What is Art Therapy?
- Art Therapy is “art” with a little “a”, not “Art” or fine Art.
- Art Therapy is not art class , there are no grades!
- Art Therapy : no experience necessary. All ages enjoy it.
- Art Therapy is used by a trained Art Therapist, who has gotten focused graduate level training to use this special process for helping people understand themselves in order to become more effective in their personal and social lives.
- Talk Therapy + Visual Exercises
- Taps into the imagination of the Mind’s Eye
- Uses more of the brain
- Enhances learning and motivation
- Uses beauty for healing
- Process not product
- An option to enhance you counseling experience
- No experience needed
- Appropriate for all ages!
Most Art Therapists use simple drawing materials like markers, crayons, chalk and oil pastels, pencils, pens as well as watercolors, acrylic paints and magazine collage. These are pretty standard materials. Others also provide wet and plastic clay, more extensive collage materials, easels, Sculpey clay, doll making and mask making.
Many Art Therapists demonstrate how to use the different materials. Many provide a simple creative activity to help the client “warm up ” or “check in”. Some clients know exactly what they want to do when they come and pick the materials they want to use. Many people are delighted as they open up to their Inner Artist that has always been there waiting to be let out!
Many Art Therapists use “art directives” which are specific creative suggestions to help a client get in touch with a feeling, clarify a thought or to solve a problem or visualize how they want to change.
Feelings can be overwhelming and difficult to talk about.
Making art can make the feeling more concrete. Something you can look at, touch and even change.
Many times a client will come in agitated and upset and begin to calm down after beginning an art directive. The activity gives them something to focus on and a way to “exform” or vent that feeling. The feeling or experience in that moment can be a way to help the client practice letting go or accepting themselves in a new way.
Art Therapy Promotes:
- The Creative Process
- Distraction from Pain
- The Relaxation Response
- Independence and Confidence
- Stress Inoculation
- Problem Solving
- Emotion Regulation
- Self Awareness
These are all steps towards feeling more in control and gaining clarity. Not to mention having some fun while you’re at it!
The creative process for self improvement, spiritual awakening and healing the heart:
- Freeing the Creative Spirit: Drawing on the Power of Art to Tap the Magic & Wisdom Within by Adriana Diaz, M.C. Richards (Foreword by)
- Our Lady of Weight Loss: Miraculous and Motivational Musings from the Patron Saint of Permanent Fat Removal by Janice Taylor
- Breaking Free from Emotional Eating by Geneen Roth
- Soul Collage Evolving by Seena Frost
- The Creative Journal by Lucia Capacchione, Phd