Expressive Arts Background
Along with my clinical experience, I am a musician, songwriter, and trained as an audio engineer, graduating from Pyramind in San Francisco. I have been fortunate to find opportunities to integrate expressive arts approaches into my clinical training. I co-facilitated music therapy groups for adolescents at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, art groups with homeless families at Drawbridge, and taught after-school music production classes at the Marin Youth Center. I incorporated these experiences to create a novel therapeutic approach, Recorded Music Expressive Arts, which uses a mobile recording studio to help clients write, produce, and record their own song to "tell their story" and overcome difficulties (see Services Section).
While expressive arts is commonly used in child/adolescent therapy, I have also found these approaches to be valuable for adults. Everyday phrases such as, "a picture is worth a thousand words," "music soothes the soul," and "art lifts the spirit," speaks to the widely held wisdom that art is a powerful healing force. Many people can identify the specific songs, literature, visual or other art forms that gave meaning to pivotal life moments when everything changed. Because information flows through all our sensory channels as we "make sense" of experiences, accessing these diverse ways of knowing can awaken transformation. Sometimes, nonverbal modes of expression allows you to take a break from your logical mind, so that you can have the space necessary to grow. Taking time to also engage in the task of re-authoring personal narratives ("the stories of who I am"), can further cultivate new ways of being and alternate paths forward.