What are the Expressive Arts?

Do I have to be an "artist" to benefit from the Expressive Arts (EXA)? Absolutely not! In fact, if you have little to no background in the arts, you are in a great place to begin! EXA is not about painting a "pretty picture", performing a polished dance piece or writing a poem ready for publication. Instead, EXA is about learning to trust that when we are engaged in the flow of creativity and spontaneity, we can gain deeper insights, develop new meanings and discover surprising solutions.e your text by editing it directly on this page.

Is there any talking or is it only art-making? Despite some assumptions, talk is an important component of this work. Additionally, Expressive Arts Therapy includes the use of visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing, sand tray therapy and other creative arts therapies, either independently or in combination with one another. Discovering which of these modalities will bring forth your greatest strengths and resources is an exciting part of the work.

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The arts can be powerful. Will I get overwhelmed? Because change can only occur when there is a balance of safety and risk, I am regularly checking in and shaping the expressive arts experience to make sure that you are feeling safe and secure while also encouraging you to challenge yourself. I help establish this sense of safety in the following ways: 

Opportunities to "warm up" to creativity and spontaneity

Creative options to choose from (or disregard altogether!)

As much (or as little) direction and guidance as is needed

Open invitation to dialogue about the process from beginning to end.

Taking time to  help you share and  integrate the creative experience once it is complete

What does a typical session look like? Because the creative possibilities are endless, there is no "typical session". However, most of my sessions include four important components: 

  1. Setting an Intention. This may be a part of your longer-term personal goals or  more specific to the moment in which we find ourselves in

  2. The Creative Encounter. Once we've decided together which creative modality (or modalities) you might work in, the creative process begins!  

  3. Sharing/Witnessing. Being seen and having an opportunity to verbally process your creative encounter can be one of the most powerful parts the of the session.

  4. Integrating/Harvesting. This last step is important in helping you to bring what you need from the session into your life, so that the session can continue to benefit you even when it is over.

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