What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy encourages utilizing art and the creative process as a way toward self expression, communication, and psychological and spiritual healing. Personal images and metaphor become reflections of the individual’s development, abilities, concerns and conflicts, that may not otherwise be described in words. Art therapy is based on knowledge of human developmental and psychological theories as well as art theory. It works toward reconciling emotional conflicts, fostering self-awareness, developing social skills, managing behavior, solving problems, reducing anxiety, aiding reality orientation, increasing self-esteem, and integrating difficult emotional content and trauma.
Art therapy is different from tradition art making because it is open to all people regardless of artistic expertise. The emphasis is on the process, and not the final product. The image becomes a sort of testament to the very moment in time it was created and therefore gives the chance to teach us, without judgment. We can step back, honor the image, and move forward.
Art therapy can be used to resolve deep inner conflict or just as a way to enhance life. It is always about engaging with that creative part of our selves that promotes natural and holistic healing.
Art Therapy can be an effective modality for almost anyone! It is an effective treatment for children, adolescents, adults, elders and families who may be facing development, medical, educational, social, or psychological challenges and is practiced in mental health counseling, rehabilitation, medical, educational, end of life and forensic institutions. Populations of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds are served by art therapists in individual, couples, family and group therapy formats.
Read our blog, What is Art Therapy, Anyhow?