Expressive Arts Therapy

“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.” ~ Carl Jung

Expressive arts therapy (EXA) utilizes multiple art modalities, such as drawing, painting, movement, sound and poetry. Multiple modalities are often used within a session. No previous experience is necessary—just a willingness to participate.

Using multiple art modalities allows for greater clarity of expression by the creator. Expressive arts therapy (EXA) is a therapeutic creative process that combines two or more objects, concepts, sensory experiences, images or words, and experiments with them in different combinations to create something new. Patients practice trusting the process of expression by creating art in a safe space.

Creative Session using Expressive Art Therapy

What are the Benefits of Expressive Arts Therapy?

Expressive arts inspire the senses. Aesthetic play (the arts) is the opposite of anaesthetic play (numbing senses with drugs or alcohol). Through our senses, we are reintroduced to life and aliveness. Patients begin to ignite the feeling of a positive future through visualization, play, and the senses. The artistic modalities can be a safe way to express painful emotions that may feel too threatening to express explicitly through words.

Patients can practice letting go of perfectionism—seeing the inner critic—and begin to cultivate self-compassion. Expressive arts therapy’s (EXA) process allows patients to notice the desire to control, and shift toward surrender and acceptance of the outcome.

Expressive arts therapy (EXA) emphasizes the importance of community, connection and relationship in the healing process, especially during the difficult, in-between stages. Art can be used as a testimony to our stories, as well as present the possibility to rewrite new ones.

The benefit of expressive arts therapy (EXA) lies in the creation of something beautiful that is inherent in art making. Beauty heals.

Program Description:

Inpatient program: two small group sessions per patient
CTAP/TPIP program: three bi-weekly sessions per cohort
Extended Care/Outpatient program: six-session program designed to expand inner awareness of personal resources through artistic expression
Insight program: one session per cohort

Testimonials for Expressive Arts Therapy (EXA)

“Working in the arts was immensely helpful in looking inward yet expressing myself outward.” – Jill W

“When I first heard about art therapy, I thought it was hocus pocus or voodoo. What I know now is the complete opposite. I was able to express my feelings through drawing, clay and movement and felt totally judgement free. This work was invaluable for people like me!” – Mike D (CTAP patient)

“I had the courage to express my emotions and truth in a manner I had difficulty doing in other group settings.” – Jim B

“These expressive arts sessions have been an instrumental and significant part of my treatment!” – Tara H

“It was the most wonderful way for me to connect with my body, mind and soul. It allowed me to feel present in the moment, and create beauty from the heart.” – Angel G

“The program connects the holistic principles of mind, body and spirit with an inspiring array of sensory modalities; allowing for exploration of the inner self as it affects addiction.” – Tracy R.