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Expressive Arts

Expressive Arts Therapy

  "No textbook can teach psychology; one learns only by actual experience?The hands know how to solve a riddle that the intellect wrestles with in vain?I let my hands do something, for example, carve a stone or paint, and then I find out what is moving me."  C. G. Jung

Create yourself  and transform your relationships in ways that are unique to you.

As a certified expressive arts therapist, I work with you to enhance the therapeutic process through the arts.  The creative process infuses traditional psychotherapy and builds a bridge between your inner world of images, words, sensations and symptoms with those of the outer world.  

Art making accesses right -  brain processing where childhood and implicit  life stories are stored.  But also it is a restorative place, one of myth, symbols and healing; the possibility of recreating past wounds.  Often art making cracks through or opens up healing avenues that traditional ?talk? therapies can not access.

As you the client work I may encourage more than one art discipline so as to better follow the impulses of the client/artist.  Creative urges also involve and move from kinesthetic sense to auditory to visual image.   I, as therapist, track and follow these non-verbal messages, using verbal reflection to help make sense of and bear witness, in that you the client can more deeply understand and make new meaning from the art making process and art produced.

The term "expressive arts" was coined to distinguish this way of working from entertainment or purely aesthetic uses of art making. The purpose is to make art that is a container for the suffering and conflicts of a life; and give voice to life's joy and grandeur as well.  Expressive arts may include movement, journal writing, drawing, clay, collage, dream images, sandplay, music or poetry.

The International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) is the professional guild which oversees educational guidelines and professional registration for this field. They can be contacted at www.ieata.org


Sandplay is often referred to as a kind of meditation practice. In Tibetan Sand Mandalas and Navajo Sand paintings were called upon as a healing agent. As a psychology, Sandplay is the name of specific method of using a sand tray and miniature figures and objects representing all things found in life and beyond. This practice incorporates right ? left brain processing and is a non-directive approach to working with the creative and healing nature of ourselves.

The way I work was developed by Dora M. Kalff, a Swiss Jungian analyst, friend of C. G. Jung. Dora Kalff found a bridge, as a Jungian analyst and practitioner of both Tibetan Buddhism and Christianity, opening a ?third way.? Integrating eastern and western perspectives, and ancient spiritual practice with Jungian Analytic psychology, Sandplay is a creative, new synthesis.

There is no right or wrong way, client?s can create a picture in the sand in any way they wish. I the therapist witness the client?s inner prompting, allowing for whatever wants to emerge. The inner knowing of the client is awakened connecting with forgotten qualities, opening the individual toward resolving personal problems and healing old wounds. Sandplay allows a client to open up whatever issues or concerns are most urgent in the psyche, without planning or necessarily having cognitive clarity at the start.