"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

What is Expressive Therapy?

If you're affected by depression or anxiety, or are recovering from trauma, it's possible you'll find it difficult to speak about your feelings. Expressive therapy through writing, art, music, theater or dance may very well be a treatment.

This type of treatment uses creative activities to enable you share and process feelings and memories which may be difficult to place into words. It can be called expressive therapy, art therapy, creative art therapy or experiential therapy.

This field began within the Nineteen Forties when psychologists began listening to their patients' drawings. The sketches sometimes told them more about what an individual was pondering or feeling than they learned from talking to that patient.

In an expressive therapy session, a trained therapist guides you thru the technique of expressing yourself through art. Usually it's a combination of various activities, but sometimes therapists just concentrate on one. For example, someone latest to therapy might find it higher to put in writing or keep a journal. If you've gotten been in therapy for some time, it's possible you'll be more focused on dance or theater. You can try expressive therapy alone or along with talk therapy.

You don’t should be “good” on the art form you employ during your sessions. The focus of expressive therapy is on the method itself, not the outcomes.

Expressive therapy is an option for kids and adults with a wide range of mental health concerns, including:

Forms of expressive therapy include:

Music therapy. This treatment involves playing, singing, listening or moving to music. Research has shown that it could actually relieve anxiety. It also can lift their mood.

Art therapy. They use painting, drawing, sculpture, or one other art form to process or express difficult thoughts and feelings. A study of ladies with cancer found that art therapy helped them concentrate on the more positive parts of their lives. It also boosted her confidence.

Dance therapy. Different varieties of dance or exercise may help reduce stress and anxiety. It also can improve your physical health. One study found that it helped breast cancer survivors move higher.

Drama therapy. Theater methods reminiscent of role-playing, voice work, storytelling and movement can promote mental health and private growth. Some studies have found that it could help individuals with general stress and depression, in addition to some with serious mental health problems reminiscent of schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder.

Talk to your doctor or therapist if you desire to try expressive therapy. They can enable you determine what is likely to be best for you.