What is Expressive Therapy?

Expressive Therapy is the therapeutic use of expressive and creative modalities (art, music, poetry, drama, storytelling, movement/dance, etc.) to address various mental health issues and to promote personal growth and wellness. Expressive Therapies are sometimes referred to as 'Creative Arts Therapies' and include both Art Therapy and Music Therapy, as well as several others. Expressive therapists are healthcare professionals who have formal training in psychotherapy, human development, and clinical practice as well as the arts.

 

What is Art therapy?

Art Therapy is the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma, or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others; cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.

 

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy is the therapeutic use of music to effect positive change in an individual's life. Music therapy utilizes the creative processes inherent in music making and in listening to music, in addition to the therapeutic relationship between the therapist and client, to facilitate this change. Music therapy can enhance overall growth and wellness as well as address specific needs related to physical, emotional, sensory, cognitive, and social functioning.

 

What is a typical therapy session like?

Therapy is highly individualized, so interventions and experiences will differ based on the client's needs and interests. Our therapists work from a person-centered approach, utilizing the client's strengths to reach desired treatment goals. The therapist and the client will work together to find creative interventions and experiences that are appropriate and beneficial for the client.

Some experiences that one might have in a Music Therapy session include:

    • Improvising (playing/exploring) on musical instruments
    • Playing in a drum circle
    • Song writing
    • Discussing song lyrics
    • Musical games/play
    • Moving to music
    • Guided relaxation
    • Singing
    • Chanting and meditation (toning)

Some experiences that one might have in an Art Therapy session include:

    • 2D design (including painting, drawing, and collage/scrapbooking)
    • 3D design (including clay and sculpture)
    • Play therapy/games
    • Guided relaxation
    • Sand tray therapy
    • Photography/digital arts
    • MARI/Mandala making
    • Fiber arts/Quilt making
 

What is your payment policy?

We DO accept waivers now, only the SCL and ABI through our contract with Creative Diversity/Access Community Assistance. Please contact us for more information.  We do not currently accept insurance but can provide a reimbursement form to you.  We accept cash, checks, and credit cards at your convenience.  Fees vary depending on the service and the needs of the client. Please contact us for more information regarding fees.

 

How do I get started?

If you are interested in receiving services, the first step is to contact us. An informal meeting will be held over the phone or in person (at no change) to discuss fees, payment policy, privacy policy, informed consent, and any questions you might have. The first session will be an assessment session during which the therapist will learn more about you and your specific needs and goals. Based on this assessment, an individualized plan will be developed and further sessions can be scheduled.

 

I'm not musically or artistically talented! I have NO prior experience making art or music! Can I benefit from Expressive Therapies?

Yes! You don't need any prior experience with making art or music to benefit from Art or Music Therapy. The benefits are gained by participating in the process of art and/or music-making with guidance and support from the therapist, and from discussion with the therapist before, during, and after the session. The emphasis is on the therapeutic process and not the artistic or musical product. We believe that everyone has the potential for creativity and self-expression, not just the trained "artists" and "musicians" of the world.

For example: As a child, you may have been told to color within the lines, and to make the sky blue and the grass green. You may have also been told that you couldn't sing or didn't have any rhythm. In Art Therapy it's OK to color outside of the lines, and to paint the sky any color you want. In Music Therapy you are encouraged to use your voice and the instruments to express yourself in whatever way feels natural to you. There is no right or wrong way to make art or music in the therapeutic context.