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Expressive Arts Therapy
Expressive arts therapy is a multimodal approach to therapy. Expressive arts therapy may incorporate writing, drama, dance, movement, painting, and/or music.
Use of the expressive arts multiplies the avenues by which a person in therapy may seek meaning, clarity, and healing. It deepens and transcends traditional talk therapy by acknowledging that each person’s process is unique. While one individual may like talk therapy, another person may prefer to use journaling, movement, art, or a combination of different experiences during 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:
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
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 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
Dance/movement therapy is based on the assumption that body and mind are interrelated and is defined as the psychotherapeutic use of movement as a process that furthers the emotional, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual. Dance/movement therapy effects changes in feelings, cognition, physical functioning, and behavior (American Dance Therapy Association, 2014).
Poetry therapy is used synonymously to describe the intentional use of poetry and other forms of literature for healing and personal growth.
Voice Movement Therapy is an exploration and expression of the self through the use of the voice. Voice Movement Therapy is an expressive arts therapy which seeks to embody the voice, calling up the stories and songs which we inhabit and which inhabit us, while opening up the vocal range. By combining therapeutic principles with breath, movement, imagery, song and improvisation, VMT provides opportunities for exploration of the self and expression of the human condition, providing a forum for emotions to exist and be transformed.
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. The practice of Art Therapy has shown a lot of positive results even with kids having behavioral problems. Modern day living, brings with itself a lot of negative stress, be it work, home or relationships. Even childhoods are no longer fun. Art Therapy has a big role in helping people communicate and express themselves in new ways.