Expressive Arts for Health and Well Being

Discover and Expand Your Creativity

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Expressive Arts Coaching

What is it that your heart wants to say? Is there an almost indistinguishable longing in an area where your dreams have gotten stuck? If you look behind your dissatisfaction in life and see what is missing, you may find that the voice of your inner artist is yearning to be expressed.

How often and how quickly the daily chores of life take over lives. Slowly we get to a place where the dreams we once had seem nothing but a distant memory. Yet, if we can just see around that corner that looks like a wall, the creative process is always accessible. While dreams may change, the desire to create something that expresses your unique voice in the world remains a vital part of living life fully and joyfully.

The expressive arts engage various art forms and playful games to tap into inner creativity and free people to experience joy and satisfaction in life. Rather than being focused on a particular outcome, the expressive arts focus on the experience of being engaged with life through the creative process of discovery, of not knowing, of being present in the moment with yourself and others.

This magical space of discovery can surprisingly lead to many rewarding outcomes, like teamwork and increased skills at collaboration; or deep connection with your burning desire to write; or vivid colors that fill the canvas that express your inner journey; or poetry that reaches as yet unknown sources of revealed mystery; or a story that has been floating around in your head finally gets written down; or spontaneous music gets created as in community.

Let yourself breathe into who you are and reveal your own images, words and movement that reveal and weave the story of you, that one unique story that is your life.

Through Cheryl’s gentle intuitive guidance and lighthearted depths of play you may heal the hearts wounds, or break down the barriers to self expression, get a real handle on what gets in your way; reveal your creative path; create and follow through on artistic goals; discover something you never knew or powerfully bring into being the vision of your life’s creative work.

Life is too beautiful to waste on unfulfilled dreams and unwritten stories. Take a chance on yourself and book an appointment today. There is nothing to lose except the barriers to your own self-expression.

Here are some other workshops and projects that Cheryl is up to. Reach out and let’s create something new together!

"Play is an activity enjoyed for its own sake. It is our brain's favorite way of learning." — Diane Ackerman

“Every child is an artist, before the artist is conditioned out of it. The child does not look, it sees. Every child is a seer; sees horses, angels, faces in a cloud, senses the spirits in tree and cave. The child is a maker of stories, draws and paints without hesitation, hums and dances its moods… until it is plugged in and the artist is driven underground.”

- Frederick Franck, Art as a Way

Join Cheryl for an afternoon's journey into creative expression through sound, movement, music, words and theater games that everyone can play. Come explore your imagination, self-expression, and spontaneity. There are no wrong notes, no lines to memorize and no way to fail, just come and play and see how it feels to be free - free to express and free to be!

Sunday July 16: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Cost $20 (or what you can pay)

Monroe Hall 1400 W. College ave. Santa Rosa, Ca

Cheryl Ulrich is a multifaceted improvisational performer and facilitator of group experiences. Starting with classical guitar and in the 6th grade, Cheryl's path has been one of creative exploration, her journeys taking her into music, theater, poetry, movement and more - all of which find an expression in the workshops she designs to playfully open people up to their own creativity and wellspring of expression.
Cheryl has worked with Marcia Kimmell and The Next Stage as an improvisational actor and workshop facilitator for over 25 years. Committed to training others in the brilliant Theater Games techniques of her mentor Viola Spolin, Marcia founded the alternative acting school, The Next Stage, in 1979. Cheryl joined Marcia as part of The Next Stage's vision of sharing the benefits of the transformative skills and philosophy embodied in this method of improvisational acting.

Here are some other workshops and projects that Cheryl is up to. Reach out and let’s create something new together!


I created a fun poetry game with this last group of folks I had a workshop with the other day.

I gave them each several colorful index cards and led them through a series of visualizations where they got to explore their own images and memories associated with what became their world view. People took their own imaginative journey into a form of being that felt wanted to be called forth.

Then I’d have them write a word, without thinking, on a card, and throw it into the middle of the circle.

We did several rounds of this, each one guided by a different invitation to experience.

Then, once done with 4 or 5 cards each, we mixed up the cards that had landed in the center and I proceeded to create a poem. Adding only short moving words to what came with the given drawing of the cards, I crafted a poem, with the rest of the group being background sound for this new work of art.

Then everyone who wanted got to play took a turn with the poetry cards - each player/reader/poet creating something new.

It’s a really fun game to do with a few people that are together at a party. Maybe when you may not want to be drinking. Instead you might play with imagination and create this new kind of game.

Together a small group of people can create an expressive experience of causing word salads to form, and cocreatively mix up a new expression of collective creation.

