ART THERAPY and sandplay therapy
“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.” C. G. Jung
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 or 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.
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
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.
Sandplay Therapy is another modality that provides a creative way of expressing what may be beyond words. By placing miniature objects in a tray of sand in the presence of a trained Therapist, a child or adult can experience the freedom often found in child’s play. Like the creation of an art object, scenes created in the sand can be processed to provide access to important issues that may be hidden from our everyday conscious mind. Sandtray Therapy is a humanistic approach to creating stories in the sand. Jungian Sandplay Therapy, the modality I studied in a one year training, is another creative approach to therapy and can be extremely useful as therapy for those interested in a strictly non-verbal approach, and is useful for those who wish to verbally process their work as well.
For further information about Art Therapy, the following sites are recommended: