expressive arts therapy sessions
WHAT AN EXPRESSIVE ARTS THERAPY SESSION LOOKS LIKE:
How It Works:
Building a meaningful therapeutic relationship begins with sharing what has brought an individual, family, or group to seek therapeutic support, and what they/you wish to get out of it. In my initial consultation, questions and concerns can be discussed, with a possible timeline. My role as a therapist is “collaborator” supporting all people on their journey of self-discovery and resiliency. Each session follows a flexible architecture: allowing you to step out of your everyday into an environment of creative inquiry, where the arts offer us ways to hold our human suffering, while uncovering inner resources inherent within our personal and collective struggles. All sessions following OEATA code of ethics, honouring an individual, family, and community in all its variants, encouraging sharing and inclusivity that is respectful of all unique and collective voices. https://oeata.ca/code-of-ethics/
Filling-in: (literal reality) is a brief time to talk about where you are at and what you wish to get out of the session? When working with children a play-centred approach is taken.
Bridging: warming up and tuning in, with a particular art modality that will be explored.
Decentering: (imaginal reality) entering into the process of art making, where the real and imaginal can coexist and expand into a full range of exploratory play.
Aesthetic Analysis: a way to step back and reflect, staying on the surface of the art making, while adopting a phenomenological attitude (a descriptive and non-interpretive stance). This can be accompanied by my aesthetic feedback, and an opportunity for you to dialogue through your art making creation. Describing and acknowledging: the process, feelings, obstacles, and surprises, with an invitation to title, and to ask more.
Harvesting: goes back to the Filling-in to discuss the initial issue or problem that was brought into the session. Beginning with the question: “Was there any message from your aesthetic analysis and what would that be?” Crystallizing the content in a meaningful way…
Closing: time to transition back out into your everyday world and consider what you might take away. I may assign you some homework to work on between the sessions, and bring back results to the next session.
*Sessions vary in length, ideally 1.5 hours long, though can be determined to suit client’s needs.
WHO CAN BENEFIT:
Anyone who feels stuck, isolated, or struggling to see possibilities. This includes but is not limited to: children, youth, and adults with learning and developmental challenges such as dyslexia, ADHD, and/or autism; those with mental health and/or addiction issues, and those who suffer from grief, anxiety, depression, or trauma/PTSD; the elderly experiencing loneliness or varying degrees of Alzheimer’s/Dementia; caregivers; the marginalized including new immigrants, BIPOC, members of the LGBTQIA2S + community; and people from all walks of life.