What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is the intentional use of art making to explore personal issues or concerns within a therapeutic relationship. Creating art and reflecting on the art symbols, people can increase self-awareness. Being artistic is not necessary to benefit from art therapy. No previous art experience or artistic talent is needed to participate in art therapy. Art therapy is used as a primary form of therapy or serves as an accompanying treatment to other forms of therapy.
Art represents a symbolic communication. The art becomes significant in enhancing verbal exchange between the client and the art therapist. With therapeutic guidance and support, art making can facilitate new insights, expression of emotions, resolve conflicts, and formulate new perceptions that in turn lead to positive changes, growth and healing.
What Art Therapy Can Accomplish?
* Gives another language to what cannot be easily put into words, a symbolic language
* Allows for expression of feelings including anger, rage, sadness, that can be contained in the art work
* Makes abstract feelings and memories concrete, the artist can now physically do something with the negative feelings
* Offers choice making with art materials, thus may bring new insights on how to manage the problem
* Assists in enriching the relationship with oneself and with others
* Allows space to develop a deeper sense of meaning and life purpose
* Can provide a container where unwanted feelings and thoughts can be held outside of the person
* Activates more of the brain than verbal therapy, offering additional coping skills and ideas to solve issues
Info from CarlySullens