FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q1: Can I participate in expressive arts therapy if I am not an artist?
A: The focus in expressive arts therapy tends to be on the authentic rather than on the aesthetic. You are encouraged to express your feelings freely and honestly with the materials, no matter how the arts product is like.
Q2: Do I need arts training or experience to participate in expressive arts therapy?
A: No arts training or experience is essential prior the therapy sessions. Your therapist will guide you in the creative process. Just feel free and enjoy to experiment and explore.
Q3: Can anyone do expressive arts therapy? What training should my expressive arts therapist have?
A: Arts is powerful, but it can be harmful if it is used without sensitivity and caution. Expressive arts therapy is a profession and therapist must undergo professional training to maintain a high standard of competency and become skillful enough to guide clients to explore in a safe way.
Only therapists with the following criteria are eligible to practice expressive arts therapy:
Therapist has obtained a master degree that is recognized by professional bodies (including the study of counseling and psychology theory, and intensive practicum experience)
Therapist is registered as a professional member under professional bodies or associations (for example the Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association)
Therapists have regular clinical supervision and continuous education after graduation to maintain a high standard of competency.
Q4: Will the expressive arts therapist “interpret” my arts product or creation?
A: The role of therapist is to facilitate you to explore the artwork, rather than analyzing or interpreting it. You are the expert of the artwork and what matter is the personal meaning that you discover from the creative process.
Q5: What is the difference between music therapy, art therapy, dance and movement therapy and expressive arts therapy?
A: Creative arts therapies are grounded in a single art modality, while expressive arts therapy focuses in theories that rooted in all art forms and apply them in an integrated approach. Expressive arts therapist will determine the choices of art modality according to the training of therapist and the needs of clients.
Q6: Do you do arts for the entire session?
A: Verbal and nonverbal expression are equally important. We sometimes talk in the therapeutic process as well.
Q7: What happens to the arts product when the therapy sessions end?
A: It is your choice. You may take it with you or leave it to your therapist.
Q8: Is expressive arts therapy only for children?
A: Arts making is not reserved for “artists” and children only, but for people of all ages. I have worked with clients from three years old up to a hundred years old, and they all engaged in arts making.
Q9: Where can I find more information about expressive arts therapy?