What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a clinical based mental health profession where clients are treated by a master’s level psychotherapist who obtained a masters’ degrees in Art Therapy. Art therapy is facilitated by an art therapist, using traditional talk psychotherapy, art materials, and art making where the resulting artwork is used to explore feelings, learn behavioral management, come to term with conflict, create a stronger sense of self and self-awareness, increase self-esteem and self-worth, and learn effective coping skills.
A goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a client’s functioning and their sense of personal well-being. Art therapy taps into the unspoken, the forgotten, the internal tape of a client’s mind and allows them opportunity to express this without words making therapy less confrontational. Many times the art making process allows clients to explore and express thoughts, feelings and situations that they find unable to express with words.
Art therapy is an excellent way to further support a client’s growth. Clients who haven’t had success in therapy may be unable to express deeper emotions, move past delusions and paranoia, utilize coping skills effectively. Through art therapy clients are given the space to express difficult, blocked or forgotten memories, feelings, experiences and images. These images are then discussed and processed with the client creating a heightened sense of self-awareness that in turn can open up the block that was stopping the client from experiencing success in therapy. Art therapy create a non-confrontational safe space where individuality, self-expression, creativity and healing are made possible with minimal talking.
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