Sometimes our emotions, feeling, and deep rooted memories want to stay hidden, or are hard to explain. Expressive Therapy helps to bridge the gaps in communication and thought by using the arts in therapeutic means.
The overall grouping of expressive therapy includes expression through many different means. Whether it is easiest for you to express yourself through painting, drawing, singing, dancing, acting, or creative writing, it can all be used by an Expressive Therapist to help you work through your feelings, and remove blocks which have been stopping your from clearly explaining or exploring your problems. Even though there are crayons, paints, music, and laughter involved in creation, it is serious therapy at work.
If you are starting to imagine your efforts are going to be judged on how good the art work is, the quality of your singing, or your ability to act, you are missing the mark. This form of therapy works with the process of your expressing yourself, and using the different forms of arts to help you get your feelings out in the open. The quality does not matter, it is just a means of helping you express yourself easily, and more fully. If for any reason you are restricted in one form of communication, this can be a very freeing experience.
What is Expressive Therapy most commonly used for? You will find it practiced in hospitals, mental health centers, senior care centers, and many times in elementary schools. Any where you find people who are feeling challenged being able to express their feelings verbally, you will find Expressive Therapists at work. The reason it is used commonly with young children is due to their inability to clearly express their thoughts, emotions, and needs verbally. They can often draw a simple picture depicting what has happened in their life, or what they are wanting. These simple clues through artistic expression helps the therapist determine their needs more clearly, and to focus their work in the proper direction.
The same problems experienced by children are often revisited by our senior citizens. With the onset of senility, damage from a stroke, or other disabling illnesses, they may be unable to express themselves fully through words. By using a wide range of artistic methods they can communicate their feelings and thoughts to the therapist, allowing for proper treatment and improvements in their life.
While Expressive Therapy may look like fun and games while the creative process is going on, keep in mind the patient is normally working through difficult feelings and thoughts. They are pouring their hearts out through their art, and sharing it with their therapist. A good Expressive Therapist can take their work and give them great guidance, helping them to overcome some of the most difficult challenges in their life.
Expressive Therapy’s power when combined with Physical Therapy in helping patients overcome traumatic accidents has been known to be very beneficial. The combination of improving their physical being, and using their bodies creatively can help accelerate both their physical and mental recovery from the accident, or illness. Expressive therapy is one method which is successful in many situations, and one most patients enjoy experiencing.