Expressive arts is a multimodal (uses multiple arts modalities in a single session) arts-based approach that promoted greater self awareness through curiosity and openness to the moment-to-moment encounter with the arts materials and various modalities (e.g., visual, writing, drama, music, movement). Through the expressive arts processes, individuals are offers an opportunity to explore their reactions, impulses, responses, and insights through their encounters with the arts processes.
Expressive arts therapy is a multimodal arts-based therapeutic approach that engages and supports individuals through a process of creative expression to help them develop and/or reconnect with their inner resources. The approach offers individuals and groups opportunities to use non verbal means to find meaning and healing.
Expressive arts therapy transcends traditional talk-therapy. Through the use of multiple forms of creative expression in a single session such as visual arts, drama, music, dance/movement, poetry/creative writing, play and sand play, expressive arts therapy offers a deepening into the non-verbal aspects of self, fostering increased awareness, encouraging emotional growth, promoting well-being and enhancing relationships with self and others.
Expressive arts therapy is a trauma-informed, polyvagal informed, person-centred and healing-centred engagement approach that is strength based and non pathologizing.
The expressive arts therapy approach offers a gentle yet transformative way to return to the senses, regulate emotions, gain deeper self knowledge and awareness, and metabolize difficult emotional material.
In groups, the expressive arts approach can offer opportunities for connection, compassion and an experience of shared common humanity.
No arts experience is needed to engage in expressive arts processes and therapies. Process over product is sought. The expressive arts approach is premised on high sensitivity and low skill.
Working within the realm of the imagination, the expressive arts approach offers opportunities to open paths of permission whereby the individual (whether alone or in a group) can have an experience of the world that moves them outside their known worldview, into altered and expanded states of consciousness that can offer important breakthroughs and paradigm shifts. Via the infinite power of imagination, participants can move beyond their fixed reality, offering perspectives that might not otherwise have been available to them. In this space, an openness to curiosity and to what else might be possible emerges.