10 June 2013

Mental Health Monday: Expressive Therapies

Today I want to talk about expressive therapies.

Some examples of expressive therapies are art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, and sand tray. However, pretty much any expressive activity can be used  - by a trained professional - in a therapeutic manner.

Art therapy can take the form of drawing, painting, creating collages, and working with clay. A subset might be arts and crafts (beading, knitting, painting bird houses, coloring pages, etc). Now, I'm not going to look at someone's drawing and say, "Oh, you used red, which symbolizes ______, so you must be feeling ______." Instead, I'd ask about the colors a person used and what they mean to the person. The whole point is for the person to get something out in a way that doesn't necessarily involve a lot of words.

Music therapy can be a lot of fun. I've done groups where we listen to a song and then talk about how it made people feel and what it brought up for them. 

Pretty much the only limit is a therapist's imagination. See? Therapy isn't necessarily all talking!

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