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Expressive Arts Can Lead to Healing

Sometimes we may not have access to the right words to verbalize what we are going through. For instance, sometimes words just aren’t enough to express our emotions or process difficult situations. Therefore, we may need a way to slow down enough to talk about our feelings. Expressive arts can lead to healing by providing a way to do all of these things.


Learn More About Expressive Art Therapies

Writing such as  journaling or poetry;  visual art such as drawing, painting, sculpting, creating a collage; creative movement such as dance; drama such as acting out situations, role-playing, or storytelling; music such as singing or playing instruments.

Expressive art therapy techniques don’t require any special talents or abilities (other than an openness to try something new!). In other words, these techniques focus on the process and not the product. When you are working with a therapist remember they won’t be judging you or your creative abilities or look into your drawing to find deeper meaning.  Additionally, your therapist is going to help you process the experience and emotions that come up during the activity

Improvement in overall well-being; reduction in anxiety and stress, increased self-esteem, improved sense of self-awareness, strengthened relationships, improved ability to regulate emotions, and social skills development.

Trauma, Depression, Anxiety/Stress, Low Self-Esteem, Emotional Regulation, Interpersonal Relationships, Grief, Substance Abuse Disorders, Eating Disorders.

Still feeling unsure? Here is a simple technique for stress relief you can try from home…

Mandala Coloring Activity:  Print out a mandala coloring page and grab your colored pencils, crayons, or markers. Take a few minutes before you begin to note how you are feeling and rate your stress level. Now get coloring! Choose colors that appeal to you. Above all, there’s no right or wrong. Therefore, after you have completed the activity, check in again and see if you notice any changes.

Resources: Monday Mandala. (n.d.). Our mandalas.; Rogers, N. (1993). The creative connection: Expressive arts as healing

Want to learn more benefits?  Click here for a recent NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) article on expressive arts and healing.

Grace Kavanagh was a Graduate Student Intern with the Mindly Group studying Mental Health Counseling.

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