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Expressive Arts Therapy

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Expressive Arts Therapy Is:

The use of various creative arts therapy modalities as artistic expression for mental health, personal growth, human development, and wellness, including cultural studies, uses, and origins. Use of play therapy, art, music, body awareness, movement, creative dramatics, sand-play, bibliotherapy, and puppetry in counseling.   Art as a means of better understanding life experiences and as a way to communicate ideas about the world to other human beings.  Art making as a reflection of the artist's individual consciousness and in the service of transformation and self-discovery. 

Expressive Arts Therapy Modalities & Methods:

Music Therapy
Music therapy is an allied health profession and one of the expressive therapies, consisting of an interpersonal process in which a trained music therapist uses music and all of its facets—physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help clients to improve or maintain their health. Music therapists primarily help clients improve their health across various domains (e.g., cognitive functioning, motor skills, emotional and affective development, behavior and social skills, and quality of life) by using music experiences (e.g., free improvisation, singing, songwriting, listening to and discussing music, moving to music) to achieve treatment goals and objectives. It is considered both an art and a science, with a qualitative and quantitative research literature base incorporating areas such as clinical therapy, biomusicology, musical acoustics, music theory, psychoacoustics, embodied music cognition, aesthetics of music, and comparative musicology. Referrals to music therapy services may be made by other health care professionals such as physicians, psychologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. Clients can also choose to pursue music therapy services without a referral (i.e., self-referral).

Music therapists are found in nearly every area of the helping professions. Some commonly found practices include developmental work (communication, motor skills, etc.) with individuals with special needs, songwriting and listening in reminiscence/orientation work with the elderly, processing and relaxation work, and rhythmic entrainment for physical rehabilitation in stroke victims. Music therapy is also used in some medical hospitals, cancer centers, schools, alcohol and drug recovery programs, psychiatric hospitals, and correctional facilities.[1]

The Turco-Persian psychologist and music theorist al-Farabi (872–950), known as "Alpharabius" in Europe, dealt with music therapy in his treatise Meanings of the Intellect, where he discussed the therapeutic effects of music on the soul.[2] Robert Burton wrote in the 17th century in his classic work, The Anatomy of Melancholy, that music and dance were critical in treating mental illness, especially melancholia.[3][4][5]

Music has been used as a healing force for centuries.[6] Music therapy goes back to biblical times, when David played the harp to rid King Saul of a bad spirit. As early as 400 B.C., Hippocrates, Greek father of medicine, played music for his mental patients. Aristotle described music as a force that purified the emotions. In the thirteenth century, Arab hospitals contained music-rooms for the benefit of the patients.[7] In the United States, Native American medicine men often employed chants and dances as a method of healing patients.[8] Music therapy as we know it began in the aftermath of World Wars I and II. Musicians would travel to hospitals, particularly in the United Kingdom, and play music for soldiers suffering from war-related emotional and physical trauma.[9]
Forms

Approaches used in music therapy that have emerged from the field of education include Orff-Schulwerk (Orff), Dalcroze Eurhythmics, and Kodaly. Two models that developed directly out of music therapy are Nordoff-Robbins and the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music.[10]

Music therapists may work with individuals who have behavioral-emotional disorders.[11] To meet the needs of this population, music therapists have taken current psychological theories and used them as a basis for different types of music therapy. Different models include behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic therapy.[12]

One therapy model based on neuroscience, called "neurological music therapy" (NMT), is "based on a neuroscience model of music perception and production, and the influence of music on functional changes in non-musical brain and behavior functions."[13] In other words, NMT studies how the brain is without music, how the brain is with music, measures the differences, and uses these differences to cause changes in the brain through music that will eventually affect the client non-musically. As one researcher, Dr. Thaut, said: "The brain that engages in music is changed by engaging in music."[14] NMT trains motor responses (i.e. tapping foot or fingers, head movement, etc.) to better help clients develop motor skills that help "entrain the timing of muscle activation patterns".[15]

Art Therapy
"(a)rt therapy is the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others cope with symptoms, stress and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art."

Dance & Movement Therapy
Dance therapy, or dance movement therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance for emotional, cognitive, social, behavioral and physical conditions.[1] As a form of expressive therapy, DMT is founded on the basis that movement and emotion are directly related.[2] The ultimate purpose of DMT is to find a healthy balance and sense of wholeness

Drama Therapy
 (written dramatherapy in the UK) is the use of theatre techniques to facilitate personal growth and promote mental health. Dramatherapy is used in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, mental health centers, prisons, and businesses. Drama Therapy, as a form of Expressive Arts Therapy, (also known as Expressive Therapy), exists in many forms and can be applicable to individuals, couples, families, and various groups.

Poetry Therapy
Poetry therapists use all forms of literature and the language arts, and we are united by our love of words, and our passion for enhancing the lives of others and ourselves.
It may be used as a primary
therapy or an ancillary therapy. A trained poetry therapist actively engages people to
identify issues and express feelings, and empowers clients to transform life issues
through the use of the language arts.

Writing Therapy/Journal Writing
An exploration of writing and the therapeutic healing benefits.  Using the written word to enhance healing change as well as for self-care.

Writing therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the act of writing and processing the written word as therapy. Writing therapy posits that writing one's feelings gradually eases feelings of emotional trauma[1] Writing therapeutically can take place individually or in a group and it can be administered in person with a therapist or remotely through mailing or the Internet.
The field of writing therapy includes many practitioners in a variety of settings. The therapy is usually administered by a therapist or counsellor. Several interventions exist online. Writing group leaders also work in hospitals with patients dealing with mental and physical illnesses. In university departments they aid student self-awareness and self-development. When administered at a distance, it is useful for those who prefer to remain personally anonymous and are not ready to disclose their most private thoughts and anxieties in a face-to-face situation.
As with most forms of therapy, writing therapy is adapted and used to work with a wide range of psychoneurotic illnesses, including bereavement, desertion and abuse. Many of these interventions take the form of classes where clients write on specific themes chosen by their therapist or counsellor. Assignments may include writing unsent letters to selected individuals, alive or dead, followed by imagined replies from the recipient or parts of the patient's body, or a dialogue with the recovering alcoholic's bottle of alcohol.

Dreamwork / Dream Groups 
Dream groups work together with dreams, u
sing dreams as source in  an expressive way 
and studying possible meanings of dreams based on Jungian and Gestalt principles.
 using discussion and texts, such as, 
"The Art of Dreaming" by Joan or Jill Millik.

YogaBalletes Practice
Movement based on the concepts of centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow, incorporating aspects of Yoga, Ballet, and Pilates. 

Music as Medicine and Mysticism
An investigation of spiritual and healing philosophies and uses of music as medicine in both historical and contemporary perspectives.   The relationship between aesthetics of music as therapy from a multi-cultural and historical perspective..

Therapeutic Drumming 
Use of rhythm as therapy.  African and Native American traditions, including study of African, Afro Latin, and Native American rhythms, song, call and response chants, rhythms, and invocations.  

Drumming, Poetry, & Movement as Dreamwork
One person recites the poetry of group dreams, while others perform the words and meanings 

Dreams as Expressive Art: using dance, music, or visual art done in groups or one-on-one
Use of dream symbols as a non-verbal means of accessing our deeper selves to express & heal 
without left brain analysing.  Allowing 
dreams to reveal questions, understanding, and expression of our deeper selves
and as an opportunity to process


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*All photos of Crystal by Michael Green:  http://michaelgreenthervexpert.blogspot.com 

All rights reserved by Crystal BlackCreek Carlisle for URSPIRIT c2009