What Is an Expressive Arts Therapy Experience?

What Is an Expressive Arts Therapy Experience?

Creating the Life You Deserve, a three-hour workshop on April 2 at Unity Minneapolis, features an “expressive artwork experience.” There’s no art background necessary, but we asked Lura Smedstad M.S. LPC, who’s facilitating the workshop, to share a little bit about what art therapy is and how it helps people:

Art therapy is typically referred for situations in which words are difficult (ex: grief and loss), if there is a mind-body relationship to the nature of a person trauma (i.e. sexual abuse, PTSD), or for clients who are inept with words (i.e. children, persons with a communication disability).

Art therapy is often sought out by clients who seek a more tangibly productive therapy (literally “rolling up your sleeves”), those who enjoy expressing themselves visually (artists, architects, crafters, etc.), or for whom talk therapy has not achieved the desired outcome who want to try something new.

Expressive Arts Therapy is generally described as a highly illuminating, enjoyable, and unique experience!

In my work I see individual clients who are exploring issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, life transitions, abuse and trauma. I use psycho-education, cognitive behavior techniques, solution-oriented and expressive arts therapies. I draw upon a wide variety of theories to create an integrative approach. The work is client-centered and uses techniques and theories which the client. As a practicing artist I understand firsthand how creativity can facilitate a client’s journey through the process of therapeutic life changes.

Some of the expressive arts tools I use in my work as a counselor are:

  • visual art making
  • life mapping
  • goal setting
  • relaxation techniques
  • guided visualizations
  • mindfulness/ meditation
  • journaling/creative writing
  • written affirmations

Creating the Life You Deserve is on Sunday, April 2 from 1:30 – 4:40 PM at Unity Minneapolis; please register here.