Art therapy involves the use of creative techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, coloring, or sculpting to help people express themselves artistically and examine the psychological and emotional undertones in their art. With the guidance of a credentialed art therapist, clients can “decode” the nonverbal messages, symbols, and metaphors often found in these art forms, which should lead to a better understanding of their feelings and behavior so they can move on to resolve deeper issues.
Who Can Art Therapy Help?
Art therapy helps children, adolescents, and adults explore their emotions, their behavior, their school work, improve self-esteem, manage addictions, relieve stress, improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, and cope with a physical illness or disability. All Art therapists work with individuals, couples, and groups in a variety of settings, including private counseling , hospitals, wellness centers, correctional institutions, senior centers, and other community organizations. There is no artistic talent required for art therapy to succeed, the therapeutic process isn’t about the artistic process of the work, it is rather about finding associations between the creative choices made and a client’s inner life. The artwork can be used as a springboard for reawakening memories and telling stories that may reveal messages and beliefs from the unconscious mind.
What to Expect
As with any form of therapy, your first session will consist of your talking to the therapist about why you want to find help and learning what the therapist has to offer. Together, you will come up with a treatment plan that involves creating some form of artwork. Once you begin creating, the therapist may, at times, simply observe your process as you work, without interference or judgment. When you have finished a piece of artwork—and sometimes while you are still working on it—the therapist will ask you questions along the lines of how you feel about the artistic process, what was easy or difficult about creating your artwork, and what thoughts or memories you may have had while you were working. Generally, the therapist will ask about your experience and feelings before providing any observations.
How Does Art Therapy Work?
Art therapy is founded on the belief that self-expression through artistic creation has therapeutic value for those who are healing or seeking deeper understanding of themselves and their personalities. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapists are trained to understand the roles that color, texture, and various art media can play in the therapeutic process and how these tools can help reveal one’s thoughts, feelings, and psychological disposition. Art therapy integrates psychotherapy and some form of visual arts as a specific, stand-alone form of therapy, but it is also used in combination with other types of therapy.
We offer programs for children and adults. Please contact me for more information. 518-356-8900 or email: email@example.com