An artwork has a story, a quest-ion and a truth of its own. It is pure joy to explore that which is lost in translation of direct communication, but can be expressed between the fascinating lines, colours or movements of an artwork.
Unlike common psychotherapy, where dialogue takes place between client & therapist, in Expressive Arts Therapy the dialogue has a “triangle structure”: Client/creator, therapist/observer & the Artistic Product. This “Third” object (the art work) opens up new options to obtain change, healing and relief. Expressive Arts Therapy is founded on the premise that everyone is capable of making meaningful art and that the process and/or product is always helpful to the client.
Expressive art asks for low skill, high sensitivity approach. All our groups and sessions are held so that any person, regardless of their artistic talent or previous experience (not technique-oriented), can enter into the process.The clients are guided by us into their senses and their sensitivity to create art work. We observe together without judgement and critique at what has been created. There are often educational and/or instructional components to the art creating that are naturally imbedded within the session.
The clients are the experts of their art and therefore they will let meaning emerge through a reflective process that assists the client in discovering their own resources. This analyses gives careful attention to what is actually there on the page, in the song or dance, and allows for the whole experience to touch the client. Images, colours, movements are not coded to any external meaning other than the client’s own experience.
As Art there can be used: visual arts, painting, sculpturing, music, drama and theatre, writing, storytelling, nature, dance/movement and can usually incorporate more than one modality into a session. More than one art making modality (intermodal) brings more of the senses into play, which is used to receive more information about an image, and/or to facilitate where the images are leading the client. The therapist is knowledgeable in the language of all these art modalities and how they interrelate with each other and/or the client.
In expressive arts we practice that the making and finding what arrives with reflection is a process and a healing act. Creating art with sensitive awareness is a similar process as that of creating our lives.
HEART is a word conisting of two words: HEAR+ART. This is, in short, the art of an (art) therapy.