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Expressive Therapy


Expressive Therapy


The research is to find out where the therapy originated, including the name of the person who first introduced the therapy and a brief history if possible. Provide a short summary of any clinical research or scientific evidence that supports the validity of the therapy. List of conditions the therapy is best suited to treating. A summary of how the therapy works to assist the client. Contras or dangers associated with using the therapy. A bibliography listing the resources used to find the information, including websites and publications.


It could be argued that cultures worldwide have used expressive therapies for millennia for many purposes. However for the purpose of the prevailing culture of the 20th Century in 1974 in USA Lesley Professor Shaun McNiff is credited with the invention of expressive therapy when he established the “Expressive Therapies Program” in approx. 40 years this mind body healing practice has become as he notes:

“The empirical evidence is staggering. We started something that has spawned a field.”

At the core of expressive arts therapy is the concept of poiesis, a Greek word that is the root of the word poetry, which refers to the natural process of moving from everyday expectations into the world of imagination and creativity that results in art making. Because art comes from a deep emotional place inside you, creative endeavours enable you to undergo a profound process of self-discovery and understanding. Creativity becomes the pathway to the expression of inner feelings, leading to a process of self-discovery and understanding. In other words, your creative process becomes your road to emotional health.

In expressive arts therapy, you use multiple senses to explore your inner and outer world through the experience and creation of different art forms. Your therapist or counselor helps you communicate your feelings about the process and accomplishment of art making, and together, you use the creative process to highlight and analyze your problems and issues. Since the therapeutic work is based on the creative process, not on the final result, it is not necessary to have a background or training in the arts to benefit from expressive arts therapy. Throughout the process, you learn new and different ways to use the mostly nonverbal language of creativity to communicate inner feelings that were not previously available to you by simply thinking or talking about them.

Expressive Therapy is reported as “preliminary effectiveness in reducing PTSD Symptoms, reducing the severity of depression and/or improving the quality of life and long term results in improved liver and lung function, behavioral improvements, reduced absenteeism, improved memory, higher grade point averages and less depressive symptoms.


There are no findings of any dangers associates to Expressive Therapy apart from making sure you have a safe environment.


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