The arts have reflected human culture throughout the ages by giving form to our ideas, emotions and dreams. Through engaging in the arts people can express a wide range of feelings from great joy to profound sorrow. The arts serve as a way of clarifying our inner experience without words.
The expressive arts are dance-movement, music, and art therapy. They have grown from the concept that the arts increase self- expression and communication. Using the creative process in therapy provides a safe place for self-exploration that enhances the flow between our thoughts and feelings.
The expressive arts are potent treatment modalities because they utilize body movement thus activating the sensory and nervous systems. When we engage our body and mind in a therapeutic activity like art or movement our whole brain is involved. In these experiences our memory, senses, and thinking processes are activated to help us clarify and understand our experience.
The expressive arts are viable treatment modalities used in a variety of therapeutic setting: schools, hospitals, treatment facilities, and private practice. They have helped children and adults with a wide range of emotional challenges, also with those with developmental disabilities and chronic illnesses. The expressive arts are valuable treatment options for both groups and individuals.