Expressive Arts Therapy

“You can’t use up creativity.                                         The more you use, the more you have.”
Maya Angelou expressive arts therapy


If you love to create, express, and find beauty in the world around you, expressive art therapy might be just what you’re looking for.

Expressive arts is a form of therapy that uses visual arts, music, poetry, and other creative tools to support healing.  In sessions, we will use these artistic tools along with customary forms of therapy, to help you better express the inexpressible.

woman practicing expressive art therapy by painting with watercolors on the floor

Explore visuals, music, movement, writing, and art to access the unconscious, gain insights, and break long-standing patterns effectively. Depending on what you are working on in therapy, we will find the right fit for you. Engage in intuitive drawing, painting, writing, journaling, storytelling, lyric writing, photography, videos, or journal art to unleash your creative muse.

The Artist in All 

smiling woman practicing expressive art therapy sitting using a paintbrush
I often hear clients say, “I am not an artist” as if to make sure I won’t be disappointed if they don’t produce something to my liking. The truth is we are all “artists” and each one of us has vast creative impulses. The expressive arts therapy approach recognizes your inborn ability to create and use your imaginative nature to heal. Part of the gift of working in this way is the opportunity you have to connect to and claim your natural creative power.

Process Not Product

The creative process and discovery will be our focus rather than the outcome. As you engage in the expressive arts process, I’ll guide you to enjoy expressing and being, without a predetermined outcome. In this way, the creative process helps you to become more mindful and attuned to your true nature, rather than external expectations. Art emerges from within. As you delve into connecting with your inner artist, self-discovery deepens, fostering transformative growth. Being free to explore, you can find what truly brings you joy.

How Expressive Arts Therapy Can Heal Trauma

The expressive arts have powerful healing effects as they move beyond the limited thinking brain to access the unconscious material that lies below the surface. When a traumatic event occurs, the brain detects the danger and stores this information as a threat in the limbic, emotional part of the brain. Upon re-experiencing trauma triggers, the brain signals threat, inducing symptoms like vigilance, chest tightness, breathing difficulty, negative thoughts, and anxiety.

watercolors of all colors

The creative arts support trauma processing by helping you to connect to the non-verbal, visual, and sensory information stored in the limbic system. So, by engaging in your creative process, you can work with the issues that reside beyond language to heal them at the core. Trauma may disconnect you from senses; art forms reconnect. Work with them to restore a safe connection to your bodily sensations.

Expressive Arts Therapy & The Brain

In expressive arts therapy, you use the whole brain and your bodily senses in the creative process.  When you create and make art, you connect with the right hemisphere of the brain, or the creative brain.  As you ignite this side of the brain, you gain access to feelings, emotions, and memories that aren’t able to be expressed verbally.

Utilize these tools to access the nonverbal language of creativity, expressing emotions not easily accessible through mere thought or conversation. You may gain insights, awareness, solutions, and find that things that bothered you for years start to untangle.

In this way, your creative process becomes your healer and guide. 

To learn more about expressive arts therapy and specific expressive arts tools, book a free consult now. You can also read my blog on the topics and check out the resources below. 

elderly person practicing expressive art therapy embroidering flowers on a fabric

“Luna is a beacon of positive energy and integrity; ready, willing, and able to commit, do the work, and follow through with passion, creativity, confidence, and joy. I am grateful for her presence in my life and in the world. You would be blessed to have her in yours.”

– RDF, Oakland, California