1. Process Not Perfection: Expressive Arts Solutions for Trauma Recovery
2. The book review
3. Suggested Art Exercise



There is no one-size-fits-all solution to healing the wounds of traumatic experiences, although most survivors agree that just talking about the trauma does not work. Expressive arts therapy offers a wide range of potential solutions for trauma survivors by taking an all of the above approach to creative practices, working with multiple expressive pathways in a variety of combinations.

This book invites you into artmaking, music, dancing, movement, writing, and other expressive practices to both cultivate your existing strengths and to help you step outside of your comfort zone. Explore how the practices of expressive arts can best support your healing and recovery journey.


Process One Grounding

  • PRACTICE ONE Grounding Tree Visualization
  • PRACTICE TWO Tree Pose
  • PRACTICE THREE Moving the Branches
  • PRACTICE FIVE Taking it to the Page
  • PRACTICE SIX Hold Your Ground

Process Two Breathing

  • PRACTICE ONE Meeting Your Breath
  • PRACTICE TWO Writing a Letter or Thank You Note
  • PRACTICE THREE Breathing to the Music
  • PRACTICE FOUR The Breath Prayer or Poem
  • PRACTICE FIVE The Dancing Breath Prayer or Poem
  • PRACTICE SIX The Legend of the Breath (Writing Exploration)

Process Three Distress Tolerance

  • PRACTICE ONE Container Visualization
  • PRACTICE TWO Making a Container
  • PRACTICE THREE Composing a Playlist
  • PRACTICE FOUR Listen to Music You Don’t Like
  • PRACTICE FIVE Move to Music You Don’t Like
  • PRACTICE SIX Taking it to the Page

Process Four Mindfulness

  • PRACTICE ONE Deepening the Breath With Mindful Intention
  • PRACTICE TWO Breathe With Expression
  • PRACTICE THREE Mindful Coloring
  • PRACTICE FIVE Embrace–Release–Embrace
  • PRACTICE SIX Take it to the Page (Written Dialogue Exploration)

Process Five Self Compassion

  • PRACTICE ONE Nourishment and Depletion Inventory
  • PRACTICE TWO Collage Making
  • PRACTICE THREE Listening to the Movements
  • PRACTICE FOUR Take it to the Page (Free Writing)
  • PRACTICE FIVE The Poem of Instruction
  • PRACTICE S I X Recording your spoken word

Process Six Embodiment

  • PRACTICE ONE The Brain-Body Relationship (Coloring Activity)
  • PRACTICE TWO Body Scan in Living Color
  • PRACTICE THREE Choose Your Experience (Guided Movement)
  • PRACTICE FOUR Noodling–Art of “Going With” Free Movement
  • PRACTICE FIVE Feeling Tone in Living Color
  • PRACTICE SIX A Love Letter to Your Favorite Body Part

Process Seven Exploring The Edge

  • PRACTICE ONE Word Chain
  • PRACTICE TWO Haiku (or Other Short Form Poetry)
  • PRACTICE THREE Receiving Images (Photography Exploration)
  • PRACTICE FOUR Take it to the Page (Writing Exploration Part 1)
  • PRACTICE FIVE Take it to the Page (Writing Exploration Part 2)
  • PRACTICE SIX Warrior Poses

Process Eight Blocks to Feeling

  • PRACTICE ONE Free Writing
  • PRACTICE TWO Exploring Color
  • PRACTICE THREE Poetry Writing in Living Color
  • PRACTICE FOUR Mindful Listening
  • PRACTICE FIVE Making a Playlist
  • PRACTICE SIX Dancing Mindfulness

Process Nine Living Outside the Box

  • PRACTICE ONE Free Writing– Metaphor and Meaning
  • PRACTICE TWO 3D Visual Meditation–Part 1
  • PRACTICE THREE Movement Exploration
  • PRACTICE FOUR Full Playlist & Dancing Mindfulness Exploration
  • PRACTICE FIVE 3D Visualization–Part 2
  • PRACTICE SIX Fairy Tale Writing

Process Ten Embracing The Story

  • PRACTICE ONE Connecting with Another’s Story
  • PRACTICE TWO Writing a Scene
  • PRACTICE THREE Releasing the Storylines (Movement Practice)
  • PRACTICE FOUR The Soundtrack of Your Life (Playlist Exercise)
  • RACTICE F I V E Story Dancing
  • PRACTICE SIX The Mural of Transformation

Process Eleven Adaptability & Flexibility

  • PRACTICE ONE Responding to the Edge in Yoga Poses
  • PRACTICE TWO Playlist Shuffle
  • PRACTICE THREE Take it to the Page– Random Draw Edition
  • PRACTICE FOUR Gush Art– Non-Dominant Hand Edition
  • PRACTICE FIVE Gush Art– Art Materials on the Edge
  • PRACTICE SIX Photo dialogue

Process Twelve Nourishment

  • PRACTICE ONE Revisiting Nourishment & Depletion Inventory
  • PRACTICE TWO Nourish Yourself with Expressive Arts
  • PRACTICE THREE Viriditas–The Greening Power of God
  • PRACTICE FOUR Learning From Ariditas
  • PRACTICE FIVE Infusing With Greening Power
  • PRACTICE SIX Food as Expressive Arts

Process Thirteen Daily Practice

  • PRACTICE ONE Messages From the Sky
  • PRACTICE TWO Daily Yoga Asana Practice
  • PRACTICE THREE Tuning the Daily Instrument
  • PRACTICE FOUR Daily Gush Art Pages
  • PRACTICE F IVE Daily Dancing Mindfulness
  • PRACTICE SIX Daily Practice Log

Process Fourteen Beyond Self-Care

  • PRACTICE ONE Chanting OM
  • PRACTICE TWO Embodied Sound
  • PRACTICE THREE Receiving the Message
  • PRACTICE FOUR Dancing with the Heartbeat
  • PRACTICE FIVE A Love Letter to Myself
  • PRACTICE SIX Mandala Making– Circle of Wholeness

Process Fifteen Claiming The Creative Voice

  • PRACTICE ONE Slow Reading
  • PRACTICE TWO Write Your Own Delight Song
  • PRACTICE THREE Proclaiming Your Delight Song
  • PRACTICE FOUR Creative Identity Playlist
  • PRACTICE SIX The Creative’s Mission Statement


Process Not Perfection is written in a format that is best described as a workbook. The chapter layout is organised and helps therapists find content that is specific to client’s individual needs.

Each chapter focuses on a specific process such as grounding, breathing, distress tolerance, mindfulness, compassion etc. There are fifteen processes identified in the book. Each process contains specific exercises that support the unique attributes of that process. There are six exercises included under each process chapter.

The author, Dr. Jamie Marich provides exercises that can assist clients with trauma and help create an openness to healing as part of the recovery process. The book validates that trauma is a personal experience and should not be measured on a scale of most traumatic but instead viewed within the context of the individual’s experience.

The author states that the book is not a clinical book, but instead serves as a healing tool for readers to embrace through personal expression of creativity and unspoken thoughts and emotions.

The exercises included in the book embrace a full spectrum of expressive arts including visual arts, dance, writing, music, drama, meditation, photography, film making, and more.

Included in the book is a link to a resource page that contains video and other supplementary resources that are referenced in the book.

Exercise: You can view one of the exercises contained in the book by clicking this link to a YouTube video created by the author, Dr. Jamie Marich:


Exercise: You can view one of the exercises contained in the book by clicking this link to a YouTube video created by the author, Dr. Jamie Marich:  YouTube Link

Purchase: If this book sounds interesting to you, it can be purchased from Amazon. You can also view the contents pages and a few of the introductory chapters in the sample.