What is Art Therapy?
There are many different understandings of what art therapy is; and also many different ways art therapy is used. This makes explaining what art therapy is more confusing.
First, what art therapy is NOT:
Art therapy is not a way for the therapist to interpret your personality, your deepest longings, or uncover some secret about you.
Art therapy is not colouring.
Art therapy is only drawing and painting.
not only for artists
Art therapy is a relationships between an art therapist and an individual which integrates the use of an art activity to express emotions, experiences and thoughts. The art therapy exchange may focus on the art activity as a means of expression, or the art activity may use the art process as a means of metaphor, of working through psychological issues, and developing a therapeutic relationship.
Art therapy is also known as art psychotherapy, expressive art therapy, creative arts therapy. It can use drawing, writing, painting, drumming, dancing, drama, craft-making, clay and jewellery-making - most creative activities. Often art therapy uses several methods of creative making to process issues and deepen self-understanding. Art therapy is effective with anyone, not only artists. Actually, the art activity is within a safe, non-judgemental relationship, often empowering art where individuals felt non-creative.
When I facilitate art therapy, my presence is integral to the individual's expression, self-reflection, and therapy. I do not interpret what the images may say, instead it is the clients interpretation of the image that will provide the most therapeutic understanding and change.
Here are several articles on Art Therapy.
Art therapy with refugees
I believe art is wonderful way of healing, and expressing our humanity. Art therapy can help with your self-understanding and help you work through conflicts in a powerful way. Try it!