Art therapy, Art Psychotherapy, is a form of psychotherapy where artistic mediums are used to help explore emotions and thoughts by using art as a medium for communication. Being practical and using physical objects, such as paintbrushes and paper, often helps people to feel more connected to the world around them and assist those who find it difficult to verbalise feelings. Arts therapy emphasises the process of making art rather than the final product. Therapists practicing arts therapy foster a supportive and empathetic relationship with their clients and help them to explore their creativity for its own sake and as a way to nurture personal growth. A therapist trained in Art Therapy/Art Psychotherapy can also help their client with identifying and explaining feelings or ideas expressed within their art work. Using the medium of arts allows clients to explore feelings related to trauma or a stressful life experience which have yet to be addressed.
Art therapy, based on the theory that being creative may be healing and it is a type of psychotherapy which uses art as its main form of treatment. A qualified Art Therapist can assist clients of all ages with expressing emotions in a healthy way, with handling stress or trauma and to increase their awareness and self-esteem through creating art and carrying out the art making process. Art therapy requires no previous artist skills and can benefit individuals with mental health problems, learning disabilities, neurological conditions, or physical disabilities.
Who would benefit from Arts therapy?
Art therapy can be effective for individuals who have problems verbally expressing themselves. In non-clinical settings, such as art studios and workshops, the focus on creative development can be useful when working with children and adolescents, as well as adults, couples, families, groups, and communities.
Art therapy can also be useful for individuals who have experienced trauma, such as refugees, and for individuals with learning problems.