Expressive therapies can involve using play, art, drama, movement sandtray/symbol work, and other creative techniques to draw out our intentions, feelings, and the patterns that we have developed in our lives. It is a powerful way to learn how we operate as individuals and how we can move towards positive change.
Often our feelings and experiences are hidden in our unconscious minds. We then repeat unhelpful patterns, or repeat behaviours without being aware of the causes or how to make changes. Using expressive therapies is an effective way for us to make the unconscious, conscious.
Expressive therapies assist to link our emotional brains (limbic system) to our hippocampus (memory system) and thinking brains (frontal cortex) to allow for expression, exploration, facilitation of new neural networks, and healing. With this modality we can also help to integrate the left and right hemispheres of our cortex, which is particularly helpful for individuals who have experienced trauma.
Expressive therapies work effectively with adults and young people, and is particularly helpful with children. Play is children’s first and natural language, and provides a safe and self-guided way for children to express and process their feelings. Children often do not have the verbal skills to express how they are feeling. The toys and art resources in the therapy room are carefully chosen to engage the child’s interest, and to allow facilitation of creative and emotional expression without verbalisation. If your child has experienced trauma, expressive therapies can be beneficial. Research has shown that through modalities such as play and art, children are able to tap into, express and process their traumatic experiences through a medium that is gentle and accessible.
If you are interested in experiencing expressive therapies to support you or your child’s growth and healing you can reach out to our Wildflower team to arrange a 1-1 session or check out our group programs which almost always include some element of this powerful therapy option.
The magic of art therapy is that the creative process engages different parts of the brain than those we use in talk and cognitive therapies, so, given that a lot of the emotions we carry are unconscious or inaccessible, art therapy creates the opportunity to connect more deeply to our experiences and emotions and create space for new healthy beliefs.
You do not have to be good at art to engage in art therapy, it is more about the process and your therapist can guide you through different activities to help you express yourself through your artworks. There is no judgement or value placed on your art, it is more a process of connecting to how the exploration makes you feel and discovering where you can move forward in life. Art therapy provides the perfect space for one to express their emotions, concerns and thoughts without having to find words while feeling safe and fully supported.
Play is a child’s first language, so to include play in your life no matter how old you are is super important!
Sensory play engages all of your senses and allows new neurological pathways to be created in the brain which assists with development psychologically, emotionally, intellectually and physically. Sensory play provides the opportunity to learn so much about yourself and explore freely, without rules and expectations, to release stress and self-limitation and cultivate feelings of peacefulness and joy.
At Wildflower Holistic Services we are extremely experienced with sensory play and passionate about sharing it’s benefits, which is why the majority of our programs and therapies involve an element of sensory play.
Trauma Sensistive Yoga
Trauma Centre Trauma Sensistive Yoga
An Adjunctive Treatment for PTSD, C-PTSD, & Complex Trauma, utilized with children, youth, and adults around the world. TCTSY is open to all people regardless of age, gender identity, race, ethnicity, body type and physical ability.
Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga is an empirically validated, adjunctive treatment for complex trauma, developed at the Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline, Massachusetts, USA.
TCTSY aims to incorporate yoga principles and practices and aims to support emotion regulation, stabilisation, and skill building for individuals with chronic, treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); complex PTSD; dissociative disorders; and other related emotional and behavioural problems.