What is expressive arts?
EMDR and Art Therapy, Radio show with Health Coach Dr. Nick Bianchi
“Wow! this is more than I expected!” “Unusual and powerful!”
Life and art are connected in many metaphorical ways and levels. Expressive Arts invites us to explore ourselves and our senses in art making. In a strong verbal world, the arts offers a wealth of non-verbal intelligence, helping to strengthen our creative power and deepen our relationship with life. The arts stimulate the brain neural-pathways in new ways of thinking, broadening new perspectives and insight.
In the doing of Expressive Arts we can build on our inner wisdom and resilience. The action of doing could be an action of moving from being stuck.
You are not your brain, your brain functions on memories, social beliefs and habits. Once the connections are found, you can make changes.
Technical experience in art modalities is not necessary as the goal is to “ express” an emotion, self or situation. It is not to create an art piece, however, it is a way to shape an image for a new perspective. The client requires no formal art training. Expressive Arts is different than traditional talk therapy, in that it allows for process/goals to transpire in a non verbal way. Sometimes language and words are not enough. Sometimes finding words is difficult. Young people in particular do not always have the articulation and understanding that is required to communicate their feelings and thoughts. Words in themselves can be limiting in the expression of feelings.
In a session, the arts and psycho-education are used to assist the client. Elke uses client-focused and solution-focused therapy approach. The arts by the maker, allow those feelings to be expressed and witnessed as they are being experienced by the maker.
How can you change what you do not know? Discoveries are made in the exploration and perspectives are unique and meaningful to the maker.
- Problems seem to lessen.
- Concerns and issues seem to find easier resolution.
- Life becomes quieter and more focused.
- Greater enthusiasm for life develops.
- Concentration and the ability to focus increase.
- Enhanced understanding and empathy for oneself, others, and our environment develops.
- Confidence and enthusiasm for learning increase.
- Higher self-esteem and happiness are expressed.
- Increased hope and confidence in our future with a global view emerge. (networking and socializing)
Participants can work on an issue, focus on creative play and/or stress relief. The focus could be artistic, emotional, sensory and /or aesthetic. The focus is totally dependent on the goal of the participant, the group and the workshop.
Initial phone call consultation is complimentary. Sessions are 1- 1.5 hours in length with a recommended attendance of weekly or semi-monthly appointments.
Scheduling is flexible.
Sometimes words aren’t enough
- Has your child suffered a significant loss or experienced trauma?
- Is your child displaying signs of sadness, frustration, withdrawal and/or anger?
- Does your child struggle to find the right words to express him/herself?
- Are you worried about your child?
- Do you want to help your child?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, read on – there are solutions.
Since 1980, Elke has been helping children ages 5 – 17, express themselves in a unique way, which helps them lead happier lives.
Finding a new way for our children
Expressive Arts helps children explore their world using their senses. Sessions vary according to your child’s needs and preferences, and include:
- unique musical instruments from across the globe
- interior sand-box play with miniature fantasy and life-like figurines
- live animals, visits to local petting farm and animal shelter
- clay, quality paint, brushes and pastels
- puppets and toys
- dress up and games
- connection with nature
The individual sessions are designed to encourage your child to freely share his/her stories with Elke, in their way, without being confined by the boundaries of language. It is a way to explore feelings that might be blocked otherwise. All sessions are confidential.
Expressive Arts can help your child with:
- finding a way to communicate painful and difficult issues
- feeling more settled after a major transition
- healing and self esteem
- a generally improved mood
- finding new hope in their situation
- easier access to their feelings
- self awareness and confidence
- feeling less frustrated
- learning to release anger in an appropriate and healthy way
There’s support for you too. Elke is available to support you with your questions and concerns. She will consult with you on a regular basis to share how sessions are going and to share the essence of the experiences your child is having.
“Painting is my favourite – because we were painting our feelings. I’m not crying as much anymore.” ~girl age 7
“The thing I discovered about myself is that I don’t have to be afraid to tell people how I feel.” ~girl age 14