Expressive Arts Therapy Essay

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The guidelines for practice of expressive arts therapy is informed by six principles: physical environment, emotional safety, non-interpretative approaches, role in assessment or diagnosis, media choices, and empathetic listening. Suitable physical environments are caring and safe places. Physical spaces are ones of privacy and comfort. Emotional safety is found in the rapport established between the therapist and client as well as ensuring that creative products will be treated confidentially. Non-interpretative approaches have no value judgments and are not analyzed or interpreted by the therapist. This is conveyed by posing self-discovery questions and allowing the client to give meaning to their work. The work done in therapy sessions …show more content…
The planning of individual sessions is determined by the environment, needs, and abilities of the participants. There are three important components to be considered: structure, simplicity, and witnessing. The first consideration is structure, specifically, establishing sufficient structure without impeding creative expression. Along the same line is directive vs. non-directive ways of working with clients. Structure also applies to planned activities. Applying structure to a drawing exercise could be working exclusively with lines, dashes, or other types of marks or thematically in the expression of a concept, like close or separate, or emotion. In dance or music, it may be using a specific pattern, repetition, or conceptual and emotional themes (McNiff, 2009). Simplicity refers to structures and activities that don’t require complicated explanations or a multitude of steps. Simple activities or exercises involve repetition. Repetition can be a means of letting go that facilitates authentic expression. It is not a denial of human complexity or a restriction of artistic expression but a way of maintaining a dynamic balance between the two. In dance, by restricting movement to a single stroke encourages inventing new ways of using the movement. It also promotes a deeper understanding of the process by working with

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