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

 

Incorporating creativity into one’s life has been shown to positively affect mental health. With intermodal expressive arts, the options of creativity are as open as you need them to be. Movement, sound, visual art, and drama can all be incorporated into sessions and are often used together. I create a safe space for clients to engage in creative expressions and further deepen their understanding of themselves and their mental health needs.

— Lisa Headings, Counselor in Portland, OR

Expressive Arts Therapy taps into the expressive arts (visual art, writing, music, movement, and drama) for therapeutic expression, catharsis, and integration. These modalities provide a way to deepen into your emotions in ways that go beyond the limits of talk therapy.

— Ellie Lotan, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA
 

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 , FL

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
 

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

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
 

I am a Registered Drama Therapist and a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist. I often bring drama, poetry, music, dance, art, storytelling and other creative/somatic experiences into my work.

— Maggie Yowell Wilson, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Renton, WA

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
 

There is a vast, inner world of symbolic imagery that lies beneath our conscious minds. It helps us to organize our complex experiences, perceptions, and behaviors. When we connect with this through creativity, we can experience fresh, and meaningful opportunities to understand and rewire ourselves. I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts before studying Expressive Arts therapies in graduate school, and I've been working as a Clinical Art Therapist in medical settings for the past 2 years.

— Rory Valentine Diller, M.A., Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Orinda, CA

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

— Shontae Graham, Counselor
 

Lifelong art practice that led to expressive arts therapy degree

— Jennifer Rosselli, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Acton, MA

When we open ourselves up to creation, we awaken buried or forgotten parts of ourselves. Engaging in creative action or activity such as drama, music, movement, art, or poetry, gives life to our fuller beings. What was silenced, we give voice or sound; what was stuck, we give movement or shake; what was invisible, we give sight or form. Playing with these mediums alongside psychotherapeutic processes can hasten our healing and recovery by forming new possibilities.

— Atara Vogelstein, Creative Art Therapist in New York, NY
 

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

Expressive arts therapy is a great way to get children and teens more involved inter own therapy. I have a Master degree in Arts Education from FSU. I work with clients using art, music and crafts to help them express their emotions and learn more about themselves.

— Kim Martinez, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Tampa, FL
 

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 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

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
 

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

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 Milwaukie, OR
 

Words are powerful, but sometimes get in the way, especially when we are trying to express the deepest, most powerful parts of ourselves. 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 media 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
 

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

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

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.

— Em Reim Ifrach, Art Therapist in Watertown, CT
 

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, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, 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
 

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

I am a trained SoulCollage® Facilitator. SoulCollage® is a method of making collaged cards which reflected one's inner and outer worlds. In further exploration using the cards, people can gain more insight into their life and come up with ideas and make decisions to improve the quality of their lives. I also enjoy using other creative methods in my work with clients.

— Alix Amar, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Lilburn, GA
 

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 Intern in Cedar Park, TX