Expressive Arts Therapy
Multi and Inter-Modal Process
I invite you to get in touch with your creativity as we explore different mediums. Using an inter-modal approach means that we might move from one form of expression to another, perhaps even several times in the course of a session. Some processes we may explore include mixed-media experimentation, sandtray work, mindfulness practice, dreamwork, creative writing, movement, sound, play, and imaginative expression.
Expressive Arts Therapy allows us to explore inner material as gently or as deeply as we feel ready for, at our own pace, and in our own unique way. Inter-modal practice may lead us to examine our beliefs and experiences, call upon our ancestors, dive into our cultural backgrounds, our spiritual beliefs, and perhaps our dreams and intuition. This allows a space to open up where we can come to know ourselves more deeply, trust ourselves more fully, and develop tools to help us carry this strength into the world. Expressive Arts practice is a container that holds us as we figure out ways to move things that are stuck, sort out things that might feel confusing, and integrate where we may feel fragmented and even broken.
Deep, Meaningful Practice
Expressive Arts Therapy is more than making art for coping and self-care. Yes, making art IS an excellent coping tool, but Expressive Arts Practice takes us much deeper into our work. Through processing in the therapeutic space, as well as making room for expression in our daily lives, we can tap into our creative source from which change can flow. When we hold space for our creativity to flourish without judgement, we can communicate with unconscious and hidden parts of ourselves. Through this, we can know ourselves better, and perhaps reconnect with parts of ourselves that we may have lost touch with over time. Sometimes these processes can be surprising and take us in completely different directions than we expected – and that’s okay – when we learn to trust ourselves and follow our innate wisdom, we can always find our way. Click the link below to visit the blog maintained by my wife, Robyn Heydari, also an Expressive Arts Therapist. There, you will find examples of Expressive Arts works, information about the rationale and perspective behind the approach, and other mental-health related articles.
What is Sandtray Therapy?
Sandtray Therapy is a way of communicating with our unconscious in a “free and protected” space, where we can explore from a place of curiosity. When we can allow our creativity to flourish without judgement and hold space to truly listen to ourselves, we can connect with the answers we already have within us. Sandtray work uses the rich and powerful language of symbolism to aid us in our quest. Sandtray work is deceptively simple – The vast sea of unconscious material that we can gain access to through this medium is not to be taken lightly. Undertaking a process of self discovery in the sand involves making a commitment to know ourselves more deeply and authentically, and this can lead us on a path of lasting change in our lives.
Sandtray Therapy is Trauma-Informed
All forms of Expressive Arts, including Sandtray Therapy allow us to explore inner material at our own pace. The gentle nature of this approach allows us to delve into dark parts of the psyche, while minimizing the risk of re-traumatization. The self-regulating nature of Expressive Arts practice means that we can choose to work only with material that we are ready for. We can always come back later, when we have more tools. From the “free and protected” space of the sandtray, we maintain a tether to safety while diving into our own depths.