Person-Centred Expressive Arts Principles © Natalie Rogers
- Personal growth, higher states of consciousness and a sense of wholeness are achieved though self-awareness, self-understanding, and insight.
- Self-awareness, understanding, and insight are attained by delving into our emotions. The feelings of grief, anger, pain, fear, joy, and ecstasy are the tunnel through which we must pass to get to self-awareness, understanding, and wholeness.
- Our feelings and emotions (the grief, anger, pain, fear, joy, and ecstasy) are a source of energy which can be channelled into the expressive arts to be released and transformed.
- All people have an innate ability to be creative.
- The creative process is healing in itself. Although the product of creative expression supplies important messages to the individual for useful insights, the process of creation, itself, is profoundly transformative.
- The expressive arts — including movement, art, writing, sound, music, and imagery — lead us into the unconscious and allow us to express previously unknown facets of ourselves, thus bringing to light new information and awareness.
- Art modes interrelate in what I call the Creative Connection®. When we move, it affects how we write or paint. When we write or paint, it affects how we feel and think. During the creative connection process, one art form stimulates and nurtures the other, bringing us closer to our innermost core or essence, which is our life-force energy.
- This expressive arts process offers us the opportunity to be aware of, face, and accept, our shadow aspect — that part of self which we have repressed or denied — which in turn can bring us to a deeper self-acceptance. Self-acceptance and self-esteem are basic to becoming whole persons capable of caring for others and receiving love.
- Such personal growth takes place in a safe, supportive environment that is created by facilitators (teachers, therapists, group leaders, parents, colleagues) who are genuine, warm, non-judgmental, empathic, congruent, and caring.
- A connection exists between our life-force — our inner core, or soul — and the essence of all beings.
- Therefore, as we journey inward to discover our essence or wholeness, we discover our relatedness to the outer world. The inner and outer become one.
There are many discoveries to be made with this work. The expressive arts are particularly appropriate and useful for finding spirit, soul, the ability to laugh at oneself, new wisdom, or the knowledge that with each struggle in life there are major lessons to be learned.
If our goal is to help people become whole, more fully actualized and empowered, awareness is always the first step. Without awareness there are no choices. Personal integration is part of the natural flow of events when symbolic and expressive media are used. Once we uncover unknown aspects of self, the process includes letting these parts find their rightful places in our psyches, and then we are more able to experience the ecstatic universal oneness, a connection to all life forms.