Research supportive of the use of an Australian approach to Expressive Therapies, developed since 1987, that has a focus on resolving emotional drives, is reviewed. Expressive Therapies (ET) utilises an emotion-focused, growth-promoting way in which clients can be engaged through the use of a range of creative arts-based, projective techniques. In particular, the engagement with creative arts tools has been found, by the authors, to enhance long-term changes and resilience. The development of Inner-Life Skills is discussed, with particular value being placed on the skill of emotional literacy. Evidence that a focus on emotions deepens therapeutic outcomes is discussed. Supports for the cultivation of wellbeing within the therapeutic relationship are gathered, including the way multiple intelligence theory enhances practice. Reference is made to recent research in neuroscience relevant to optimum therapeutic outcomes, and the development of resilience.
Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Health / Vol. 4, No. 1, pp.1-19