What is Art Psychotherapy?
Art Psychotherapy is a psychological therapy, which uses the art making process to improve physical mental or emotional wellbeing. Art psychotherapists facilitate the creative process during therapy to help their client’s gain self-awareness, understanding and self-esteem. The creative process is used as a means for integrating experiences that may be difficult to understand.
The artwork made in therapy is not interpreted by the art psychotherapist. The therapist and the client together explore the meaning of the artwork for the client through dialogue about the process and the artwork itself.
How could Art Psychotherapy be useful?
People who are experiencing a complex range of thoughts and feelings may benefit from exploring these in a safe environment within a trusted relationship developed with the therapist. Drawing can be relaxing both mentally and physically. As a non-verbal form of communication, it can be helpful to express feelings which may not otherwise be communicated. Reflecting back on images over time can be very effective for developing self-understanding.
Do you need to be good at art for Art Psychotherapy?
You do not need to have a flair for art. The art psychotherapist is not primarily concerned with the quality or skill involved in producing artwork, but seeks to encourage self-expression and reflection through the creative process.
How is Art Psychotherapy conducted?
Individual sessions take place confidentially in a quiet room between the therapist and the client and usually last for 50 minutes. The use of art materials such as paint, crayons, pencils and clay are used to create images or objects as a means to communicate thoughts and feelings. Artwork is stored confidentially between sessions. Review sessions normally take place after the first 6 weeks.