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Creative Therapy

Creative Arts Therapy involves the use of creative arts such as dance, drama, music, painting and poetry as a form of therapy. Creative therapists believe that a person can explore their inner emotions and thoughts through expression. The relationship between the client, therapist and object of expression is considered central to this approach.


Creative Arts theories date back to the 1940s. Developed by Professor Shaun McNiff and Dr Paolo Knill, its practice has since become a popular form of therapy and is used in a variety of different contexts to treat a range of conditions.


Although the five disciplines of dance, drama, music, painting and poetry are the most widely practiced, a creative arts therapist will not necessarily adhere to a particular art-form. Instead of specific types of expression, some practitioners focus on more general forms to help their clients realise their inner feelings and emotions.

How can Creative Therapy help?

The Creative approach can be effective at helping people to discover hidden thoughts and feelings by expressing them through the various art forms. It is used in both one-to-one and groups sessions to treat problems relating to behaviour, criminality, grief and medical illness. It is especially useful for those who have difficulty in articulating their feelings verbally.

Useful Resources for Creative Therapy

Creative Therapies

International Expressive Arts Therapy Associations