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The Truth About Expressing Emotions Through Art

I would like to take a few minutes to recognize how hard it is to express our emotions. First, we must figure out how an emotion is different from a feeling.

  • Emotions are what we are feeling throughout our body. Emotions come first. Love is an emotion.
  • Feelings are a result of our thoughts about those emotions. Feelings are a result of those emotions which release chemicals to something. Anger is a feeling.


“Our emotions are like the engine of the car; our feelings are the frame.” (Rachel Allyn, 2022)

We must develop ways to help express our emotions so that we don’t continue to push them down over and over. Sometimes, we can’t even identify the emotion we are feeling. We as individuals have learned to push them down so we don’t look weak, vulnerable, and guarded. 

Expressive Arts allows YOU to find a unique way to identify and process that emotion without words. Natalie Rogers, PhD, REAT, and Cathy A. Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT, have been instrumental in ways that we can express our emotions and heal. Both individuals are renowned for their work in trauma and expression of self.

How do I express my emotions through art?

For us to heal, we must first develop emotional awareness.

Emotional awareness allows us to associate a feeling word with the body’s emotion. Feelings can be diluted or altered by events, trauma, intrusive thinking, or fears. Expressive Arts therapy allows you to find that emotion, identify the feeling, and start the process of healing.

Here are some examples to try before booking an appointment!

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create a tissue paper collage

Take out that unused tissue paper hanging around. Use a sheet of paper and express your emotions in color or crumbles of tissue paper glued down to the paper. Do not think about creating something, just let the process flow.

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listen to instrumental music

Utilize a music app and find some type of music that has no words. Example: “Nightsky” – Tracey Chattaway. Take out some paper and some type of writing utensil or paint and allow your emotions to flow on to the paper. No thoughts, no images, no reason to think, just let the process flow.

Utilize ways to release those emotions and start healing. Love yourself, learn to express yourself, find ways to connect with yourself, and you will learn to heal.

Meet The Author

Lee Ann Weiler, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP), and Expressive Arts Therapist (Qualifying) in Arizona



Meet The Author

Lee Ann is a Clinical Therapist at Sea Glass Mental Health. She works with teens, adults, and couples. Lee Ann specializes in PTSD, trauma, and women’s issues.

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