Expressive Arts Therapy
- Drama Therapy
Drama Therapy is for everyone and you do not have to be “good” at acting!
Drama Therapy is a research-supported approach for all ages and for addressing an array of mental health challenges, including trauma, mood, behavioral, and relationship-based difficulties. Drama therapists are trained in a variety of approaches to specialize in using creativity to help their clients. Drama-based methods of therapy find their roots in embodied group processes, such as psychodrama, as well as in narrative therapy, projective technique, Gestalt, Jung’s collective unconscious, and role archetypes.
Drama therapy uses core practices of theatrical production like playfulness, improvisation, character development, emotional expression, dramatic reality, costumes, playwriting, staging, creative movement, audience, and relationships with and among others to help clients express themselves and gain insight into their struggles. As an active method of therapy, it often does not rely on a person’s existing conscious understanding or verbal expression of problems in order to get started. In fact, drama therapy employs projection, imagination, and metaphoric techniques to help clients put aside their usual scripts or things they typically may say in a therapy session.
With these creative tools, clients are encouraged to go with their instincts – even if it isn’t clear exactly why – and select images or colors or symbols to help represent their stories or parts of themself. This taps into subconscious understanding and helps bring salient issues to the surface. With ideas sparked, clients can build on their insights, embodying and creating in role and using other modes of expression to explore their internally felt experiences and connect to an innate sense of healing.
Kathleen Moye is a Registered Drama Therapist and leads individual and group experiences at HHCW with the integration of this modality. You can read more about Kathleen and drama therapy on her blog- Drama Therapy: A Creative Approach to Mental Health.
- Child-Parent Psychotherapy
Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) is an evidence-based, trauma-informed modality that was developed for young children (ages 0-5) to heal from difficult and scary experiences. When trauma is kept in the body without being processed or released, symptoms of behavioral dysregulation, depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, ect. can often show up. This model aims to strengthen the relationship between the caregiver and child in order to support and restore the emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning of the child. At times, caregivers may find it difficult to know how to help their child navigate these experiences. They may also find that they themselves have strong emotional reactions to their child’s experiences. With the support of a CPP therapist, caregivers and children develop a narrative of the traumatic experience in order to identify triggers that cause dysregulated behaviors. Together, the caregiver and child are able to acknowledge and heal from traumatic experiences in the presence of a supportive therapist who is able to “speak the unspeakable”.
“Safety is not the absence of threat, but it is the presence of connection.” – Gabor Mate
For more resources on CPP click here.
- Play Therapy
Shelby Kurtz, Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern, specializes in play therapy. Please enjoy her blog- Play Therapy- Connection is Key to Healing
Here is another resource that you may find helpful in explaining play therapy: The Therapy Behind Play Therapy