Sunday, December 29, 2019

Expressive Arts Therapy Essay - 1875 Words

Before we can understand what expressive art therapy is, however, an understanding of terms, like imagination and creativity, is necessary. There is a lack of consensus about how imagination and creativity are defined and who is capable of it. In therapeutic contexts, the essence of imagination is the substance of dreams. Dreams, however, are not just images. In dreams, sounds, rhythms, acts, etc. can be perceived in a sensory or experiential way (Levine Levine, 2004). Creativity springs from imagination and is understood in terms of its qualities and characteristics: spontaneity, playfulness, motivation, originality, self-expression, inventiveness, divergent thinking, and intuition. Creativity pushes limits, breaks down barriers, and†¦show more content†¦Western traditions narrowly define art as a market-oriented specialized discipline (Levine Levine, 2004). When art is used therapeutically, content and meaning take priority over mechanics and technicalities. Creativity and creative process figure prominently in the theories of both Freud and Jung. Freud considers the source and motivation for creativity while Jung focuses on creative process. According to Freud, creativity is rooted in conflicts. The creative process is a response to the need to resolve conflicts. Freud includes daydreams and fantasies in the realm of creative works. They are inner desires, frustrations, or discontent transformed into art, literature, or music. Jung also believes human consciousness provides the content for art, literature and music. He identifies two types of creative processes: psychological and visionary. The psychological mode originates out of the collective unconscious and archetypes. Visionary creative processes are transcendental and universal in both meaning and response. This visionary mode is limited to the gifted few being capable of its expression (Malchiodi, 2007). Almost every theoretical orientation has adapted the use and techniques of expressive arts therapy in some way. Humanistic psychology, for example, emphasizes the importance of play, creativity, and spontaneity. The creative process is intrinsic to self-actualization. Self-actualization makes life more meaningful and enhances abilities,Show MoreRelatedExpressive Arts Therapy Essay1176 Words   |  5 PagesExpressive arts therapy is the use of art modalities, creative process, and aesthetic experience in a therapeutic context. It is a therapy of the imagination (McNiff, 1992). Effective communication is an essential element in therapeutic relationships and, although verbal language is the most conventional means of conveying information, other forms can convey just as much as words. 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