About Art Therapy

WHAT IS ART THERAPY?

Art making provides opportunities to express oneself imaginatively, authentically and spontaneously and has the potential to change lives in profound ways. When words are not enough we turn to images and symbols to tell our stories. In telling our stories through art, we can find a path to health and wellness, emotional reparation, recovery, and ultimately, transformation.

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials and creative processes to address psychiatric, psychological and emotional needs, as well as being a means for personal development and maintaining wellness. However, while some expressive therapies utilize the performing arts for expressive purposes, art therapy generally uses drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, collage and other forms of visual art expression.

Art therapy can be used as an integrated process or it can be used alongside traditional psychotherapeutic and counselling methods and processes. Some areas where Art Therapy has been found to be helpful include: fostering self-expression, creating coping skills, managing stress and strengthening sense of self. Art therapy has provided mental health treatment for clients who have experienced trauma, grief, loss, depression, chronic illness, substance abuse, disability and more.

Art psychotherapists have an understanding of the psychological aspects of the creative process, as well as traditional psychotherapeutic or counselling methods and processes.

  • They are trained to recognize the nonverbal symbols and metaphors that are communicated within the creative process, symbols and metaphors which might be difficult to express in words or in other modalities.
  • They are employed in many clinical settings with diverse populations and in non-clinical settings such as art studios and creative workshops that focus on creative personal development.
  • Art psychotherapists work with children, adolescents and adults and provide services to individuals, couples, families, groups and communities.

For more information, search in:

Art Therapy Alliance

http://www.arttherapyalliance.org/

International Art Therapy Organization

http://www.internationalarttherapy.org/

Australian & New Zealand Art Therapy Association (ANZATA)

http://www.anzata.org/

American Art Therapy Association

http://www.arttherapy.org/

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