„Beratung & Begleitung durch kunstorientierte Prozesse“
Expressive Arts Institute Berlin
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Basic Orientations

Expressive Arts is a interdisciplinary field, in which the individual and
the collective creativity, the artistic process and the artwork are applied
in the service of development, healing, change and conflict resolution.
In the central areas of Expressive Arts, psychotherapy, coaching and conflict transformation, a suffering or a conflict are not only seen from
a trouble-related diagnosis, but also from the point of existing capabilities
and facilities. Healing processes start and solutions are found because
resources show themselves beyond the problem and can be accessed through the creative activity.

Expressive Arts began in the 70's in the United States. Shaun McNiff,
Paolo Knill and Norma Canner developed study programs and psychotherapy approaches based on the process of art making, Poiesis. During that time, the Diagnostic Psychology was dominated by a deficit-oriented view.
The Expressive Arts stepped aside from this narrow conception of disorder and expanded it towards the human capacity to shape ones life through art. In particular, Paolo Knill promoted resource-oriented, solution-oriented and systemic approaches in his research and in his teaching. Additionally he transferred and applied the complex dynamics of change through art outside of the therapeutic context onto other challenging social situations.

The basic orientation of Expressive Arts is an expanded concept of art, which includes play and ritual. The resulting artwork has a retroactive surplus of meaning, a multi-dimensional value in itself, which goes beyond the process of its formation and the process of expression alone.

The moment of art is the central focus for the phenomenological
foundation of Expressive Arts and the philosophical and theoretical base.
The phases and forms of artistic processes are considered as being analog
to the nature of life, constellations and operations of one are reflected in
the other and vice versa.

Core concepts

IDEC® is the short cut for intermodal De - Centering. In this process, the artistic act is introduced as a conscious change of attention from the fixation on a problem towards a challenge of another kind. The term intermodal refers on the one hand to the diversity of available expression media, on the other hand to the fact that imaginative ideas are scenic and always involve all senses. To work with the intermodal transfer means to experience and translate a theme from one mode of understanding to another and thereby enrich and clarify it.

Low skill high sensitivity means low technical requirements of a creative activity at a highly sensual level of awareness. To come into contact with art and the process of shaping is initiated by the sensory experience.
The repertoire of different media is thereby used to enable individuals to access their own expressive world and their own feelings. Sound, movement, color, material and language – the artistic challenge takes what is available.

If you want to know more about our concepts, look at our program pages, come to one of our Introduction Seminars or call us and ask.





Herbert Eberhart/Paolo Knill
Lehrbuch der kunst- und
Göttingen 2009

Herbert Eberhart (Hrsg.)
Kunst wirkt
Lösungsfindung in
Beratung, Therapie und
Zürich 2007

Paolo Knill
Kunstorientiertes Handeln
in der Begleitung von
Zürich 2005

Paolo Knill, Ellen Levine,
Stephen Levine
Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapy
London 2004

Stephen K. Levine/Ellen Levine
Foundations of
Expressive Arts Therapy
Theoretical and Clinical
Toronto 1999

Paolo Knill, Hellen N. Barba,
Margo Fuchs
Minstrels of Soul,
Intermodal Expressive
Toronto 1993

Stephen K. Levine
The Language of
Psychology and the
Speech of the Soul
Toronto 1992

Paolo Knill
Medien in Therapie und
Lilienthal/Bremen 1983

Paolo Knill
Künstlerischer Ausdruck in Therapie und Erziehung als
intermediale Methode
Lilienthal/Bremen 1979