What is Art Therapy?
Updated: Mar 21, 2019
What is Art Therapy?
Differing from traditional art classes, Art Therapy is a way of using art materials, images and the creative process, to convey thoughts, feelings and ideas in the presence of a trained therapist. It is essentially an inquiry or journey into making sense of our experiences and coming to some understandings about them.
Art Therapy is like embarking on an adventure of exploring and expressing feelings, thoughts, ideas, dreams and aspirations!
This form of inquiry is based in respect, compassion and commitment. It's about the therapist accompanying the client or group on their journey and in doing so helping them to discover more about what is happening for them.
By facilitating communication, self-expression and emotional well being, Art Therapy uses visually oriented methods to help participants make sense of experiences that are difficult to articulate. In Art Therapy, the emphasis is on the process of creating rather than the end product.
Creative modalities used might include painting, drawing, clay work, collage, creative writing, storytelling or journaling. Some sessions may also be conversational as you discuss some of the thoughts and feelings that have emerged from your engagement with the art making process.
What is the role of an Art Therapist?
The essence of Art Therapy is that it contains both parts of its name – art and therapy. Therefore, an art therapist must know both of these. In art she must know the art materials and processes, their nature and potential. Therapeutically, she must have a thorough understanding of self and others in terms of development, psychodynamics and interpersonal relationships.
My personal approach to Art Therapy
I believe that people have the desire and the capacity to grow towards realising their true potential, and that they are the experts on their own lives. Therefore, I do not give advice or offer solutions, but will work with participants to help them understand themselves more fully and to find their own inner resources. With greater self-awareness, belief and trust in yourself, I hope that you will be able to make constructive changes, leading to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
Want to know more? Leave a comment or better still, get in touch!