Expressive Arts Therapy

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


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, drama, dance, poetry, and other creative tools to support growth and healing.  In sessions, we will use these artistic tools along with customary forms of therapy, to help you better express the inexpressible.

By exploring visual images, music, movement, writing, and other art processes, you will be able to get access to unconscious parts, gain insights, and break long-standing patterns. Depending on what you are working on in therapy, we will find the right fit for you.  Whether it be intuitive drawing, painting, collage, creative writing, working with clay, journaling, storytelling, poetry, lyric writing, photography, making videos, or journal art, amongst other tools, you will be able to access and harness your creative muse.

Expressive Arts Therapy & the Artist in All 

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.

Expressive Arts Therapy & 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 will guide you to let go of expectations to “do it right” or to produce a certain outcome and support you to connect to the delight of expressing and being. In this way, the creative process helps you to become more mindful and attuned to your true nature, rather than external expectations. And since art comes from a deep place within you, the more you traverse the journey of connecting to the magical artist within, the more you will grow in self-discovery and transform what is ready to be transformed. 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. Then, later when you experience an event that feels like the original trauma, the brain alerts the body of a threat and the body responds with symptoms, such as vigilance, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, negative or fearful thoughts, and depressed or anxious feelings. 

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. Also, as trauma may cause you to disconnect from bodily senses, working with physical forms of art can help you to reconnect to your senses in a new and safe way. 

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, sensations, and memories that aren’t able to be expressed verbally.

By using the expressive arts tools, you will tap into the nonverbal language of creativity to communicate inner feelings that were not previously available to you by simply thinking or talking about them. 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. 

“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