Expressive Arts

Expressive Arts is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, dreamwork, and visual arts together, in an integrated way, to foster human growth, development, and healing. It is about reclaiming our innate capacity as human beings for creative expression of our individual and collective human experience in artistic form. Expressive arts is also about experiencing the natural capacity of creative expression and creative community for healing. (Appalachian Expressive Arts Collective, 2003, Expressive Arts Therapy: Creative Processs in Art and Life. Boone, NC: Parkway Publishers. p. 3)

I have an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a post-masters certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy from Appalachian State University. I am currently working on becoming a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist. 

Up until February 2012 I had been working at OASIS, Inc. in Boone, NC providing services to victims/survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. In February, March, and April of 2012 I traveled in Nicaragua before starting a new life in the Raleigh/Durham area of NC. 

My expressive arts related employment history:

I am the Support Group Coordinator at Compass Center, formerly Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County and the Women's Center. We provide domestic violence and self-sufficiency services. I train and supervise group facilitators and have the honor of facilitating workshops and short-term groups in addition to providing crisis support to survivors of domestic violence. 

Connie Carringer, Dance Caller and Arts Facilitator, 2008-Present

I am so thrilled to be focusing more on facilitating art, music, and dance with people of all ages. I am a regional contra and square dance caller, calling in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina. I am partnering with the Halle Center for Cultural Arts in downtown Apex to offer arts-based classes, workshops and traditional dance programs. I have also been working at camp MusArt where I teach arts/crafts, world instruments and song-writing. I hope to continue expanding my work in my community and nationally. 

OASIS, Inc. 2010-2012

Founded in 1978, OASIS, Inc. (Opposing Abuse with Services, Information, and Shelter) is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault in Watauga County, North Carolina.  OASIS works toward this mission in three ways:


  1. Providing comprehensive emergency services, transitional support, and a safe environment for survivors as they explore options for a violence-free life. 
  2. Providing education and skill development to encourage families in our community to create and maintain healthy peer and intimate partner relationships that are based on respect and equality.
  3. Helping to create a community that supports survivors through advocacy and education.
We use expressive arts therapy in our support groups and in individual counseling.

Lees-McRae College Counseling Services 2009-2010
Our primary goal is to provide brief counseling, psychological services and referrals to enrolled students. We also engage in outreach services oriented towards personal growth and the management of psychological and behavioral problems.  We strive to heighten awareness of the importance of a healthy, balanced lifestyle as well as strong relationships with others.

I completed a practicum and internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC.

Orchesis 2008-2010
Orchesis Honor Society was created at Appalachian State University (Boone, North Carolina) in order to recognize and promote scholarly and creative activities within the field of expressive arts. The goals of the organization include providing a forum for exchange among graduate students of expressive arts, building an expressive arts community outside of the classroom, and hosting expressive arts gatherings, workshops, and open studio experiences. Orchesis is a Greek word meaning "a moving ensemble."

I have been a member of Orchesis since 2008 and was on the leadership council in 2009 and 2010.

Subpages (1): EXA Files