Art Therapy is both a verbal and non verbal approach to mental health therapy in which the client, aided by the Art Therapist, engages in artmaking to facilitate self expression, exploration of feelings, anxiety reduction, and self awareness. It is through both the making of art and the conversation which follows that a client can address their reasons for entering therapy and begin to improve their lives. Art Therapy can be used to help children, adults, and families, regardless of artistic skill level. To learn more about Art Therapy, click here.
How and why does Art Therapy work?
Somethings in life are hard to verbalize due to shame, stigma, lack of language skills, diminished cognitive ability, difficulty with abstract thinking, or trauma responses. Art therapy allows for a form of non-verbal communication to gives words to that which is difficult to talk about.
Art Therapy reinforces a sense of safety through a positive attachment to the Art Therapist coupled with the self-soothing act of art making.
We experience much of our lives visually. Describing memories and feelings in images can be a more direct means of communication.
Art making allows us to sublimate our feelings and impulses that may be socially unacceptable and destructive, and express them in a constructive way.
Discussing and reflecting on artwork after it is completed can provide valuable insight and self awareness that may be otherwise missed.
Art making is sensory based and can help regulate the body's somatic reactions to trauma, aiding in self regulation.
Artwork made in therapy can provide a unique record of client progress. As the pictures change, so do we.
Creativity and emotions both have right brain connections and are linked. It is difficult to make art and have it not relate to and affect your mood.
Simple repetitive acts involved in art making such coloring, painting, knitting or stringing beads often have relaxing and calming effects, which can help treat anxiety.
Making art helps make the unconscious conscious. Thoughts, feelings, and memories that we may not be aware of can come to the surface when we make art.
Art therapy is an experiential, active form of therapy. Creating a finished product can produce a feeling of accomplishment in the therapy process.
What is Art Therapy used to treat?
The American Art Therapy Association states that Art therapy can be used to treat persons with
Social or psychological impairment
Traumatic Brain Injury
Family and interpersonal conflict
Substance use and abuse
Do I need to be a good artist to receive Art Therapy?
You do not need to have any previous training or skill level to participate and benefit from Art Therapy. All you need is a willingness to explore using art and art making as part of your therapy process.
Thriveworks Counseling 1518 Walnut Street Suite 804 Philadelphia PA, 19102 http://thriveworks.com/philadelphia-counseling 215-399-9764