Expressive Therapies

Parents often wonder how La Europa Academy will be able to reach their daughter 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 the student to explore herself 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.

This is a slideshow that represents some daily Expressive Art and Recreation therapies at La Europa Academy.

Art Therapy - In collaboration with the primary therapists, our nationally board-certified art therapist leads weekly 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 and individual music therapy each week and 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 and individual therapy dance therapy each week.

Recreation Therapy - Lead by a licensed recreation therapist, our rec therapy groups are not just play time! Girls 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 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. Insight-oriented therapy helps your daughter learn about herself and have a deeper understanding of what needs to change. Yet most people struggle to take insight and convert it into action. DBT helps our students translate their insight into concrete skills to change behavior.