As a traditional, client-centered psychotherapist, practicing visual artist, and Expressive ARTS facilitator and Educator, I have great confidence in the transformative healing powers of trauma-informed expressive arts interventions. While this is only one of the many interventions I utilize, expressive arts allow the psyche the opportunity to explore, navigate, and create an inner relationship with self.
I work collaboratively with clients to develop coping skills, self-regulation, and personal awareness to cultivate the highest level of potential to create the life you deserve. I believe in the Expressive ARTS for healing, artistic growth, and exploration. I have worked with individuals, including special needs children, addiction recovery clients, dementia, and general public populations.
“Those of us who are committed to enhancing creativity in the world need to focus on making environments and caring for them in a way that allows imaginations to do its work.” -Shaun McNiff
What are Expressive ARTS?
Expressive ARTS are a creative outlet that can be experienced in many forms such as SandPlay Therapy, art journaling painting, writing, dancing, drama, and narrative modalities. Some clients find it easier to express their emotions in pictures, written words, movement, or dramatic expression, using creative art as a vehicle of non-verbal speech and expression.
The use of Expressive ARTS are clinically proven to reduce normative stress, enhance creativity, alleviate symptoms of depression, ease trauma, improve mental clarity, and motor functioning in special needs and Alzheimer's patients, and has a multitude of additional positive healing components within every population group.
But, I'm not an "artist"
I am a true believer that everyone has an inner artist that they perhaps left behind in their childhood due to criticism, or lack of opportunity to be developed.
From that launching pad, the greatest tool that I can give you in a session, is not a paint brush, marker, or direction, but the reminder that you have the permission and right to explore and enliven your inner creative self. My favorite artistic tool has been what most view as "mistake making".
Within my philosophy, there are no mistakes, but opportunities to develop, nourish, and evoke. Every mark, every paint stroke, every intention are the stepping stones to understanding your own, unique self; these are valuable, teachable experiences within the art process that enABLE you to shape your own artistic voice. Throw some paint! Take a chance at exploring YOU.
How can Expressive ARTS benefit my personal enrichment?
Through an empathetic approach, a client has the opportunity and environment in which to feel acceptance and ultimately empowerment. The soft goal is to encourage healing and conflict resolve through the connection and creation of art. The end goal of the artistic expression is not the creation of a perfect work of art, but an incredible expression of our innermost selves; the process of the art is the physical, non-verbal vehicle to our inner self-exploration; again, focusing on process, not outcome, while fostering the connection between the creative process to our psyche, body and environment.
"From a healing perspective, the more I understand the value of the process of art
and its ability to build up what has been torn down,
the more motivated I am to share its innate and perfect power to heal."
-Laura Oliver, PhD, LPC, NCC