Art and Expressive Therapy

sun and moon drawingWhen words are not enough, we turn to use images and symbols to tell of one’s life story and pave a path to recovery and transformation. Art and Expressive Therapy can help in the treatment of:

  • Trauma/Abuse
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Medical Issues/Illness
  • Grief and Loss

Art therapy utilizes images, metaphors, and a “right brain” approach to understanding yourself and your life. By tapping into a creative, imaginative side of yourself there becomes a new “window” or type of view into yourself that allows you to more effectively solve problems through a different perspective.

Do I have to be an artist and be able to draw and benefit?

No. You do not have to be an artist in order to benefit from art therapy. By using colors, lines, shapes, symbols, textures we can start and use creative elements to explore during therapy. Each person has a way of being creative in their own expression. Creativity can be in music, poetry, acting or other personal hobbies and talents. Another way to think of this creative part of yourself used in therapy, is that it resembles your own personal sense of style, like in your dress, décor in a room or home–something that is personal and brings meaning to you.

How can Art Therapy help?

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials such as drawing, painting, collage, sculpting, and even digital media such as photography. My approach to Art therapy combines traditional psychotherapeuetic techniques with aspects of the creative process and self-expression to help develop deeper insights. When I facilitate use or art media, the creative process and the resulting artwork help in understanding the issue, explore emotions, foster self-awareness, manage behaviors, and increase self-esteem as well as improve interpersonal interactions. This is especially powerful for children. Art can be very effective in bringing about change initiated during the therapy process that continues to play a transformative role beyond therapy.

I use art as part of an integrative mental health approach. Research shows art and creative expressions help to:

  • Reduce physical symptoms and pain
  • Manage stress and fatigue
  • Increase cognitive functioning
  • Promote emotional Well being

Art and Trauma

Trauma -Informed Expressive Arts has been used in bridging sensory and expressed memories for abused children, military veterans, victims of crime or accidents as well as those experiencing PTSD. Use of art and creative expression assists in calming and soothing negative feelings that accompany the body’s reaction to traumatic experiences. This paves a way to trauma integration and recovery. The use of various art techniques can develop a sense of self control, teach skills to help manage distressing feelings or reactions. It can help foster trust and secure relationships, promote problem solving and begin to reframe perceptions and better integrate the traumatic experience into one’s life.


Start the Healing Process

Lara Hanson

The most important thing you can do to get results for yourself or your children from counseling is to find a counselor you feel comfortable with. I help my clients in the healing process with providing a genuine and caring connection in a safe and comfortable setting.  Reaching out to find the right professional to help is very important. Contact me so we can discuss how to make changes to help you or your loved ones today.