Expressive arts is all about experiencing the natural capacity of our imagination, creative expression and ritual for transformation and healing. It differs from other forms of healing in that it builds upon different artistic modalities to achieve the greatest amount of clarity and transformation. These modalities can include any mode of creative expression that the client(s) finds interesting including but not limited to: storytelling, collage, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, dreamwork, visual arts, graffiti, photography. Expressive art making and sensory engagement are the raw materials and main catalysts for expression, insight and transformation. The actual aesthetics of the artwork produced is secondary to the process; its importance only relates to how it informs meaning making and growth.
It has been scientifically documented and proven that this type of creative, sensory exploration and movement shifts the body’s autonomic nervous system into the rest and relax mode, releasing chemical hormones and nutrients that naturally relieve anxiety and pain and fight illness and infection. When the body is in this relaxation mode – amazing things can happen. Old repetitive ways of being and thinking will give way to hopeful new perspectives and possibilities. It often opens a formerly closed doorway into our hearts, values and intuitive wisdom, serving as an impetus for change and connecting us with others and the joy of the present moment and our lives.
The best part is that the expressive arts based prompts do not require any artistic skill – only curiosity and the willingness to play and be sensitive to the materials . In fact, sometimes having artistic skill can actually impede the process by having judgment and expectation about the result. We have all experienced the process and benefits of creative activities in our lives. Perhaps you have built a piece of furniture, designed a new garden or tweaked a photo on the computer. Each of these creative activities bring us a sense of accomplishment , healing and well-being . There are no set recipes for this work. The beauty of the process is discovering the right activities and right amount of ingredients that need to be added to allow for the greatest amount of clarity and shift to occur. Maybe we simply need to add a dollop of music, or a dollop of dance, or even purple paint – and suddenly there’s a life changing epiphany! Or, maybe you just simply feel more relaxed, engaged and optimistic about life. This expressive art process is about using YOUR creativity and imagination to journey into your heart and find your way back home to yourself, creating the life and relationships you want and deserve. Simply being present and open to the fruits of the process is the greatest gift you can give to yourself to cultivate authenticity, connection, well-being and joy.