What is expressive art therapy?
Therapeutic Art. Ya, it’s a thing.
Do you ever hear a song on the radio and transport to another place and time? How about feeling the urge for a spontaneous dance party? Lose time in painting, scrapbooking, or journalling? Had the urge to doodle after a long day? Sing in the shower? Hum while you fold your laundry?
These are all a forms of expression. Creative expression. We used to express ourselves all the time, as kids. Somewhere along the way, we lost our drive to really be silly, expressive, and creative. Some people still have it - that's for certain. For others - it's an untapped resource.
Expressive Art Therapy is a kind of healing that happens through creative writing, poetry (creating and reciting), intentional music listening, body movement, visual art, and/or intentional creativity time. Expressive art therapy is more than doodles on a page or paint on a paper. It is listening, seeing, and witnessing in someone’s creative process. It’s more powerful than actual words.
According to the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association® (IEATA®), the expressive arts combine the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing and other creative processes to foster deep personal growth and community development.
Psychology Today describes the expressive arts process as art come[ing] from a deep emotional place inside you, [while] creative endeavors enabl[ing] you to undergo a profound process of self-discovery and understanding. Creativity becomes the pathway to the expression of inner feelings, leading to a process of self-discovery and understanding. In other words, your creative process becomes your road to emotional health.
What to expect at an expressive art therapy session with Kayla.
Making art automatically brings your emotional defenses down. It allows you to open up, opening your mind, and put it all on the paper. Kayla’s process involves making art, mindfulness, and dialogue. She connects you to your breath and body in ways you have never done before. She focuses on your process, not the product. Your art will hold a message, an unknowing. Something new has been made and it holds power. Together we talk about what the art means to you, and the healing takes place.
How does the healing happen?
The healing happens when you allow someone to see you, really see you. The art is the communication tool. When participating in expressive art therapy you are allowing the creativity to speak for you. Art speaks of the dark places and the light.
When was the last time you expressed yourself in a real way, bearing witness from someone who held you up?
BENEFITS OF EXPRESSIVE ART THERAPY
Creating something new while receiving hidden messages from your soul
Trusting in yourself and the creative process
Validation of your feelings, experiences, and story. You are the expert in your own life.
Being seen and heard in a powerful way
Sitting with your feelings, beginning to know them, learning from them, getting them outside of your body and onto paper
Giving permission to your body to speak to you and move as it feels like moving
Increasing your sense of self love and self acceptance
Moving past distractions and scattered thoughts
Giving yourself permission to go into the deepest parts of yourself
Moving towards living a more intentional, creative, mindful, and authentic life
Realizing the "part you play" in your life and interpersonal communications
Accepting what you cannot control (aka. other people)
Accessibility to unconscious thoughts, and your ability to alter them (aka. cognitive distortions, "the stories we tell ourselves")
Increasing your blood flow while creating
Improving your immune system, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration
Questions? Connect with me.
Until next time,
In my private practice in Regina, SK, I am passionate about helping women find their joy. I offer a free 30 minute in-person meeting to find out if I'm the right support person for you.