Creative Therapies


Creative therapies includes use of art, craft, music, drama, dance, writing or anything else that allows an individual to express their creativity. Creative therapies can be used within occupational therapy services.

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for”

– Georgia O’Keefe

At Imagine…

As with all our services, creative therapies are goal based. We will consider what you are wanting to be different in your life, and how creative therapies could be a part of this.

We may also do arts-based work as part of other therapies. For example, you might chose to use art for self-expression alongside a course of talking therapy for trauma.

We might do creative therapies within a session, or the creative work might be done by you between sessions.

We know that people have different feelings about creative arts. Some people feel comfortable and others not so much. We will take your lead. If you are already engaged in creative arts, and want to bring this into therapy, we will walk with you in that. If you want to try something new, we’ll try it with you. If you don’t know what to try we can offer suggestions and help you to get started.

We believe in the power of the process of creativity. It really isn’t about creating a masterpiece. You play out of tune but spent a morning learning an instrument which distracted you from these negative thoughts. Your bread didn’t rise but you enjoyed the feeling of kneading it and the smell of it baking. Your sewing is rough but your quilt is made with fabrics that mean something to you. So its beautiful to you. It really is more about the process than the product.

So we can all be artists.

Why create?

Creative therapies can be a way to express yourself, and can be especially helpful when you are struggling with your mental health.

Sometimes creative therapies can give you the expression of feelings where you can’t find the words. This can be especially relevant for these who have experienced trauma.

The process of creating can increase self-awareness and improve problem-solving. Some people find that they process big life events or solve personal dilemmas through taking some time out to be creative.

Creative therapies can give you a productive focus, and can add some structure to your day. Often when you’re in the ‘zone’ creating something, the process gives you some respite from negative thoughts and feelings. This may be good for you if you’re struggling with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Creative therapies can give you a sense of achievement and pride. It can feel good to create. If you struggle with self-esteem you might find creativity gives you a space to just ‘be’.


Children can be naturally creative. Creativity is a big part of play. Often using creative media is less intimidating than words and can give children a voice for their experience.


Adolescence is often a very creative time. Teens can be drawn to the arts as a space for self-expression and identity forming.


As adults we often hold beliefs about whether we are artistic or not. Some find joy in creativity while others find a blank canvas intimidating. Often this is based in anxiety about the end product. However using the arts for therapy is much more about the process than what is created. With this in mind, everyone can create.

“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

– Vincent Van Gogh