There are times when people have difficulty expressing themselves, in life as well as in therapy, particularly if it is about a difficult subject. Sometimes it is easier to convey thoughts and emotions through the use of art, called expressive arts. This therapeutic treatment is not about creating beautiful art; it is about finding a way to express oneself, particularly when there just are no words.
Expressive arts includes, but is not limited to, drawing or painting, listening to or creating music and journaling or writing poetry. There is no critique of the expression; it is interpreted by the individual if they choose; and often it is just experience of creating itself that is therapeutic. This is an approach to treatment that I incorporate if the individual is open to using it.
Expressive arts can be used in conjunction with talk therapy to treat:
- low self-esteem
- terminal or chronic diseases, such as cancer and chronic pain
- trauma, including sexual, physical, or emotional abuse