WHEN ART MEETS PSYCHOTHERAPY...
Art therapy (or art psychotherapy) is a form of psychotherapy using the creative process in a safe therapeutic space to improve psychological and emotional health. A hybrid discipline, its roots lie in both art and psychotherapy.
In art therapy, art making is used to support clients to express feelings that may be difficult to verbalise, to explore their emotions, to clarify and resolve inner conflicts, and to enhance self-awareness and self-esteem.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM ART THERAPY?
Art therapy benefits individuals of all ages around the world. They may experience mental health challenges, illness or trauma, or seek a greater sense of well-being and connection.
Art therapy is a visual and sensory form of psychotherapy, that engages both body and mind. Recent clinical and neuroscience research demonstrated its benefits in the amelioration of many somatically-based conditions, including depression, trauma reactions and memories, post traumatic stress, pain and fatigue perception.
IN CASE YOU ARE WONDERING...
You don't need to know
how to draw to start art therapy.
Art therapy doesn't require any skills in art making, don't fret! It is very different from art classes you may know. Art therapists support you to connect to creativity and imagination, and to find your own ways to express yourself.
Don't expect an art therapist
to interpret your images!
Each person gives a different meaning to an image, based on their background, personality and art making process. Art therapists don't analyse artworks: they help you to reflect on your own creative process and meaning making.
Artworks created in art therapy
sessions are strictly confidential.
Each image speaks of your inner thoughts and may contain powerful feelings: it will be kept confidential and safely stored by the art therapist during your collaboration, and given back to you when sessions end.
Art therapy is a safe collaboration with a mental health professional.
Art therapists are mental health professionals trained at Master's level about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, the healing potential of the creative process, and art material properties.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A SESSION?
Art therapy sessions take place in a private therapy room where it is safe and comfortable to make art. There is a variety of art media available, such as pencils, pastels, acrylic paint, watercolours, clay, collage or 3D items. You have time to get to know the art therapist and you engage with art materials in your own time.
Art therapy starts by a discussion on your situation and objectives, similarly to any other psychotherapy intervention, and a confidentiality agreement. Subsequently, the art therapist may give you themes to create an image, or simply suggest you to engage in spontaneous expression using art materials. Art making is typically followed by sharing and reflection about your experience and your image.