What is Art therapy? And how can it help?
Making sense of our ‘inner world’ by expressing into our ‘outer world’.
Which makes sense right! Because we are such visual creatures! Whether this be our minds eye or our sight, we all see imagery which plays a part in how we decipher our thoughts & feelings.
Art therapy is a powerful form of psychotherapy.
By using the creative process of making art to improve and enhance a person's physical, mental, and emotional well-being, it creates and facilitates an environment to make the unconscious, conscious. This therapeutic approach allows individuals to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behaviour and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.
Art therapy sessions always look a little different depending on the individuals needs and wants and also their relationship with art making, using various art forms such as painting, drawing, sculpture, and other visual media, individuals are encouraged to express themselves freely.
Art therapists work closely with their clients, by facilitating the exploration of their inner world and guiding them through the creative process.
Those that find it challenging to express themselves verbally, may find it hard to understand how they are feeling themselves or are unable to articulate their emotions effectively; art therapy is a perfect way to help integrate emotions and feelings and bring them to light.
A lot of people think Art therapy is only for children……
Art therapy is not limited to any specific age group or demographic.
Yes, children seem to be able to create without a sense of ‘ego’ you might say, and it may seem to come easier to them as at a young age it is one of the first forms of communication they learn. And this is exactly the reason why it is beneficial for adults to try art therapy, to be rid of these blocks, these constrictions we place on ourselves with time, let go of that ego that's telling us art has to look a certain way. When and why did we start grading art in school? Art is an expression and is unique to every single individual……
We are all artists.
Think about that for a moment…..
Art Therapy has been found to be effective for all ages, helping them to confront and address a wide range of emotional and psychological challenges. For example, it has shown significant promise in treating individuals dealing with trauma, grief, stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
The nonverbal nature of art provides a safe and supportive space for individuals to confront difficult emotions and experiences. As they create and engage with the art, they can gain insights into their own behaviour and thought patterns, leading to increased self-awareness and personal growth.
Ultimately, the goal of art therapy is to facilitate personal development, improve interpersonal relationships, and promote emotional well-being.
In the busyness of the daily fast-paced and often stressful world, art therapy is a great module and holistic approach to mental health care, offering a unique and effective way for individuals to process and manage their emotions. Its ability to tap into the creative potential within each person makes it a powerful tool for healing and personal transformation.
by Kate Calder
Diploma Art Therapy
Kate is a holistic therapist with a passion to help others on their healing journey. She has a Diploma in Art Therapy and is a member of the Holistic Health Associates International.
Kate is available for sessions at the clinic every Monday and Tuesday afternoons. You can book a session with her here.