Have you found your expression yet?

CREATIVE HEALING

Have you found your expression yet?
Arts stimulate creativity. But the real power of an art is in its wondrous ability to give us joy, help us understand tragedy, to promote empathy and to make the expression come alive. 

Anybody who engages with the arts (dance, drama, music, writing and visual arts) is very aware of the profound impact this engagement has on our bodies, our emotions and our psyche. 

The creative process involved in expressing one’s self, artistically, can help resolve issues. 
 
It can help develop and manage behaviours and feelings, reduce stress and improve self-esteem and self-awareness. 

This is why, when art is 
actively pursued with the emphasis on the process of creation, rather than the product, the therapeutic benefits are enormous. 

While practising or engaging with the arts itself is creative, art therapy is the intentional therapeutic use of the imagination and creative art activities, to facilitate healing. 

Any person, with the support of the professional therapist, will be able to dive into the underlying messages communicated through the artwork, which aids in the healing process. 

Art therapists are trained to pick up on nonverbal symbols and metaphors that are often expressed through art and the creative process, concepts that are usually difficult to express with words.

Creative arts therapy usually refers to the use of any one art form, for example, dance therapy, drama therapy, music therapy or visual art therapy. 

Here the therapist has extensive knowledge and experience of both the art form and 
therapy. 
 
Quite often the therapist is or has been a practicing artiste as well.

There’s also expressive therapy or expressive arts therapy, an inter-modal discipline, where the therapist and the individual move freely between drawing, dancing, music, drama and poetry. 

The therapists here use expression in general, rather than a specific discipline, to treat clients, altering their approach based on the clients' needs. 

They may also use multiple forms of expression with the same client to aid deeper exploration. 

The pioneers of expressive and creative arts therapies came from various fields like arts, psychology, philosophy, arts education, community arts, social work, etc. 

A lot of them were deeply influenced and inspired by the work of Carl Jung (Swiss psychiatrist/psychotherapist and founder of analytical psychology), whose understanding of the therapeutic value of artistic experience is essential to the theory and practice of creative arts therapies.

Over the years, creative and expressive arts therapies have been found invaluable, especially in overcoming limitations of language and the narrative. 

A great example would be in using them while working with young children, people 
affected by trauma, people with mental or physical disability.  

Of course, art therapy does not have to be used just as a form of treatment. 

It can also be a very effective and fun way of working with stress or as a way of self-discovery. 

Through art, we can access our unconscious which can reveal a lot of messages for us.

Three years ago, the Studio for Movement Arts and Therapies Trust started a unique one-year certificate training programme - the Foundation course in Expressive and Creative Arts Therapies - that brings together leading creative arts therapists, experts, trainers, 
counsellors and psychotherapists on a common platform in  India.

Today, the use of creative and expressive arts therapy is rapidly gaining recognition across the country. 

We are seeing an increasing number of 
counselling organisations, NGOs, educational institutions and corporate offices working with creative and expressive arts therapists to design and facilitate fun, effective, and non-threatening programs to meet various therapeutic goals.

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