“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.” –C.G. Jung
The process of creativity often begins in chaos, with being in the “not knowing”. The same idea can be applied to choosing to enter psychotherapy: Chaos is occurring and you are having difficulty navigating your life. You don’t know where you are headed, and that fear or sadness can be paralyzing.
Using the arts in psychotherapy can assist in looking at yourself and your issues from a fresh vantage point, and can help break through stuck places. The arts can help you access the power of image and movement in ways that the conscious mind cannot reach. Symbols and images that emerge can serve as a bridge between inner, unconscious experiences and the outer expression of feelings and words.
In Jung’s vision, a type of permeable barrier lies between our conscious and unconscious minds that can be transcended by images. Images give the unconscious a voice…art can be seen as uniting three different worlds at once: the unconscious, the conscious, and the world of concrete material from outside the body.
The Expressive Arts Activity Book (Darley/Heath; Kingsley Publishers), p. 17
What are the Expressive Arts?
The expressive arts emphasize an interdisciplinary or intermodal approach to creative endeavor. The field is grounded not in specific techniques or media yet in how the arts can respond to the multitude of human experience from life challenging situations to self-realization.
Expressive arts professionals, such as therapists, consultants/educators, and artists work with symbols, text, movement, sound, and other various media grounded in the body and imagination.
Expressive arts practitioners are sensitive to individuals’ needs during the creative process and are committed to fostering a compassionate environment for listening, speaking and witnessing.
- From the website of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association
Expressive Arts Therapy Consultation
I provide expressive arts consultation for therapists seeking Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT) status from the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA), as well as clinicians seeking to integrate the arts into their work.