Art Therapy is the use of art-making in a therapeutic setting. Art therapy does not require artistic ability, experience or talent! Rather, clients are gently encouraged to explore the creative and imaginative realms, as the therapist attends with sensitivity to the individual's needs and goals. A wide range of art materials -colored pencils, markers, oil and chalk pastels, paints, clay, images for collages, a variety of papers- are offered as tools to assist in the therapeutic process. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, you can increase awareness of yourself and others, cope with your symptoms, stress and past experiences, enhance your cognitive abilities, and enjoy the life-affirming pleasure of making art!
Who can Art Therapy help?
Art therapy can be helpful for people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in daily life, and for those seeking personal development. Common issues explored in art therapy include anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and life transitions.
Perfect candidates for Art Therapy are people who:
- who have difficulty verbalizing feelings.
- who are flooded by anxiety, grief, or depression.
- who are stuck or feeling hopeless.
- who have trouble communicating with words.
- who are stalled in their current talk therapy.
- who want to recapture or grow their creative abilities.
- who want to deepen their relationships and life experience
The process of Art Therapy:
- frees you to express and work with feelings non-verbally.
- allows you to maintain a safe distance from deeply painful experiences while processing those experiences.
- provides a safe way to gain insight into anxiety provoking material.
- helps you to experience hope and excitement for the future through the use of color, shape, and experimentation.
- generally utilizes drawing, painting, sculpture, collage photography and other forms of visual art expression.
A typical session:
- begins with a brief conversation about what issues and thoughts you bring into session.
- invites you to engage in an art-making activity especially designed to help you uncover unique solutions to your specific problems.
- allows time for verbal discussion of your art work and art experience to increase self understanding and to integrate unconscious material revealed through art.
Art Therapist Qualifications:
- Art Therapists are professionals trained in both art and therapy. They are knowledgeable about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art.
- The American Art Therapy Association, Inc. (AATA) sets educational, professional, and ethical standards for its members. The Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc. (ATCB), an independent organization, grants credentials. Registration (ATR) is granted upon completion of graduate education and postgraduate supervised experience.
Board Certification (ATR-BC) is granted to Registered Art Therapists who pass a written examination, and is maintained through continuing education.