“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls” – Pablo Picasso
Expressive arts therapy is a multimodal approach to therapy that incorporates creative writing, journaling, drama, dance, movement, painting, drawing, sculpture, poetry, sandtray, collage, meditation, music, sound and/or vocalization. We have qualified therapists specifically trained in Expressive Arts Therapy that help our clients examine their lives through their responses, reactions, and insights through pictures, sounds, explorations, and encounters with art processes. Clients do not have to consider themselves to be “artistic or creative” in order to use or benefit from expressive arts therapy.
Expressive Arts Therapy provides a safe environment within which clients can begin to explore their substance abuse and trauma. At times, it can be difficult to find the words to describe traumatic experiences and the depths of one’s emotions. In the beginning of treatment, images, symbols, and metaphors become the language to explore trauma and provides our clients with an “opportunity to externalize, witness, consider, and interact with parts of themselves that are internal, unconscious, unclear, disowned, and unknown (Fladager, 2014).”Through this experience they are able to dissolve shame, reclaim emotional balance and transform their life story from one of helplessness to empowerment.
We believe that what we do not bring into our consciousness, we will continue to experience externally in our lives. By playfully connecting with the arts and creative expression, we are able to more fully able to attend to our genuine needs and explore and understand our life experiences, wounds and strengths. We believe that engaging in the arts can lead us to deeper self-awareness, greater consciousness, and discoveries of new life affirming ways of being.