Expressive Therapy

Expressive therapy is the intentional use of the creative arts as a form of therapy.

This type of therapy works under the assumption that through the imagination and the various forms of creative expression, humans can heal.

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expressive therapy with musical notes Music is a form of this therapy used and taught to be a mood stabilizer. It has the capabilities to increase your energy, instill relaxation, make you happy, make you sad, or make you reflective of past memories. We react both emotionally and physically.

To understand this and feel this - pick out a CD that has fast dance music and one that has instrumental slow music, then listen to each one noting the feelings emotionally and physically that take place within yourself. Once you have this understanding you will be able to use music to your advantage.

The use of Music as an expressive therapy.

expressive therapy with pen and paper

Writing is a form of therapy that uses the act of writing and processing the written word as therapy. The act of writing allows the individual to form and transmit their thoughts to paper.

The pain of speaking may be to unbearable for some individuals but in releasing the words to paper it can grant a form of relief as well as taking a necessary step towards acceptance in certain cases. Writing therapy can be kept private and used as a form of self awareness or it can be shared with a therapist or counselor.

The use of Writing as a therapy.

expressive therapy with the use of paint brushes

Art is another popular form of this therapy. In this therapy with the use of a variety of materials individuals will draw, paint, sculpt or use photography to help cope with stressful issues, work through traumatic experiences, increase insight and cognitive abilities as well as enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of the creative experience.

When used in the medical field these therapists are trained to recognize the non verbal symbols and metaphors that are communicated within the creative process that individuals find difficult to put into words or expression.

The use of Art as a therapy


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Related articles

Person-centered Expressive Arts Therapy

Expressive Therapies Institute of Australia


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