What is Art Therapy?
Art Therapy is the process of creating art with the guidance and support of a professional therapist, and is a type of psychotherapy. Through the process of making art, clients are able to explore their inner world, develop greater self-awareness, express thoughts and feelings, access creativity and self-esteem, and better cope with stress. After the client makes art in therapy, the therapist and client will often engage in discussion about the art piece for further exploration and expression. In my practice, I will often offer Art Therapy to clients as a treatment approach; however, it is up to the needs and preferences of each client how much art-making will be done in therapy. Some clients will appreciate making art in every session, some will enjoy periodic Art Therapy interventions, and some clients will prefer primarily verbal psychotherapy.
Who can benefit from Art Therapy?
Anyone can benefit from Art Therapy, especially people who may not be able to fully express themselves through words. Both children and adults often do not have the words to completely explain their thoughts and feelings, so art provides another means of exploration, communication, and healing. In addition, the art process is able to access parts of the brain that are not available through verbal communication.
What if I am not any good at art?
You do not have to be good at art in order to participate in and benefit from Art Therapy. Art Therapy does not focus on how good the resulting art looks. What is most important is the creative process and having the art as an outlet for expression.