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Expressive Arts Team 

Parents often wonder how La Europa Academy will be able to reach their child and create change when outpatient therapy has not. Part of the answer lies in the ability of the expressive therapies to reach beyond words. Students who have been involved in regular talk therapy often learn how to avoid talking about, and therefore dealing with, issues that are emotionally laden. Expressive therapies allow each student to explore themselves through a variety of modalities that can create a bridge around the student’s defenses. It is much harder to defend oneself in art therapy or dance/movement therapy than it is when discussing an unpleasant topic. La Europa Academy offers a breadth of expressive therapies that are provided by master’s level clinicians who are board-certified or specialize in their specific expressive modality.

Art Therapy - In collaboration with the primary therapists, our nationally board-certified art therapist leads regular art therapy groups and periodic individual and family art therapy sessions. This modality, which integrates visual and verbal processes, allows the students to explore their patterns in a concrete and changeable way. Upper-level students do a comprehensive "art review" where they can visually track their progress over time.

Music Therapy - Our master's level, board certified, music therapist uses music therapy to help students explore a wide variety of issues.  She provides group sessions each week as well as individual music therapy sessions for appropriate students.  She also provides family music therapy during parent workshops.  

Dance Therapy - Dance/Movement therapy is used to deepen awareness and create insight about many issues with which students' typically struggle including body image, self-esteem, emotional dysregulation and trauma.  Our master's level, board certified, dance/movement therapist works with students in group therapy each week and individual therapy upon request.  

Recreation Therapy - Lead by a licensed recreation therapist, our rec therapy groups are not just play time! Students take part in directed "tasks" that expand their problem solving, relationship skills, group dynamics and individual awareness. These are not recreational outings but true therapeutic experiences designed to deepen awareness and insight.

Sand Tray Therapy – Developed from the principles of play therapy, sand tray therapy uses a wide variety of figurines and symbolic images to help participants explore various topics. Participants create their own sculpture in the sand, examine interpretations of their sculpture and receive feedback from the group. Lead by a master’s level therapist, Sand Tray therapy is helpful for students who are not as comfortable with visual or performance arts.

Psychodrama – This group allows students to act out past experiences, interpersonal conflicts, internal struggles or future projections of events. Group members learn about parts of themselves from playing roles in other student’s dramas. Psychodrama helps students connect with feelings, re-evaluate situations and relationships and practice new skills. This group is also lead by a master’s level therapist.