Express Your Story
Therapeutic Tool and LCSW-led Clinical Groups.
Inspire expression, self-awareness and growth.
Express yourself using images, art and words....
Why Express Your Story?
Why should we try to connect with ourselves? Why attempt to express or understand our feelings? Why would anyone want to explore their pain? Isn't it easier to tuck it away, pretend it doesnt exist and just move on?
The problem is that the impact of painful or traumatic experiences don't just go away. Unresolved pain, past traumas and old ways of coping and thinking can negatively influence our current choices, relationships and overall quality of life.
Identifying and expressing pain can be a freeing, cathartic expereince. Exploring your beliefs and feelings can help you to feel more self-aware and more in control of your life. The more personal awareness you have, the greater potential you will have to heal and move forward.
Created by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Express Your Story was designed to inspire and facilitate a process of self-discovery with the goal of self-growth. With the help of a compassionate, non-judgemental therapist, clients can feel validated and learn new ways of coping.
With Express Your Story, creative representations are truly endless and unique to each person. There are countless ways that one can represent thier childhood, family, marriage, relationships, school, goals, traumatic experiences, or wishes/desires using various images, words and fantasy symbols.
Express Your Story can be used as a tool for individual, family or group therapy. For ages 12+.
For individuals and Groups.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Therapist lays out dry erase pieces and the themed printed squares (107) that clients can choose from to represent their feelings, experiences or thoughts. This act of choosing is empowering and allows for both verbal and nonverbal expression.
Draw on dry erase peices to tell your unique story.
Place dry erase figures and themed squares in various locations on the board to tell your story.
Use fantasy figurines, I feel statements and containment pieces (fence) for additional depth, expression and comfort.
How does it help?
GROUNDING AND EMPOWERING
1. Selecting and manipulating the smaller squares and figurines can help clients feel more powerful.
2. Touching the squares, silouettes and board are all sensory expreinces that can help one feel
grounded and present in thier bodies.
3. Creating images about ones life inspires interaction, engagement and reflection.
4. Interacting with interesting, validating images can maintain a clients motivation through the healing process.
FANTASY AND METAPHOR
1. Fantasy figurines can be used to express feelings or wishes that may otherwise feel too
difficult to discuss in"real life."
2. Using metaphor to process feelings can feel safer and less
intense than directly talking about an expereince or feeling.
1. Art allows client to externalize their pain, put it
outside of themselves, where it can be reframed and objectively looked at.
3. Making art is soothing. Creating art while exploring painful material helps make the process more tolerable.
4. Telling stories and processing experiences using a visual platform can help one develop insight about cognitive distortions and faulty beliefs.
VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL
1. Utilizing both non-verbal and verbal expression tools can help clients express a much fuller spectrum of thier experiences.
2. Creating art is a non-linear, gradual, open ended exploratory act of discovery that is done at the client's own pace.
3. Non-verbal expression can be used by clients with limited coginitive abilities and varid developmental levels with better access, clarity and understanding.
1. Utilizing both non-verbal and verbal expression tools can help
client's express a much fuller spectrum of thier experiences.
2. Creating art is a non-linear, gradual, open-ended, exploratory act of discovery that is done at ones own pace.
3. Non-verbal expression can be used by clients
with limited cognitive abilities and varied developmental
levels withbetter access, clarity and understanding.
"I created Express Your Story to help others heal in an empowering and engaging way. I worked as a social worker and later therapist with various populations over a span of 15 years. Through it all, I have come to realize that talk therapy is but one way to heal and process pain. As a self-taught artist, I have always drawn and written to express my feelings and that process has served me well. There is something empowering about capturing my pain as an image that I can then decode, interact with and try to understand from various angles. Having access to an image that tells my unique story also serves to validate my expereince. When people have the opportunity to creatively tell thier story through metaphor, images and words, they are able gain more clarity, self-awareness and ultimately grow. Express Your Story was born out of my desire to provide a creative, expressive tool for mental health professionals and thier cleints. " Lesli Mitchell, LCSW