What is Creative Therapy?
Creative therapy, expressive arts therapy or arts psychotherapy is a form of psychological treatment which involves meeting with a qualified therapist who will help you express yourself and work through your problems using art, music, dance or drama (NICE Guidelines).
Working creatively can be a very therapeutic process in itself. Sometimes it can be easier to express yourself without words, and working in this way can enhance your understanding and give you a new perspective on your problems. The active process of creating and the reflection that comes from this can feel cathartic and freeing.
It is not necessary to come from an arts background, and your work will never be judged.
My Approach to Creative Therapy
I come from a drama and theatre background and have worked as a performer, teacher, group facilitator and therapist.
I have taught drama in schools, led training workshops using the arts to promote learning and social change, and facilitated 1-to-1 and group dramatherapy with people from different social and cultural backgrounds.
I am a qualified and experienced HCPC registered Dramatherapist and a full member of The British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth). According to BADth, “Dramatherapy has as its main focus the intentional use of healing aspects of drama and theatre as the therapeutic process. It is a method of working and playing that uses action methods to facilitate creativity, imagination, learning, insight and growth.”
My training in Drama and Movement Therapy means that I am able to incorporate all elements of drama, theatre, body and movement. In the sessions, we may work with art, images, objects, stories, role play, improvisation, writing, music and movement.
My belief is that creative therapy can help adults connect with all aspects of themselves and heal the child from within. In the creative process, unspoken issues can be voiced safely and their resolutions can be found all within the art form. Working experientially in this way can be very powerful.
Creative therapy is not just for children and young people. I have worked creatively with both men and women who have experienced debilitating mental health issues and those with longstanding histories of addiction, trauma and abuse. Working therapeutically by using a creative medium can provide another layer of safety, protection and distancing when it may feel too raw to speak directly about the issues and emotions that cause you the most pain and hurt.
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
– Aristotle (Ancient Greek Philosopher)
The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
– Henry David Thoreau (American Poet and Philosopher)
Often the hands know how to solve a riddle with which the intellect has wrestled in vain.
– Carl Jung (Swiss Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst)