Expressive art therapy, based on the idea that creative acts can be healing, is a form of psychotherapy that uses art as its primary form of communication. Generally employing multiple types of art in an integrated way (such as imagery, storytelling, drawing, dance, prose, painting, sculpture etc.), expressive art therapy emphasises the process of making art rather than the final product. Therapists practicing expressive art therapy foster a supportive and empathetic relationship with their clients and help them to explore their creativity for its own sake and as a way to nurture personal growth. Expressive art therapy helps individuals explore emotions and thoughts by through various artist medium as a form of communication. Being practical and using physical objects, such as paintbrushes and paper, often helps people to feel more connected to the world around. While use of drama or storytelling can assist individuals who have difficulties with social interaction and verbal communication. In general expressive arts therapy is of great benefit to those who find it difficult to verbalise feelings.
Who would benefit from Expressive Art therapy?
Expressive Art therapy can be effective for individuals who have problems verbally expressing themselves. This form of therapy often takes place in alternative setting such as art studios, workshops or therapy rooms with various art and creative materials. Generally Expressive Art Therapy focuses on creative development and can be particularly useful when working with children and adolescents, as well as adults, couples, families, groups, and communities. Art therapy can also be useful for individuals who have experienced trauma and for individuals with learning problems. In addition, individuals with a different maternal language, such as refugees, may also experience extreme difficulties having opportunities to express themselves. The is particularly the case when individuals have lost family and find themselves alone in a new country. Expressive Art Therapy can be a useful group activity for building communication skills and self-esteem.