Expressive arts therapy is a multimodal approach to therapy. It may incorporate painting, drawing, clay, collage making, and therapeutic photography. It also utilizes language arts such as writing, poetry, stories, as well as movement, music and sound. Expressive arts provide individuals with an opportunity to express their lived experiences.
People are not required to “be” good at art. They simply need a willingness to use their imagination, trust the process, and allow the expressive arts therapist to be a guide. The process provides opportunity for greater awareness of the mind, body, spirit connection, and connection to others.
Many people are drawn to the healing process of art, but do not know where to begin in finding the right person to work with. At Serenity Mountain Expressive Arts Therapy, I am aware that initiating any therapy can be a challenge for some people. I will include a few suggestions that may help you move forward and commit to beginning a journey of self discovery and healing.
1. Take initiative
The fear of trying something new can keep you from seeking options for therapy. The expressive arts I facilitate is not clinical counseling. It is a gentle method of self discovery, guiding you on your own journey. The first step is to just start, to take the initiative, and begin something you have never done before but are considering or have considered in the past.
2. Decide what you need
Keep in mind that not all therapies are alike, and knowing a little about different therapy styles and specialties can help you narrow your list of what you should try. Decide what you want or need at this time to go forward and find the right person to do this with. Information provided on Websites can be helpful in identifying what they offer and if the therapist is a good fit.
Expressive art can hold difficult emotions and experiences that are hard to put into words. Providing space to express and feel understood is shown to be most important with trauma or difficult experiences. Expressive art can provide an indispensable connection between life and expression through multimodal art. The creative process provides a meaningful way for individuals to connect with themselves and allow for expression with the establishment of safety at the forefront. I believe each person is an expert in their own life, and I work with what comes by facilitating a process unique to each individual.
3. Do your research
Seeking a therapist may seem overwhelming, however spending some time researching different therapists and comparing who is a good fit for your particular need is well worth the time. You want to find someone with whom you can be comfortable with, have a schedule that works with yours, and who will be able to help you accomplish your goals. Therapists that belong to an association with a code of ethics that they must adhere to and be accountable to is very important.
4. Make a commitment
Committing to therapy is a big deal! It is not always easy to make a commitment. Some people come to sessions ready for change and some are uncertain of what they want but know what they don’t want. Even if you are uncertain about what issues to bring to the session, you will benefit by showing up for the process. With expressive arts, sometimes things come unexpectedly and shift the focus of therapy. It is an organic process that provides insight, awareness and change.
5. Follow through
Once a commitment is made, and an appointment has been booked, know that you have started already. This is a big step! You can look forward to using the multimodal art process as something that will assist you with any uncertainty. It can be an adventure to explore your inner world with intentional time set aside for you.
Journaling is an excellent way to facilitate change between sessions. I encourage the use of writing, and art journaling as part of the therapeutic process. It further assists with the insight and awareness that comes from the sessions. Whether you struggle with stress, depression, anxiety or any other issue, keeping a journal can be a great way to continue exploring what is going on for you.
7. Commit to six sessions
If you decide expressive arts therapy is a good fit, committing to six sessions allows you to go deeper into a therapeutic process and helps you to determine how well it is working for you based on achieving your goals.
8. Provide feedback
If you are looking for expressive arts therapy that also specializes in therapeutic phototherapy sessions in Spruce Grove, Alberta, then reach out to me at Serenity Mountain Expressive Arts Therapy. Online sessions are available as well.
I am a certified expressive arts therapist and a registered social worker.
For a complete list of my services, please click here. If you have any questions about Expressive Arts Therapy, I would love to hear from you. Please contact me here.