What Is Expressive Arts Therapy?

There is a long tradition of arts being used for purposes of healing, both in religious and cultural contexts, from cave art and ritual dances, to cathartic effect of witnessing the ancient tragedy. Art therapy, therapeutic approach that emerged in the 1940s, follows this tradition in acknowledging that art consumption and art making can help individuals and communities heal.

In the 1970s, a new stream of art therapy came to life, one that allows clients to express freely and spontaneously within a wide range of modalities: painting, drawing, sculpting, playing music, writing stories and poetry, moving and dancing, using drama and performance. This new multimodal approach is called expressive arts therapy. The focus of expressive arts therapy is on the therapeutic effect of creative process itself, not only on the result of creative process. 

Although the process of art production indeed is healing by itself, deep transformation can happen only by taking one step further and exploring the client’s art. The psyche is inclined towards healing itself, so in the deep unconscious that comes out through working with art, the cure is hidden. The exploration process ends with coming back to the surface, to the conscious level, with an insight. The insight helps us to rebuild the art product, and this process enables healing and transformation.


We are looking forward to seeing you this October in Zagreb!