Expressive Arts Therapy

Your teen will have the opportunity to tell their own story actively and expressively. Creating art—whether through visual art, music, or stage performances—will also give your teen a chance to discover their own feelings about their experiences in a safe and validating environment.

In the performing arts program, teens have the opportunity to showcase their talents. Those talents may or may not put them on center stage. Students learn a variety of skills. For example, they may learn about stage and sound production. They can learn about theater costumes and makeup. Students also have opportunities to perform.

Four times a year, our students put on a variety show for their parents and staff during the parent seminar. Our students also enjoy competing with some of our sister schools in our version of "Battle of the Bands." For those primarily interested in arts, we offer a performing arts track.

This supplemental program adds an extra 6-10 hours a week of advanced art classes. Students learn to compose music, write original theatrical productions, and choreograph dance routines. The art program helps students express their thoughts and emotions in their own way.

When your teenager comes to Discovery Ranch South, they will discover interests and talents that they didn't know they had. These newfound interests can replace old, unhealthy behaviors. Your teen will be better able to adapt to relationships after exploring them through art.

Teens jumping and having fun while attending residential treatment for girls and youth assigned female at birth | Discovery Ranch South

The Therapeutic Effects of Performing Arts: How it Benefits the Mental Health of Teens a Podcast For Parents

In addition to other forms of experiential therapy, participating in the performing arts can have a significant impact on a teenager through their healing process. It invites the students to step out of their comfort zone and gain new insights about themselves and their relationships.

In this episode, therapist Tiffany Silva Herlin, LCSW, and Nate Marble, Performing Arts Director at Discovery Ranch South, discuss:

  • How do the expressive arts benefit a teen’s mental health?
  • Using the performing arts and drama therapy to explore and express emotions.
  • Challenging defense mechanisms by getting out of your comfort zone.
  • Exploring body language and how it reflects your emotions.
  • The value of unlocking our imagination and creativity.