Unlike traditional art expression, the process of creation is emphasized rather than the final product. The expressive therapies are based on the assumption that people can heal through the various forms of creative expression.
Expressive Arts therapists share the belief that through creative expression and the tapping of the imagination, people can examine their body, feelings, emotions, and thought process. Expressive arts therapy is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, dreamwork, and visual arts together, in an integrated way, to foster human growth, development, and healing.
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.