Expressive Arts Therapy
“And yet, you’re my favorite work of art.” --- Richard Rogers
I use the arts, with permission, as a component of psychotherapy to activate healing, to hold paradox, and to introduce possibility into painful situations.
Brain imaging studies have shown that older people are specially able to unite their hemispheres to draw on their resources. My mentor called this "shifting into all-wheel drive." This whole brain engagement allows for the intermingling of life experience and the long view: a recipe for creativity.
Finding and using creativity increases the sense of what we are capable of in the face of loss, illness, and difficult circumstances. It illuminates meaning in these situations. Creative self-expression physically changes patterns by forging new neural connections, revealing layers of meaning, and crystallizing learnings, infusing them into our being.
Some examples are: music making to express the truth, mixed-media collage to deepen awareness and envision the future, and story/life review to identify patterns, discover truths, deeply examine, remember, and share the important bits of life.
“We are born makers, and creativity is the ultimate act of integration – it is how we fold our experiences into our being.” --- Brene Brown