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

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 Art Therapy is a multi-modal approach to heal; it is an adjunct I use to more traditional methods. It may include music, writing, dance, art and more.

— Michelle North, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Encinitas, CA

I am a certified expressive arts practitioner (CEAP) and I integrate this work both in person and in Telehealth settings in cases where it may be helpful for one to get out of their head to discover feelings that may be lingering. Expressive arts is used as an adjunct and is a multi-modal approach to healing. It may include; dance, drama, journaling, music, writing and more.

— Michelle North, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Encinitas, 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!

— Sprout Therapy PDX, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

The goal of expressive arts is to bypass your more analytic brain, as well as your more default mode of being. Interventions may include using symbols to represent feelings or memories or drawing or writing with focus on the process, not the product, to elicit deeper understanding of the topic at hand. Sometimes by circumnavigating the more literal content what’s underneath is discovered.

— Jennifer Alt, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
 

Expressive Arts Therapy is the use of drama, visual art, writing, music, movement and ritual for the purpose of self-expression and healing. What this looks like in a given therapy session varies depending on the person I’m working with, their interests and comfort levels.

— Jessika Fruchter, Marriage & Family Therapist in , CA
 

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

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

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
 

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

What else can I say besides FUN! Therapy is not all about talking, its about being creative and unique to express your feelings and thoughts freely! I provide techniques to develop innovative creations to aid in personal growth and healing from anxiety, depression, grief & loss, and trauma. Not feeling creative? There is no such thing as good or bad art, each piece is unique for every individual. Its what speaks to you and whatever comes to your mind with no judgement! Just let it go!

— Lindsey Chudzik, Clinical Social Worker in Fort Myers, FL
 

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, Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

The goal of expressive arts is to bypass your more analytic brain, as well as your more default mode of being. Interventions may include using symbols to represent feelings or memories or drawing or writing with focus on the process, not the product, to elicit deeper understanding of the topic at hand. Sometimes by circumnavigating the more literal content what’s underneath is discovered.

— Jennifer Alt, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
 

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 Frederick, MD

I sometimes incorporate writing therapy / mindful writing, journal therapy, poetry therapy, and photography therapy / mindful photography into my work with clients. Writing can help us to make order of what feels like chaos inside of us. It can help us to clarify what matters most and what needs our kind and loving attention. Photography therapy can help us to express ourselves when we just can't find the words. And poetry sometimes says what we just can't put our finger on in the moment.

— Jen Johnson, Counselor in Wilmington, NC
 

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

Lifelong art practice that led to expressive arts therapy degree

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

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