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Expressive Therapy (Art, Drama)

In Thornwell’s Attachment-Based Residential Care program, a variety of expressive arts therapies are offered to youth.  Expressive therapies, encompassing art therapy, drama therapy, and other creative modalities, offer a unique and powerful means of exploring and processing emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Through engaging in artistic and dramatic activities, youth can access and express aspects of themselves that may be difficult to articulate verbally. Art therapy, for example, encourages individuals to use various art materials and techniques to create visual representations of their inner worlds and explore thoughts and feelings, facilitating self-awareness, reflection, and emotional release. Similarly, drama therapy utilizes role-playing, improvisation, and storytelling to help individuals embody different perspectives, explore conflicts, and experiment with new ways of being.

Expressive art therapies are particularly beneficial for children and teens due to their developmental stage and unique communication needs. Children and adolescents often find it challenging to express complex emotions verbally.  Moreover, art and creative activities provide youth with a non-threatening and non-judgmental space to explore their emotions and process difficult experiences. Engaging in art-making or dramatic play can feel less intimidating than traditional talk therapy, making it easier for youth to open up and connect with their emotions. This aspect of expressive art therapy is particularly important for children and teens who have experienced trauma that has impacted their ability to trust others.

To speak with a thought leader on expressive therapies, contact our Thornwell Media Relations Team below.


Addie Sheek

Director of Marketing and Communications

Boe Baker

Content Development Manager

Kaley Lindquist

Program Marketing and Recruitment Specialist

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