In addition to an array of talk, body, and brain-based therapies, many Viva therapists use methods like mindfulness and the expressive arts.
Mindfulness is often (but not always) associated with meditation. It involves bringing all of one’s awareness to the present moment.
The expressive arts use creative expression to aid the healing process. They include movement, writing, play therapy, and more.
Learn more about these methods below.
Mindfulness & Meditation
“Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction completely changed my life. Once I could observe my anxious brain, I had so much more control over my response. Now I observe when I’m ruminating about the past or worrying about the future and remind myself to take a breath and bring my attention to what’s in front of me. Generally, I’m far presently more okay than my anxiety tells me I am, so doing this helps me feel much better.” -S
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of bringing all of our awareness to the present moment. It heightens our awareness of our emotional, cognitive, and physical experiences.
What To Expect
When practicing mindfulness, a person focuses their attention on emotions, thoughts, sensations, and the surrounding environment in an accepting and non-judgmental way.
This is often easier than it sounds, and does not require you to stay still. Many people choose to practice mindfulness with a “crutch”—for example, a coloring book, music, play-doh, or other activities that engage the senses.
There are a number of different evidence-based mindfulness treatments.
Neuroimaging shows that after just 6 weeks of daily, 30 minute mindful practice, brain areas related to learning, memory, emotion regulation, “self-referential processing, and perspective taking” measurably change to become larger and denser.
What Does It Treat?
Mindfulness is often used to treat stress, anxiety, depression, recurring negative thoughts, emotional reactivity, working memory, reduced focus, and relationship issues.
The following Viva therapists practice Mindfulness and Meditation:
What are Expressive Therapies?
Expressive therapies involve the use of art, dance, music, drama, movement, creative writing, play, and sandtray within the context of psychotherapy. These approaches go beyond words to reach and transform states that are deeply felt but difficult to express verbally.
In expressive therapy, the process of creation is valued as a way to recognize and heal from emotional pain.
This form of therapy is particularly popular among individuals who prefer to express themselves through art or action rather than words.
What Do They Treat?
You’ve likely heard of ways in which expressive arts therapies have been used to work with populations with high levels of stress and trauma. These include theater programs for military veterans, art therapy among at-risk youth, and expressive dance for incarcerated individuals.
These therapies can also be extremely powerful for individuals coping with anxiety, trauma, stress, depression, and other concerns.