January 1, 2017

oh, yes, the title — In leading, I created thought fields for release of images….When they wrote, I wrote without any kind of thinking aside from being out there with them. One of my words that came out randomly was cauterize. I think about this today as I write, which to put its place in history, is a week and a half before Trump becomes president. And the word that needed to get spoken at that moment came forth and that word was CAUTERIZE. as in healing the most severe kind of wound. Cut off the infected part and cauterize it. Now on this day, looking back, the word could not have been more appropriate in relation to why I had called these few people together. Because at its core, the intention was to cause a new way of being together in expression about what is happening in our world - creatively, openly, expressively - Forging new avenues to communication and sharing of impression, image, impulse, investigation, instigation, imagination. I live or wonder - for encouraging wonder - it may be the most blessed of human traits ever.

What else gives us newness other than wonder and imagination?

So, in the precious each and every moment, we have the opportunity to create a word, seemingly gathered out of thin air and written on a card. Then we get to put alll our words together and use them in playful new ways, mix up our ideas with each others, and come up with something new.

At this moment in history, the word that popped out for me could not have been any more pertinent or expressive of what was needed at that moment. The word was cauterize.

Cauterize. It was after all, the triage that was called for after the heartbreaking blow to humanity with Trump’s election. What was called for was indeed cauterizing my wounds, so as to boost the system for survival.

How will we next move, or do, or grow, or be to face these next challenges that will most certainly be coming our way? Cauterize the wound, so as to heal and grow stronger, so that we can keep on standing for diversity and peace.

What is Expressive Arts Coaching?

Expressive Arts Coaching is a journey in using the creative process for personal growth and development. Participants gain clarity around issues in their lives, such as finding one's life purpose, or dealing with unresolved issues that block them from achieving what they want in life. Getting in touch with your own creative uniqueness has a powerful way of revealing your own answers to life’s questions.

Expressive Arts focus on the process of being creative in the moment, not on producing art. I guide people through simple exercises that everyone can do, that are playful yet at the same time lead to profound insights. Individual sessions with me are a safe and nurturing place of discovery where people delve playfully into their inner selves to learn and grow. In group experiences people discover new ways of being with others, get experience in how to “think on your feet” and have a whole lot of fun in the process.

The deep work of creative play is a space where the magical creative spirit gets to be free and in that freedom people grow as human beings in ways that impact all areas of life.

What forms of creative expression are involved?

Expressive Art melds and utilizes a variety a different forms of art such as:

  • Visual Arts: painting, drawing, collage, sculpting, mixed media, mask making, etc.
  • Creative writing in the form of poetry, journaling, memoir writing, short stories, stream of consciousness, etc.
  • Musical expression through drumming, singing, music-making, listening, improvising, and sound healing.
  • Movement work in dance, authentic movement, mirroring and more.
  • Drama and theater arts through storytelling, theater games, role playing, and improvisation.

Why attend an expressive arts coaching or facilitation workshop or session?

You are ready to gently step out of your comfort zone and expand your experience of being alive. You want to try something new and different and sense that there is something magical available through exploring the creative process. You are excited to experience a deeper connection with others and a gain a greater understanding of yourself through engaging in the creative process in ways that you haven’t experienced before. You are hungry for new experiences that allow you to explore your deep authentic truth.

Who are Expressive Arts workshops or individual sessions for?

  • People longing to unleash their inner child and free up the space for their creative self to come out and play.
  • People looking for answers and exploring ideas about their careers, life purpose, self-esteem, and relationships (such as a spouse/partner, family, friends, colleague, or boss)
  • Someone who currently works in the creative arts such as writers, artists, dancers, designers who are experiencing a block or looking for new inspiration through other modalities.

Is this Therapy?

Expressive Arts Coaching can be therapeutic but it is not therapy. Facilitators and coaches are not licensed therapists and do not diagnose.

Do I need to be artistic?

No, you do not need to be artistic to reap the benefits of this style of personal development. The focus is on process not product. However I believe that everyone is creative and if you have the opinion that you are not artistic, you may just surprise yourself!


The Power of Listening


Poetry In Motion

Expressive arts coaching includes the use of one or more art forms - visual arts, dance, movement, drama, music and poetry - to facilitate self-expression, personal growth, transformation, emotional well-being, group process, team building and problem solving.

Scott Griessel
Scott Griessel

Your Brain on Play (Neuroplasticity)

"Play is an activity enjoyed for its own sake. It is our brain's favorite way of learning." — Diane Ackerman

A Healthy View of Play




Nurturing creativity takes love.

Following a dream takes courage.

An open heart calls for connection.

Your passion is called for.

Your voice is needed.