Why Expressive Arts Therapy?

From "The Creative Connection" by Natalie Rogers 

Expressive arts therapy uses various arts- movement, visual arts, music, writing, and drama - in a supportive setting to facilitate growth and healing. It is a process of discovering ourselves through any art form that comes from an emotional depth. It is not creating a 'pretty' picture. It is not a dance ready for the stage. It is not a poem written and rewritten to perfection. 

We express inner feelings by creating outer forms. Expressive art refers to using the emotional, intuitive aspects of ourselves in various media. 

We use the arts to let go, to express and to release. Clients report
that the expressive arts have helped them to go beyond their problems to
envisioning themselves taking action in the world constructively. Involving oneself intensely with the creative process brings an alignment of mind and body, creating an opening to receive healing and wellness. 

What are the Expressive Arts?

“The expressive arts emphasize an interdisciplinary or intermodal approach to creative endeavor. The field is grounded not in specific techniques or media yet in how the arts can respond to the multitude of human experience from life challenging situations to self-realization. Expressive arts professionals, such as therapists, consultants/educators, and artists work with symbols, text, movement, sound, and other various media grounded in the body and imagination. Expressive arts practitioners are sensitive to individuals’ needs during the creative process and are committed to fostering a compassionate environment for listening, speaking and witnessing.”

- From the website of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association

According the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association [IEATA],                    

“the expressive arts combine the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing and other creative processes to foster deep personal growth and community development. IEATA encourages an evolving multimodal approach within psychology, organizational development, community arts and education. By integrating the arts processes and allowing one to flow into another, we gain access to our inner resources for healing, clarity, illumination and creativity.” Expressive arts therapy refers to an approach based on these principles in combination with various methods of therapy and treatment found throughout human services.


Expressive Arts   Therapy