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Expressive Art Therapies

All major art forms—poetry, music, drama, visual art, and dance—have their parallels in the form of an expressive art therapy. The expressive art therapies (also called creative arts therapies) have an important part to play in mental health as therapists develop more targeted ways of treating psychological trauma. The fundamental aspects of the arts—sound, gesture, movement, form, and color—are nonverbal. As such, a trauma survivor finds that the overwhelming experience considered to be unspeakable can be expressed more easily through words after an artistic process is used. When the arts externalize the incident or references to it, the trauma is more easily put to rest, and the event becomes past history.


Each of the expressive art therapies can trace its origins to early human use of ...

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