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Expressive Arts Therapy Training Program, CollageWelcome


Welcome to Dr. Lyons'  Expressive Arts PAINTING web site.  This web site is dedicated to Expressive Painting Process.  Expressive arts is a multi-modal approach to healing and self discovery using art, movement, music and writing. Expressive Arts Painting Process is about combining the process of painting with these other modalities. 


What sets Expressive Arts apart, the fact that it is a MULTI-MODAL approach to healing and self development.  It is the various combined uses of the arts together that deepens the experience.  How would this look? One way would be to begin to move to music, moving helps to mobilize your energy and your thoughts, memories and feelings.  Next we would engage in a visual art project, such as painting, collage, body mapping.  Finally we would write about the experience either as a journal entry, a poem or a creative story.   This process can be done in any format, we may begin with an art experience, then move your body to reflect the art and then write.  



Expressive Painting is the use of instinctive, intuitive painting combined with music and movement and collaborative experiences to help you discover yourself through painting. The combination of using music and movement and reflective writing deepens your experience allowing new insights and self awareness to arise. NO prior art or painting experience needed.  




The MARI (Mandala Assessment Research Inventory) is a comprehensive system that uses symbols, known as mandalas, to reveal the inner truth and reality of the subject as it is –not what the ego filters of consciousness would want it to be, but what it really is.

Carl Jung recognized the mandala as “the centre of personality, a kind of central point within the psyche, to which everything is related, by which everything is arranged and which is, itself, a source of energy. This center,” said Jung, “is not felt or thought of as ego but, if one may so express it, as the self.”

Jung’s description of the mandala is also an excellent description of the MARI.  Explore how to become trained in the MARI MANDALA technique,

SANDTRAY THERAPY can stand alone, or can be integrated in with the expressive arts.  When using sandtray therapy, I often use items created from other expressive arts in the sandtray, such as a mask, or a sculpted object etc.  Frequently, I will incorporate art therapy into the process, as well as journaling.  Sandtray therapy consists of a wooden box containing play sand.  The sand box has specified dimensions so that the eyes can view the created sandtray experience without moving one's head from side to side.  The bottom of the sandbox is painted blue so that builder can create water ways, streams, pools, oceans.  There is a multitude of miniatures that represent all aspects of life, which the person building a try can choose from.  The builder of the tray is then instructed to , "BUILD A WORLD IN THE SAND".  In this process, t he builder has a world of miniatures at hand, and begins to choose from these items, to build a scene in the sand.  Sounds simple, yes, but this process is a very deep, powerful,  self-regulating and self healing tool.    After the builder is finished, he/she tells the story of what is happening in the tray.  This is a powerful healing and therapeutic tool.



Using the expressive arts for healing and expression has nothing to do with being 'an artist' or 'a dancer' or 'a musician'.  It is all about the process, and not the product.  Artists, dancers, musicians, actors and writers are creating a product. Although there are always benefits to the creative process, the end result is 'the product'.  Where as, someone who is using the expressive arts for healing and self discovery is not creating a product, but rather is using the artistic venues to connect with "a process".  Therefore, whether you are proficient in any of these disciplines is of no concern in Expressive Art Therapy.  It is all about what you gain from the process of creating, and not about the product you are creating.


"When you can't think of something to create ~ Create yourself" C.G. Jung





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