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 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, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

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 Royal Oak, MI

I trained at the Expressive Arts Institute of San Diego in sand tray therapy and multiple modalities of the expressive arts including music, dance, spoken word, and theatre.

— Heather Alesch, Psychologist in Nashville, TN
 

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, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

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
 

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

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, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

Playwright, Screenwriter, director and producer.

— Shontae Graham, Counselor in ,

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
 

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 Art is utilized throughout treatment in combination with Play Therapy and Sand Tray.

— Anthony Dimitrion, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Ridgewood, NJ
 

I have extensive training in several art mediums from high school and college. During my masters in counseling program, I focused on the use of the arts in counseling. Since beginning my career in counseling, I have incorporated this experience and research into my work with clients and have pursued additional training to hone my integration skill.

— Andrea Tackore, Psychotherapist in Winter Park, FL

Sometimes, the words we use to describe what we are going through (talking) doesn't completely explain our pain or difficulties. Some things are difficult to put into words, yet are felt and sensed quite clearly. This is where non-verbal practices (art, movement, music, writing, storytelling, ritual) can be helpful, as they express--via creativity--the how, what and why of our situation. I am trained in facilitating expressive arts therapy sessions, and have simple tools to offer.

— Amanda Rebel, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Denver, CO
 

Words are powerful, but sometimes get in the way, especially when we are trying to express the deepest, most powerful parts of ourselves. When that happens, the arts provide an opportunity to playfully connect to feelings in new and often surprising ways. In music therapy we use our voices, musical instruments and recorded music, but may also bring in other mediums like movement or visual arts. No previous experience necessary - it's not about how it looks or sounds, but how it feels to do it.

— Al Hoberman, Creative Art Therapist in New York, NY

My degree is in counseling psychology with a focus on expressive arts therapy. I studied and practice; dance/movement therapy, somatic experiencing, poetry therapy, art therapy, music therapy, play therapy, and drama therapy. Creativity is a fotce for healing.

— Genevieve Saenz, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX
 

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

— Monique LCSW, Clinical Social Worker in Little Rock, AR

I have formal training in Expressive Art Therapy from the American Play Therapy Association.

— Nicole Jenkins, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Brooklyn, NY

Experienced/trained playwright, screenwriter, songwriter, director, and producer.

— Shontae Graham, Counselor in ,
 

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

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

I have a Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy from Goddard College. I am currently under supervision to obtain registration with the International Expressive Art Therapy Association. I infuse the use of Expressive Arts methods into almost everything that I do, as I have continually witnessed the transformative power of this approach.

— Nathan Heydari, Counselor in Salem, OR