For Patients and Survivors Healing from Cancer
Expressive Art Therapy, also known as Creative Arts Therapy (dance, art, writing, psychodrama, music) is based on the premise that the use of the arts in healing and insight work awakens a language of images, symbols, and metaphors which speak for the deepest aspect of the self.
- The arts can bridge inner experience to the outer world of words.
- The art forms provide a safe structure to uncover, contain, and assimilate the feelings that surface in a therapeutic arena.
- Creative arts therapies promote an interactional approach to mind/body wellness.
- A key to their effectiveness is that the arts provide a non-threatening opportunity to express feelings that are often too painful for words, emphasizing individuals take an active part in their healing process and by developing outlets for creative expression.
- The Expressive arts therapist therapists creates a growth promoting therapeutic environment that supports creative activity, expressive interaction, physical vitality and spontaneity.
- For individuals who feel they have “no words”, the art form can serve as their “voice”
- The “healing” may not lead to a cure of the particular condition or situation one might be struggling with but one may begin to feel more in charge and less victimized by the pain, to capitalize on their strengths, and to develop creative outlets for expression.
Expressive Arts Therapies are used as a means to enhance the healing process and build a supportive community. Nandi helps participants reclaim and discover their own creative life affirming power. Through the creative process she helps her clients summon up their own creativity for healing themselves. She also uses dance movement therapy (DMT) in her approach to healing. DMT has been demonstrated clinically effective in developing body image, improving self concept, increasing self esteem, ameliorating depression, decreasing fears and anxieties, expressing anger, decreasing isolation, fostering solidarity, decreasing bodily tension, reducing chronic pain, enhancing respiratory and circulatory functions, increasing feelings of well being and promoting healing.
Expressive Arts Therapies offer people dealing with cancer a way to listen to the inherent wisdom of their body. It offers a forum to:
• Awaken to their own body in relationship to their health and wisdom and not just to a disease.
• Improve feelings about their body while working on body image, self esteem and effects on life.
• Address unresolved feelings that have affected the body.
• Explore fatigue and vitality.
• Rediscover sensuality and increase sex life.
• Deal with a part of the body that has been maimed or shadowed and to look at it lovingly.
Dancing with Cancer
When healing and dealing with cancer who’s leading? The cancer, doctors, family members, fear, or you? Offering creative and proactive structures, Using the tools of dance movement therapy (as found in “Movement as Medicine”) the focus here is designed specifically to deal with issues around the cancer experience- from first diagnosis, to middle of treatment to existing issues which are present years after treatment. Honoring the complexity of feelings and treatment options this highly popular modality offers a way to experience the cancer journey through a hopeful and new lens.
Healing the Cure
The treatment of cancer often leaves emotional and spiritual wounds that the traditional medical establishment doesn’t address. The question of “Who am I?” consistently surfaces. Questions arise about what is important and where does one put their energy and focus. How does one begin to trust the body again? When treatment is over, there is a sense of “what do I do now that I am no longer a patient?” “How can I be in control of my own healing process after seeing a doctor so consistently?” Addressing these concerns is a key element of healing. These are the concerns addressed though the creative process of movement art and writing.
The Creative Arts as a Therapeutic Tool
The Creative Arts Therapies (dance, art, writing, psychodrama, music) are based on the premise that the use of the arts in psychotherapy awakens a language of images, symbols, and metaphors which speak for the deepest aspect of the self.
The arts can bridge inner experience to the outer world of words. Creative arts therapies promote an interractional approach to mind/body wellness. The emphasis is on helping individuals take an active part in their healing process and to develop outlets for creative expression.
One of the keys to their effectiveness is that the arts provide a non-threatening opportunity to express feelings that are often too painful for words. The art forms provide a safe structure to uncover, contain, and assimilate the feelings that surface in therapy. Clients and therapists alike find that a therapeutic environment that supports creative activity, expressive interaction, physical vitality and spontaneity can be a growth-promoting and enlivening place to be.
When we use the creative arts in therapy, we awaken a language of images, symbols and metaphors which speak from the deepest aspects of the self. Through movement, poetry, psychodrama, ritual, artwork, creative writing and story, we can bridge the inner experience to the outer world of words, transforming unconscious knowing into conscious reality.