Expressive arts therapy (EXA) integrates a therapeutic element into the creative process for self-exploration and emotional balance. EXA is an intermodal approach that utilizes our innate creativity as the force for healing, be it painting, poetry, drama, music, sculpture, dance or other artistic forms. Through spontaneous creativity, one explores their responses, reactions and insights as a healing process to gain clarity, growth and healing.
In the expressive art process, one is encouraged to engage multiple senses to explore the inner and outer worlds through their artistic creation. Each of our bodily senses are nonverbal ways which our unconscious uses to communicate to us apart from the surface logical and analytical mind. While the therapeutic work is centered on the creative process, one does not require any art training or background. We attempt to evoke the intrinsic creativity to express our buried emotions within our inner consciousness.
EXA differs from pure art making, while art making involves standard critique of beauty and the focus of the final art product. When we use arts for therapeutic purpose or self-healing, the aesthetics or the craftsmanship are not of concern. The arts are used as the medium for expressing and releasing an inner world in which our reflections and insights emerge. EXA emphasizes the creative process as the healing journey and the end result as the expression of our unconscious. Creativity empowers and inspires the innate healing power within the soul as the pathway to joy, vitality and the endless possibilities of life.