“Self-expression should not be a challenge that demands extraordinary talent but should be a right accessible to all.”

–   Deeyah Khan, Norwegian-Pakistani British documentary film director and human rights activist

What about me? When the teenagers engage with California Families in Focus (CFF), the younger siblings might feel left out. CFF specifically designed our expressive arts program for our teens’ siblings ages 5-12. 

The program provides art, music, poetry and dance (AMPD) as tools for self-expression as well as communicating to heal from family trauma that may affect their emotional, physical, and cognitive development. 

By providing artistic outlets, the children have an opportunity to explore what nurtures and empowers them, perhaps as an artist, musician, poet, or dancer. 


Facilitated by marriage and family therapists, nonverbal, sensory art methods including drawing, painting, sculpture, and collage act as a means of expression. Young children who might not have the words to articulate their feelings accurately demonstrate through art emotional trauma, physical violence, domestic abuse, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues.


Melody and song are strong tools used throughout a person’s lifespan. Children sing their ABCs as one of the very first songs they learn and imprints the alphabet in their brains. Music engages the entire brain and is helpful for creating memories, language development, reasoning, and fine motor skills. It is a recognized therapy for both autism and Alzheimer’s. and fosters healthy child development while being a constructive expressive outlet.


Poetry has been a powerful instrument to draw out painful emotions and toxic memories. Expressing emotions through verse, lyrics, even greeting card messages, acts as a method of healing past trauma. 


Physical dance and movement supplies children with a way to self-regulate when another artistic outlet like drawing is ineffective. Through movement children can process feelings and increase body awareness. 

The children are exposed to all of these modes of expressive art in these virtual sessions.