WHAT IS ART THERAPY?
Art therapy is the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development.
Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes with a trained Creative Arts Therapist, you can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms of stress and traumatic experiences, enhance cognitive abilities and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.
Art Therapy is NOT arts and crafts; we are not analyzing you and we are not judging you. Art therapy is not an Art lesson, although Art Therapists are trained artists and can assist in helping you learn to use new or unfamiliar art materials.
Art Therapy is based on the belief that creative expression is healing. One of our goals is to help you find outward expression of thoughts, physical sensations and emotions. Exploring emotions through the metaphor of images provides safety and control. Issues that are hard to put your finger on may become clearer to you through art expression.
Art Therapy can be especially useful for people who may resist conventional psychotherapy or may be unable to find words to make sense of what is happening.
Creating something allows energy from the body to manifest through the hands into something that did not exist before. The object can then be looked at as a representation of something that was previously held inside and now can be looked at objectively.
Art and music serve as metaphors for human experience. Their power can be beyond words. The job of the Creative Arts Therapist is to help you access and channel this emotion and find a means to disperse and communicate the emotion.
The goals of creative arts therapy are:
Facilitating release of tension
Decreasing sense of isolation
Increasing frustration tolerance by accepting the imperfection of the art product
Raising awareness of feelings
Providing opportunities for understanding, growth and boosting self-esteem
You do not have to be an artist to enjoy the benefits of art therapy.
The best way to learn about Creative Arts Therapy is to experience it for yourself, for this is what separates Creative Arts Therapies from other forms of psychotherapy. Creative Arts Therapy does not provide a “one size fits all” kind of therapy but is uniquely tailored to your personal goals and life experiences.
When you give yourself permission to explore your own creativity through therapy, you free yourself from self-imposed restrictions and begin to live more authentically. Like cleaning off a pair of dirty lenses you are used to wearing, you give yourself the possibility to begin to see things with clarity. As you experience growth and freedom within the therapeutic relationship, you learn to apply new skills to your daily life and begin to grow in new ways. Creative Arts Therapy is a road to living more creatively.
For further information about Art Therapy, the following sites are recommended: