What is Art Therapy?

November 19

What is art therapy?

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy using art materials as a primary mode of communication. There is no pressure to be good at art, and no previous experience is necessary.  It’s about developing a personal language with the material and using that to express yourself.

A trained and registered Art Therapist can support and encourage an individual to express some of their more difficult feelings, allowing these to be explored in a safe and confidential environment. Therapy can be seen as a journey of self-discovery and it’s through developing a confidence within that a person may begin to improve their emotional wellbeing.

Who would benefit from this kind of therapy?

Art therapy can benefit all ages and is suitable for a wide range of issues, disabilities and diagnosis. It can be a good option for someone who finds it difficult to talk directly to another - finding it hard to find the right word - or maybe those words by themselves are not enough. 

Working individually or in groups

Art therapy can be flexible and adaptable to most needs. Sessions can be with individuals on a one to one basis, dyadically - where the relationship is explored between two people (for instance a parent and child), or with a group of people perhaps focusing on a common issue or experience. 

Some quotes from people who have attended art therapy.

  • ‘My session is better than just talking… I get to make stuff’
  • ‘Last week he came home really perky, he was buzzing’
  • ‘I’m too biased as a mum, so it’s nice she has somewhere else to take these feelings - somewhere neutral’
  • ‘He wants to come each week; he calls it his special art time’

 

Thank you to Alison McWhinnie, MA, BAAT, Reg. HCPC Art Therapist and 

Marissa Pajot Webb, The Orchid Practice (see p…)

 

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