Training Therapists in the Creative Arts

Course Director: Dr. Naama Lev Ari

About Creative Expressive Therapy (from the morning program in Hebrew, Channel 2)


Art and Psychotherapy

Therapy through creative expression is becoming more popular because it addresses many needs. The therapy process centers on the fact that creativity opens, for the patient, a personal dialogue between the inner self and outer reality. This dialogue is qualitatively quite different from the spoken dialogue used in conventional therapy because it opens channels seldom touched upon in conversation.

Creative-expressive therapy can break through many blocks in the patient’s inner world-- emotional, developmental, psycho-physic, cognitive and social. The therapy is helpful over a wide range of ages from childhood to old age. can be used for a wide age group—from children to the elderly— in community, educational, and medical frameworks, schools clinics, rehab centers, and centers for stress and trauma therapy.

Creative-expressive therapy is a relatively new, inter-disciplinary method positioned on the “borderline” between art and psychotherapy. Its roots are in the arts which are by nature therapeutic. With the widening scope of its use, and the therapeutic success it has had, there is a growing demand for experienced professionals, graduates of professional training programs.

In the therapeutic process there are three participants--the patient, the therapist and one of the arts. This triangular relationship produces a creative-therapeutic experience and enables expression and processing of insights that can lead to improved mental health.

Concrete Results

The Center for Training Creative-Expressive Therapists at Kibbutzim College was founded in 1993; its three year program is one of the first and most esteemed in Israel. In addition the Center offers foundations courses in psychology, and advanced studies for practicing theratists.
A study made and published recently by the Research Unit of the Kibbutzim College shows that graduates of the program express high levels of satisfaction with the level of the courses, the quality of the teaching and the wide variety of the subject matter presented. The study also shows that more than 85 % of the graduates are active today in the field and respected by colleagues and superiors for their high professional standards and personal qualities.

The Uniqueness of Creative-expressive Therapy: Our Credo

Creativity, which in itself has many therapeutic qualities, activates abilities and encourages reorganization of emotional responses, enables communication, encourages the use of imagination and enables authentic expression. In all its aspects, this therapy is truly friendly and non- intimidating because it uses expressive modes not dependent exclusively on verbal communication.
It gives expression to hidden talents, learning new social skills, in channels that do not prompt opposition and strengthens self-confidence.
This approach is especially helpful for individuals deprived groups such as new immigrants who cannot express themselves verbally.
This approach emphasizes group work and thus provides the opportunity to enhance social skills.
Creative-expressive therapy provides a framework for diagnosing emotional, cognitive and social difficulties.

A True “Hothouse” of Learning

The Center is situated on one of the main entrances to Tel Aviv, in the midst of the green lawns and the friendly and creative atmosphere of the Kibbutzim College campus. The excellent staff of teachers and instructors keeps up-to-date on the innovations in their specific fields. Study groups are purposely small to enable greater attention to be given to individual students. From time to time at distinct intervals, the teachers point out to the students where they are doing well and where they need to improve.
At the end of an enriching process of learning and personal development, acquiring academic and clinical knowledge in the visual arts, in movement, actual work with patients, the graduates leave the college halls as skilled therapists. Many graduates continue their connection with the Center which offers advanced courses, conferences and study days.

Photos from the Opening of the Academic Year