What Is Expressive Arts Therapy?
Expressive arts therapy combines psychology and the creative process to promote emotional growth and healing. This multi-arts, or intermodal, approach to psychotherapy and counseling uses our inborn desire to create be it music, theater, poetry, dance, or another artistic form—as a therapeutic tool to help initiate change. The difference between expressive arts therapy and art therapy is that expressive arts therapy draws from a variety of art forms, while art therapy tends to be based on one particular art form.
Expressive Arts Therapy Techniques
Many definitions of expressive arts therapy mention its use of distinct features such as music, movement, play drama,yoga, painting and drawing. If necessary, though, therapists may choose to combine several techniques in order to provide the most effective treatment for the individual in therapy.
The accessibility of expressive arts therapy is due to the focus being not on artistic outcomes but rather on the process of creating. A person who utilizes expressive arts therapy is not required to have any artistic ability. Rather, it is through the use of the individual’s senses that the imagination can process, flourish, and support healing. As such, the process is often referred to as “low skill, high sensitivity.
The therapeutic impact of expressive arts therapy is focused on four major areas:
- Active participation
- Mind-body connection
- Art Therapy - Art therapy is the purposeful use of visual arts materials and media in intervention, counseling, psychotherapy, and rehabilitation; it is used with individuals of all ages, families, and groups. Art Therapy is a one of the recent developments in the field of mental health. It brings together the power of expression, through the practice of art & the effect this can exert on an individual’s ability to think, perceive and act. Art Therapy works at the level of the subconscious and tries to subtly direct one’s own ability to resolve various issues or just see things in a new light. Art has the power to make us think outside the box, gain a new perspective, question things & inspire.
- Music Therapy - Music therapy is the use of music to effect positive changes in the psychological, physical, cognitive, or social functioning of individuals with health or educational problems
- Drama Therapy -Drama therapy is the use of drama process and associations to achieve the therapeutic goals of symptom relief, emotional and physical integration, and personal growth. It is an active approach that helps the client tell his or her story to solve a problem, achieve catharsis, extend the depth and breadth of his or her inner experience, understand the meaning of images, and strengthen his or her ability to observe personal roles while increasing flexibility between roles
- Yoga Therapy - Yoga therapy it can be used as an alternative therapy. Yoga can help increase concentration, flexibly, and strength. It can also develop coordination and reduce stress and anxiety. We can’t forget the value yoga can have to help a child become more aware of their body. Kids with autism frequently experience delayed motor development, which can be improved as yoga tones muscles, enhances balance and stability, and develops body awareness and coordination. As motor skills develop, children have a greater sense of their physical self in space and in relation to others, and can improve their gait and stability.