Expressive and Creative Arts therapy is the practice of integrating psychology, an art form (e.g., Visual Arts, Language/Narrative, Dramatic Arts, Ritual, Symbolic Words, Movement, and Sound), and examining the creative process of utilizing that art form to express a person’s thoughts and feelings. This treatment modality is used to assist individuals with processing their emotions, traumas, anxieties, worries, fears, sadness..etc, and does not solely depend on talking/verbal expression. It provides another individualized method of self-expression that fosters emotional healing, self-reflection, and human growth.
Types of Expressive Arts Therapies:
- Visual Arts ( Art, Collage, and Clay therapy)
- Language Arts/ Narrative (Poetry, Journaling, Developing Stories)
- Dramatic Arts (Drama, Psychodrama, Story Telling, Dialogue)
- Movement and Sound (Dance, Body Awareness, Breath, Sound and Music Therapy)
- Ritual (Spiritual Journey, Integration Map, Prayer)
- Symbolic Worlds (Sand Tray, Play Therapy)
Several expressive and creative arts modalities may be used at different times within treatment, and can vary depending on the clients’ preference, comfort level, and the therapist-client relationship. For example, Story-telling, Journaling, or even Poetry can be used with a client who is new to treatment and/or who enjoys writing, taking notes, or telling/developing stories. Visual Arts therapy can assist individuals with visually expressing their inner thoughts and feelings and assist clients with accessing some feelings that can be challenging for some individuals to verbalize. Dramatic Arts, Movement, and Sound therapy can be utilized by individuals that enjoy these forms of artistic expression and/or have established a strong therapist-client relationship where the individual can readily access their vulnerabilities in a safe therapeutic space.
The therapists at KCW Psychological Services integrate expressive and creative arts in treatment by cultivating non-threatening individual and/or group (if warranted) art experiences to explore feelings and therapeutic issues (e.g., Depression, anxiety, self-esteem, trauma, or personal insight). We encourage our clients to try different treatment modalities to promote healing. These treatment modalities are utilized when warranted, and based on client interest, comfort level, and request.