Expressive Therapies (ET) is a blend of experiential personal growth (developmental) and counselling (therapeutic) methods, developed in Australia by Dr. Mark Pearson and Dr. Helen Wilson, and others, since 1987, which support the emotional healing of adults, adolescents and children. These approaches cooperate with the natural movement within the psyche towards wholeness – the process Jung called ‘individuation’.
Expressive Therapies can help people of all ages recover from experiences of disrupted or insecure attachment. ET methods utilize art materials, such as paints, drawing, clay, collage and even digital media, along with music, drama, movement and writing. Modalities can be grouped into four major categories: Movement, Sound, Storytelling and Silence.
Movement involves dancing, yoga, sensory integration, energy arts, cultural practices, labyrinth, play.
Sound involves singing, drumming, playing instruments, humming, chanting/prayer, vibration, listening.
Storytelling involves enactment, drama, role playing, improvisation, visual art, creative writing, lyrics, journalling, embodied narratives, ceremony/ritual.
Silence involves mindfulness, meditation, contemplation, art making, yoga, labyrinth walking, felt sense, interoception, witnessing art.
ET is an invitational, self-discovery approach, encouraging insights and change from within the client. The methods and attitudes are client-centred; recognition and value is given to the significance of the client’s personal interpretations and meanings. The processes have been developed from an expanded understanding of the psyche, with an evolving research base, founded on the tradition of creative arts therapies and particularly Jungian, Gestalt, Transpersonal, Emotion Focussed and Constructivist Psychology.