MHCCF Meeting - Using the Expressive Arts in Psychoherapy

  • Friday, June 20, 2014
  • 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
  • All Saints Church, 338 E Lyman Ave, Winter Park, FL

Meeting Agenda:

8:30-9 a.m. - Registration and Sign-in

9 a.m. - Announcements and Introductions

9:30 - 10:30 a.m. - Speaker

Speaker: Patricia Wolfenden LMHC, LMFT

TOPIC: Using the Expressive Arts in Psychoherapy


Expressive Arts Therapy refers to a variety of practices first founded by Natalie Rogers, PhD (The Creative Connection), Shaun McNiff (Arts in Medicine programs), and others.

Expressive Arts practitioners use art forms such as music, movement, writing, drama, painting and drawing, sculpture, and other forms as a way to express feelings and work through issues.  The process of drawing, moving, singing, and painting  evokes in a person some inner truth, which are often revealed with new depth and meaning.


Expressive Arts practice is distinct from traditional “art therapy” in that it is usually multimodal (one practice building on another in a single session), and the art is neither critiqued or interpreted.  It is Person-Centered, and interpretation is up to the artist-client-patient in a supportive “witnessing” environment.


Like other expressive therapies, Expressive Arts increases personal spontaneity and creativity, provides a format for healing of past wounds, dealing with current stressors, and even seemingly intractable mental health conditions in a way that is safe, supportive and – important in our field where 46% of our patients “would rather be labeled as mentally ill than come back and see us one more time.”  (Terry Allen, ASAM conference, April 2014, Orlando, FL) – enjoyable.


  1. Background of Expressive Arts therapies
  2. Modalities:  Art, Music, Movement, Voice, Writing, Poetry
  3. Experiential:  Soul Speak (Justin Spring)
  4. Sharing and Processing
  5. Questions and Answers
  6. Wrap up



Patricia Wolfenden is the Clinical Director of New Bridge Recovery and Wellness Center in Winter Park, Florida.  Patricia is a licensed mental health counselor/marriage and family therapist who has been practicing psychotherapy for over twenty years.  Patricia works with persons who suffer from substance use disorders and those who have been impacted by addiction in their lives. 

Although an eclectic therapist using CBT, Motivational Interviewing, psychodrama, and other modalities, Patricia has found that facilitating Expressive Arts experiences is at least as effective as other techniques.  She has used these methods in group and individual therapy with adults and older adolescents.

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