Expressive Arts Therapies

What are Expressive Arts Therapies?

about-mandalaExpressive arts therapy is its own therapeutic discipline, an inter-modal discipline where the therapist and client move freely between drawing, dancing, music, drama, poetry etc. Expressive art therapists share the belief that through creative expression and the tapping of the imagination, you can examine the body, feelings, emotions and thought process. Taking non-verbal, intuitive and unconscious concepts into conscious understanding organizes the experience and creates structure.

How can Expressive Arts Therapies help?

When you draw, dance and write, the expression from the music brings new perceptions to the surface of awareness. Artwork such as the Mandala can give voice to what has long been silent, repressed or suppressed. Expressive arts such as dance and movement offer a cathartic, creative means to release emotions through the body, moving negative energy out and through. Writing, imagery, dialog and discussion additionally help to empower and integrate insights gleaned from a music therapy experience.

Expressive Arts Therapies and The Sophia Process

Integrative Music Healing: The Sophia Process includes processing guidance with Sophia that follows meditation and music experiences. Whether live one-on-one and group sessions, or Self-Guided CDs and video training, Sophia will help you engage in experiential expressive arts to gather helpful insights, personal deep meaning, and transformational growth.

What is Art Therapy?

art-therapy-mandalaThe American Art Therapy Association defines Art therapy as “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.”

 

How is Art Therapy used in The Sophia Process?

Often, when facilitating Integrative Music Healing experiences, clients combine their creative drawings with Sophia’s live or recorded improvisations played on the piano. The improvised music and spontaneous drawings in response to the music provide expressive ways to dive deeper into creative problem solving.

The pattern of the music, expression and processing illustrates how the Integrative Music Healing method is typically used and experienced. There are an infinite number of ways to process what the music brings to you. Sophia can guide you to allow your imagination to create and play!

For more tips and experiences to use drawing as a therapeutic tool, Module 5 of the professional training videos focuses on processing music experiences with Expressive Arts Therapies.

For expressive arts ideas and experiences, download a copy of Sophia Morreale’s ebook: Integrative Music Healing: The Sophia Process Theory and Practice Manual in 5 modules. Available for download at the store.

Other expressive arts used in the Sophia Process:

Writing

The act of writing is one of the key processing tools that follows an IMH music experience. Writing can be illuminating, releasing and enjoyable, whether you write a word, sentence, paragraph or book.

Writing can provide insight, clarification, resolution, emotional release, affirmation, courage, discovery of spiritual resources and a deeper appreciation of life.

Movement

Creative movement, another expressive arts processing tool in IMH, helps you connect with and release hidden emotions, unconscious issues and limiting thoughts.

Through improvisational dance (interpretive expression with music), movement itself can say what needs to be expressed in creative and non-linear ways. Negative emotions and energy stuck in the body are released, enabling the body to be free from past pain and feel cathartic, open to relief and relaxation. Like a good massage, movement breathes fresh energy into tight muscles and releases tension.

Dialog and discussion

Dialog and discussion can be done in dyads with a partner, in a group setting, or individually through reflection and journal writing. Creating a form from your insights through the spoken or written word helps you to solidify benefits from the music experience.

For more tips and experiences to use drawing as a therapeutic tool, Module 5 of the professional training videos focuses on processing music experiences with Expressive Arts Therapies.

Expressive arts questions and ideas are covered in detail in Sophia Morreale’s ebook: Integrative Music Healing: The Sophia Process Theory and Practice Manual. Available for download at the store.