The expressive arts are for everyone, not just someone labeled an "artist." We all have the potential to reach our creative connection. All it requires is a desire to dig deeper and try something new.
If you want to dip your toe into the expressive arts, it can be anything as simple as listening to music as you silently experiment with drawing images with colored pencils. Right now I'm working through a mandala meditation journal and writing an intention for each day. That sounds pretty easy, right?
So how would we use this in therapy? Well, that really depends on you and what mediums you are comfortable trying. Sometimes we might start with a short meditation, draw or paint an image (no artistic training required), and set your own intention for something personal to you. Other times we might play a drum, tibetan bowl, or a xylophone as spontaneous music (again no classic training required) and then make a movement or sound that feels right in the moment. Because that's really what this whole thing is about...being in the moment.
Experimenting with one creative outlet leads to another and it all culminates with getting to know yourself better. Spontaneous images, writing, music, and movement connect you with your subconscious (all the stuff going on in the background deep inside of you). It's a way to express feelings, events, and challenges that may otherwise be difficult to verbalize. For example, if you know you feel anxiety, creating images of the things that scare you and then writing a story about interacting with it can help change your perceptions and expectations.
It's actually a wonderful way to find joy. Once you see me do it, maybe it won't feel so strange. We can explore all the things that make you uniquely you. Let's have some fun!
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