The Creative Process of Self-Expression
What is art therapy?
Through the creative process of self-expression, art therapy encourages people to express and understand their emotions with a trained therapist. Art as a form of therapeutic intervention can heal the wounded, give language to the nonverbal, and ease the pain of illness. The creative process can open the unconscious mind and cleanse emotional pain while creating a common universal language for the therapeutic process. Art therapy is more then creating artwork. It is the process of looking and operating “outside-of-the-box” to find new creative ways to enhance and live your life.
Who can benefit from art therapy?
Anyone can benefit from Art Therapy. Art is a form of communication that has no age, no gender, no race, and no boundaries, and may achieve beneficial results from the therapeutic nature of creative expression.
Do I need any experience with art? What if I’m not very good at drawing?
No experience is necessary. The focus of art therapy is not on the quality or artistic merit of the work you create, but rather on being able to freely express what you’re feeling or experiencing using art as the tool.
Does the therapist interpret my art?
Your art is an expression of your personal thoughts and feelings and is therefore not interpreted. Guided by the therapist’s expertise and experience, together you can figure out what your art means to you. The therapist may also point out themes and patterns that emerge through your art. However, it may not be just the finished product that has therapeutic value, but also the process of making the art as well.
What if I don’t want to make art?
That’s absolutely fine. The therapy sessions are geared toward your comfort level so you can make as little or as much art as you like. There are many creative ways to process your thoughts and feelings. Examples include: creative writing, movement therapy, ecotherapy, cinematherapy, and traditional talk therapy. The focus is on finding any creative avenue in one’s life that are present and forgotten to assist in the therapeutic process.
How do I know if art therapy is right for me?
Anyone can benefit from art therapy, but only you can decide if art therapy is right for you. If you feel you would like counseling but not art therapy, those services can be provided as well. Art therapists are professionals who are professionally trained in both art and traditional talk therapy.