The use of art, music, dance, writing, and symbolism is not new to the fields of counseling and psychotherapy. These now nontraditional approaches to healing have been used by cultures all over the world throughout ancient times. Western thought has made great contributions in the field of psychotherapy without the full integration of historical healing techniques and approaches from nonindustrialized civilizations. Humanity's original helping professionals, such as medicine men, shamans, and healers, have utilized dance, music, and other expressive arts to promote physical mental and spiritual well-being. The ancient Greeks, for example, embodied these concepts in their worship of Apollo, the god of music, poetry, and healing. In common, among some African and Native American tribes is the belief that song and dance are cures for mental, emotional, and spiritual illness.
Integrative approaches have slowly been accepted as equally effective approaches in the therapeutic community due, in part, to the rise in popularity of talk therapy as a more verifiable form of counseling. Verbal psychotherapy has its roots in the psychoanalytic approach with Sigmund Freud's "talking cure" and has since been further developed in the cognitive- behavioral, humanistic, and "fourth-force" perspectives of counseling. These traditional approaches have always integrated techniques for assessing and facilitating client growth beyond classic talk therapy. For example, the use of action-oriented experiments in Gestalt therapy and mandala applications in Jungian analysis allow for greater client expression and awareness through projective techniques that acknowledge a reality that may be limited or misrepresented through mere verbal articulation. Currently, these techniques are based in clinical application and require integration within an established theoretical framework for working with clients (Rubin, 2001). With further research and conceptual development, these integrative approaches to counseling may one day develop into theories of counseling (Levine & Levine, 1999; Rubin, 2001).