How Art Therapy works
Art Therapy combines psychotherapeutic techniques with the creative process to facilitate healing and personal understanding.
The act of creating is an inherently healing, cathartic and liberating one. When this is done in a safe and controlled environment, it opens up the opportunity for a deep communication with the Art Therapist and expression on a symbolic and subconscious level.
Depending on the context, the Art Therapist might encourage spontaneous creation or suggest a more directed activity. The artwork then becomes an impetus for discussion and exploration. The Art Therapist does not make assumptions as each person’s artwork carries with it an entire lifetime’s worth of individuality, symbolism and uniqueness.
“We humans intuited that art making was good for us in one way of another. I believe that our capacity to use our creative source for health and well-being is no different today. The miracle of our humanness is that we have the ability to create images with meaning. The simple act of making art nourishes the inner self and connects us with the outer world of relationships, community, and nature. It is the natural process of caring for the soul and experiencing it in all dimensions” (Malchiodi, 2002, p. 3).
Who can benefit?
Art Therapy is helpful for people of all ages and backgrounds, confronted by emotional or physical problems, and for those interested in self-growth and expression.
Sessions are tailored for each unique situation and can be offered to individuals, couples, families and groups.
Art Therapy provides a means for dealing with anxiety, trauma, depression, illness, developmental disabilities, grief, loss, relationships, self-esteem or the search for meaning in life.
Because Art Therapy is a non-verbal means of expression, no previous art experience is necessary. The emphasis is rather on the process, a journey of discovery.