While forms of therapy that rely on verbal expression and communication, commonly known as talk therapy, allow individuals to express their thoughts and feelings in a safe space, some find it difficult to express themselves fully and truthfully in a verbal setting. On the other hand, nonverbal communication and expression provide a safe space for many who struggle with mental health disorders to express themselves without judgment.
Nonverbal Expression in Therapy for Mental Health
Those struggling with mental health disorders experience changes in their thinking, mood, behavior, and daily functioning. Unfortunately, with stigmas being put on mental health and mental health treatment, many people suffering from mental health disorders often do not seek or receive proper care.
Creative means of expression, whether creating or discussing, allow people to cope with their emotions and feelings and increase their self-awareness. Music and movement or dance therapy are standard creative therapies at Roots. Art therapy is known to be extremely common and beneficial for those struggling with mental health disorders.
Benefits of Nonverbal Expression
Nonverbal means of expression in therapy help individuals develop a deeper connection with themselves. Individuals can face their feelings head-on by feeling free to express themselves nonverbally, not being limited to describing their emotions or thoughts in the “correct” way. In a safe space, nonverbal expression invites one to connect with these feelings, creating a deeper connection to the self and a better understanding of their mental health. Improving one’s mental health symptoms is more efficient when this deeper connection is solidified.
Many emotions, thoughts, and feelings are unveiled during these therapies, coming from an unconscious part of the person. These feelings are made known through creative and nonverbal means of expression, allowing clients to interact with themselves on a deeper level and uncover root causes or issues.
In movement or dance therapies, people experience a better body image, an improved self-concept, and self-esteem, reduced anxiety and depression, less isolation and chronic pain, better communication skills, and a better sense of well-being. Music therapy also improves mood, easing stress, lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate, reducing depression and sleeplessness, and improving muscle tension and relaxation.
Many creative therapy groups that encourage nonverbal expression provide tools and mechanisms that can be used outside therapy. Dance, art, and music are all things that can be incorporated into one’s life to continue on the mental health and self-care journey for the best outcomes.
How Roots Recovery Incorporates Nonverbal Expression
Roots Recovery focuses on healing clients entirely, not just treating their symptoms or concerns. With the whole-person approach, Roots Recovery helps clients heal the relationship between mind, body, and spirit. By doing so, services such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), spiritual exploration, mindfulness and meditation, and experiential group therapies are incorporated into clients’ specialized plans. These programs focus on clients repairing their relationships with themselves to heal relationships with others and their life overall. Roots Recovery helps treat the whole person.
The experiential groups specifically invite more creative and nonverbal methods of expression for clients to partake in. These groups include art therapy, movement-based therapy, music therapy, improv therapy, and writing therapy.
In art therapy, clients gain an understanding of more expressive media and can experience it to cope with subconscious emotions. As a result, they gain a deeper insight into their emotional challenges and develop tools to deal with the self-transformation process through creativity.
In movement-based therapy, clients express themselves through their body movements. This helps clients express themselves with a whole-body approach, letting their whole being experience the emotion and release it through movement.
With music therapy, Roots Recovery offers a narrative music group and drumming for healing. In the narrative music group, clients use techniques to enhance creativity and self-expression while regulating emotions. Clients participate in songwriting, making music and movement, and listening to and discussing various songs. In the drumming for healing group, clients practice different rhythms to understand how sound affects their mood and state. With drumming patterns, clients learn how their brain activity is triggered and how new patterns can trigger a new way of thinking. Not only is this an outlet for emotions, but drumming also gives clients control over their moods.
Improv therapy groups at Roots Recovery focus on the power of laughter as means of healing. The exercises help clients reconnect with themselves and others by improving empathy, emotional intelligence, and active listening skills.
The creative writing group helps clients form their words on paper. In verbal expression, individuals find it challenging to find the right words and speak them out loud without anxiety. Creative writing allows clients to write their thoughts on paper in an illogical setting, removing feelings of judgment or anxiety. Their emotional experiences are put into words guided by prompts or free-writes.
Here at Roots Recovery, we offer services encouraging nonverbal means of expression in clients coping with mental health disorders. With stigmas and barriers to mental healthcare, clients often feel uncomfortable discussing their issues or have trouble finding the root cause of their disorder. At Roots, our team works to create a specialized plan for each client. Many of our group therapies offered involve creative expression, allowing clients to express themselves in a safe and controlled environment without overwhelming feelings or judgment. This space will enable clients to connect with their inner selves to promote healing. To learn more about nonverbal expression and how Roots helps clients through their mental health journey, call us at (562) 473-0827.