producer.

— Shontae Graham, Counselor

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, Associate Professional 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 Troy, MI

The expressive arts therapy (EXA) approach recognizes your creative ability to heal. By exploring visual images, music, movement, writing, and other art processes, you will be able to get access to unconscious parts, gain insights, and break long-standing patterns. In the expressive arts process, I will guide you to let go of expectations to “be a good artist” and support you to connect to the delight of freeing yourself from your limitations and expressing your authentic self.

— Angela Luna, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Pablo, CA
 

I believe that every client I encounter has different needs and ways of approaching their own healing. My treatment orientation is tailored to each individual and one of the most creative ways we can approach treatment together is through the expressive arts. Whether you want to write a song together in session, paint a mountain, or create stress balls. Expressing yourself alternatively in session can and has shown to be really transformative for the clients I've worked with.

— Ashante Taylorcox, Associate Professional Counselor in Marlton, NJ

I enjoy adding in expressive arts to help promote the mind body connection.

— Erin Betz, in Severna Park, MD, MD
 

Conscious, verbal thought is a small part of all the "thinking" we do. Art is one way to bring underlying themes to the surface where we can think about them deliberately. But art is also a way of thinking without using words, sometimes using color, line, shape and movement is the only way to express a feeling or experience.

— Heather Hanlin, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Cedar Park, TX

I am certified in person-centered expressive arts therapy through Dr. Natalie Rogers at Saybrook University, and in movement-based expressive arts through Tamalpa Institute. Sometimes words are not enough to express what's happening or what you are feeling. Expressive arts include the whole person. By activating right-brain processes, they let you not only communicate what words cannot, but also tap into the natural wisdom of your body and free its ability to heal.

— Claudia Hartke, Psychologist in Boulder, CO
 

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

Expressive therapy is a therapy modality that uses self-expression through the process of creating. You do not have to be an artist to benefit from expressive therapy. Many different types of expression are used, depending on the focus, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and collage. The kinesthetic experience involved in creating art engages the emotional parts of our brains in ways that the cognitive focused process of talk therapy does not; this aids in processing more fully.

— Mychelle Moritz *My practice and waitlist are currently full*, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

Expressive Arts Therapy can assist us in reengaging our imagination to dream up creative solutions to our current struggles, strengthen coping, bolster resilience give voice to oppressed parts of ourselves, and give us vision for our future goals. It can be a powerful way to access difficult content through metaphor & externalizations of of internalized pain. I have practice using visual art, music, drama, poetry, writing & dance in therapy.

— Jonathan Julian, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

I specialize in Expressive Arts Therapy through my education and in practice. I am a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) and attend conferences whenever I can. Mental health issues often coincide with an individual's inability to express themselves fully. The creative process can help folks get back in touch with the self through an expression of the body, mind, and spirit.

— Men Chun Wong, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Mateo, CA
 

Talk therapy doesn't work for most people. Expressive arts modalities help people access information about how their thoughts, feelings, emotional states, and get unstuck from an event or pattern. I specifically draw on psychodramatic and expressive writing techniques. I have attended 50+ hours of training in these modalities and safely using them, however, I am not a licensed clinical art therapist.

— Jen Herman, Clinical Social Worker in Poughkeepsie, NY

Expressive art therapies facilitate change and healing. The use of expressive art therapies allow for a deeper expression and experiencing of the senses, emotions and thoughts. These activities can lead the way for the you to make meaning of symbols and patterns. This assists you in understanding issues and concerns that sometimes your words are unable to access and describe. Expressive approaches in therapy include and are not limited to the following: art, drawing, clay, collecting items in nature, collage, dance, movement, mandala journals, visual journaling, mindfulness journaling, poetry, music, imagery cards, and sandplay.

— Allison Batty-Capps, Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR
 

Get those feelings out there! I enjoy using expressive modalities from narrative, to sandtray, to art. Whatever moves you to share your feelings or get them out in a way that feels more inviting and less threatening! Expressive modalities are a creative way to approach deep content from another angle in a safe, contained way.

— Safrianna DeGroat, Counselor in Hagerstown, MD

I'm trained in an expressive art technique called the Mandala Assessment Research Instrument (MARI). Check out their website (https://www.maricreativeresources.com/) for more information. Without giving too much away, sometimes our art is trying to express the same thing we want to with words, and we're having a hard time making them meet in the middle.

— Timothy Reider, Counselor in ROYERSFORD, PA
 

Expressive Arts Therapy (EXA) is an effective and powerful way of working that is different from traditional talk therapy. While talking is a part of the process and how we make meaning of our world, there are often things that we don't have words for. Using visual art, movement, and creative writing, we access our -physical -mental & -emotional levels of awareness and can gain insight into how we have been stuck in certain patterns of understanding and relating to ourselves and others.

— Jennie Powe Runde, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

Over 20 years of practice developing and implementing expressive arts therapy programs and activities with children, adolescents, and adults. Systems aware and trauma-informed care that is scientifically proven to relieve feelings.

— Mary Beth Rabon, Counselor in Charlotte, NC
 

I was trained in an expressive arts, narrative practice program with emphasis on social justice. I work from a postmodern, collaborative approach, looking at systems and generational patterns to support clients in their wellness goals. I incorporate expressive arts therapy into my practice because creativity is an important part of human expression and provides clients with opportunities to get creative about how they experience life.

— Jill Therrien, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
 

Using our words isn't the only way to process or express our emotions. My training in expressive arts allows clients to use other tools, such as writing or drawing, to express feelings that we sometimes don't have words for. Not an artist? Good news, you don't need to be one in order to use creativity to sort through your emotions, you just need willingness and an open mind.

— Tayyibah Chase, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

As a Registered Drama Therapist, I have pursued thorough postgraduate training to use storytelling, make-believe play, art, and improvisation as powerful tools to help children heal from anxiety and trauma. I am a graduate of the Kint Institute's Art and Trauma Treatment certificate program, based in New York City, and have taught theater to adolescents at a therapeutic boarding school for teenagers in crisis in Northern Utah.

— Katie Lear, Licensed Professional Counselor in Davidson, NC
 

Expressive therapy is a therapy modality that uses self-expression through the process of creating. You do not have to be an artist to benefit from expressive therapy. Many different types of expression are used, depending on the focus, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and collage. The kinesthetic experience involved in creating art engages the emotional parts of our brains in ways that the cognitive focused process of talk therapy does not; this allows us to process more fully providing

— Mychelle Moritz *My practice and waitlist are currently full*, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

I am a therapist who chooses to use many aspects of expressive art such as music, writing, and art in my work with adults, especially when working on trauma.

— Monique Randle, Clinical Social Worker in North Little Rock, AR
 

In addition to specific trauma-focused therapies, I supplement with expressive techniques like art, movement, dance and sandtray. I look forward to sharing these with you as you want/need!

— Jennie Lannette Bedsworth, Counselor in Columbia, MO

"Expressive Arts Therapy - is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, dreamwork, and visual arts, in an integrated way, to foster human growth, development and healing." ~ Appalachian Expressive Arts Collective

— Taisir El-Souessi, Creative Art Therapist in Asheville, NC
 

Using our words isn't the only way to process or express our emotions. My training in expressive arts allows clients to use other tools, such as writing or drawing, to express feelings that we sometimes don't have words for. Not an artist? Good news, you don't need to be one in order to use creativity to sort through your emotions, you just need willingness and an open mind. It's not about the product, it's about the process.

— Tayyibah Chase, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA