Expressive Arts (TLAP)

The Tamalpa Life Art Process (TLAP) is a form of expressive arts that uses drawing, creative writing, and movement as a path towards healing. These modalities are used in collaboration with each other, each one informing and feeding another modality creating a rich and layered experience. Through creativity we can connect to the unconscious parts of ourselves and imagine new ways of being in the world. The creative process also gives us a place to learn more deeply about who we are, where we have come from, and where we want to grow towards.

The expressive arts group at Avery Lane will provide a place for each participant to explore who they are and their healing journey. This group will meet each participant where they are in their process and will continue to support them as they grow. It will provide a safe environment for each participant to be witnessed and receive positive reflection on their creative process. Each session will consist of a combination of movement, drawing, and journaling/creative writing that is focused on a specific theme such as finding resources, mask and unmask, and internal/external boundaries. These activities will be enacted individually, in small groups, and as a whole group to build personal healing through the connection to others and creativity. In the expressive arts group at Avery Lane we will be playing and creatively engaging with our own material on our healing journey. Throughout our creative process we will be tuning into how we are physically and emotionally affected and paying attention to the images and stories that arise.

The TLAP is beneficial when working with substance abuse and trauma through giving participant a way to find and harness both internal and external resources within their life, a safe space to express and embody their experiences, and a place to imagine and create new possibilities. This movement based expressive arts form provides both a deeper connection to one’s body and a way to creatively engage with one’s life. The expressive arts create a safe container to explore vulnerable areas in one’s life by engaging with one’s personal material through the use of metaphors, images, stories, and the imagination.

The creative process is a natural process of transformation, you start with your impetus and then transform it into a new form. This transformation process is one of the reasons why it can be such a powerful resource to use when working with difficult material. Through creativity we can take vulnerable personal material and use it as the inspiration for creating a piece of artwork that is related to us but is also separate from us. It allows us to be able to see, question, and learn from the artwork, which is outside of us, rather then looking directly at the very vulnerable and raw places within our being. This distance allows us to be able to see more clearly how this material affects and engages us and it also allows for only what we are ready to see to come through. The abstract and metaphorical quality of art means that we only see what is ready to emerge and what we are ready to work on within our lives.