Expressive Therapy

Charlotte Yonge PhD, Non Directive Expressive Arts and Play Facilitator,
The Rose and Crown Clinic, N Devon


Expessive arts integrated with Creative Journal provide an intimate, self counselling opportunity for clients to explore their feelings playfully without obligation to use words until they have grounded their memories in symbolic ways.

In this video Lucia Capaccione PhD explains how constellation matwork based on Hellinger’s Family Constellations, can provide somatic balancing. She pioneered Creative Journal Expressive Arts as a tool for healing, integrating the two sides of the brain through both handed journal entries.

Go to her website where you can find her dreamwork activity ‘Draw a Dream’ and ‘Interpreting a Dream’:

Here is an interview with Dr Cappachione to give you more background to her approach:

A long standing graduate of Dr Capacchione’s, Linda Chapman used Creative Journal Expressive Arts in her work with trauma victims:

In my work, I have found using CJEA as Expressive Therapy provides a deep connection with my inner self, connecting early memories, body pains, or current dilemmas of decision making with my resourceful imagination.

The benefits of stress reduction includes being able to ‘access our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation and healing’. (Bangor University). At Oxford and Bangor Universities pioneer training is offered that combined mindfulness with other psycho-therapeutic techniques. Expressive Therapy offers a unique blend of relaxation and visualisation activities inspired by this work, integrated with Creative Journal and simple guided exercises designed to empower the individual’s awareness and self healing process.

‘Deep Sea Diver’ – this picutres many parts of my inner self,  one that dives deep, another flies through the cosmos, another addresses
rocky, impossible blocks, and there is one side of me that  loves to sail the nameless turbulences of life.





‘Fire at Sea’ – done in Acrylic, with my non dominant hand,
this hand liberates all my feelings, and tells the true story
of my inner Observer Self.




‘Light and Dark’ – collage brings unusual images together
to express the enigmas of the many selves within, all
happily josling for attention – I love the dark side best, it makes me
laugh and feel liberated.



Self care is also promoted at the Rose and Crown, where patients are given fact sheets and professional advice as to what they can do at home to prevent disease, maintain wellness and manage symptoms in natural, holistic ways.

Stress reduction is one of the keys to good health. Research shows that the immune system is strengthened by a balanced, nutritious diet, regular exercise and relaxation, and emotional support. Without this in place, weight control may get out of hand which can lead to a range of serious diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and digestive problems such as IBS.

Expressive therapy is offered at the Rose and Crown Clinic, 6 South St, South Molton, North Devon EX36 4AA: (

Therapeutic Non-directive Play Sessions for Children

‘Captain Karanga’ – Non Directive Play and Expressive Arts in Home Education
uses sandtray, clay, paint, toys or a child’s favourite construction kit. It can also
use puppets, characters, story improvisation, home video or computer cartoons.

Non Directive Play sessions help children to integrate their experiences of loss,
upheaval and learning challenges, in their own way through play.


Using SANDPLAY, CLAYPLAY and COLLAGE with Creative Journal and Reflective Listening provides a deep, creative reverie in meditative, absorbed activities where verbal explanations are optional.

This sand picture represented the past memories of the Inner Child.

MM Sandtray Mandala

After the family healing session above, at another workshop we created a celebratory ritual creative space in which to set free our visioning images.

Mandala and Collage in Denmark


The sandplay objects represented the Inner Playful Child, which could be integrated and nurtured with a simple candle in the centre.




A group of child workers made this circular vision collage together to express their shared goal to work with children through non directive play. The candle represented our hope and trust in a new creative approach.


As adults, once we are reconnect with our Playful Child, using Reflective Listening when we are ready to share key insights, we can empathise with children and deeply listen to them as they play.  Creative reverie is a profound self listening tool and is fundamental to working non directive expressive arts and play.

Charlotte Yonge PhD is a Play Team Association accredited Non Directive Play practitioner and trainer.
She has special experience with Asperger’s Syndrome, and offers training for parents and children’s workers.

Cost: £30/one hour session + mileage