What is art therapy?
Art therapy is a recognized form of therapy that uses artmaking as a “language” to express thoughts and feelings. It allows for pictures to see what is happening on the inside and is a way of “listening with the eyes”.
It is very natural to use art as a way to communicate because our earliest experiences of thinking, way before we had words were in pictures.
Is there any scientific basis?
Evidence-based and practice-based research is well established in all the arts therapies including visual art therapy, dance and movement therapy, drama-therapy and music therapy.
Why I love art therapy?
I believe art therapy to be one of the most effective ways of working with people and I am always amazed at its incredible power to heal and communicate things we just do not have the words for. I use art therapy quite often, even with my couples and most clients enjoy the experience, even those who don’t see themselves as creative.
Do you have to be artistic?
Often people feel a little shy about making art. Art therapy has nothing to do with being “artistic” but is about an experience of discovery and expression using art to communicate.
I encourage my clients to have a go and see what happens. Usually they are quite surprised by what happens!
What are the advantages of art therapy?
It safely and gently helps communicate traumatic experiences that cannot be spoken about or even remembered.
- Helps people to better understand their feelings and clarify their issues.
- Relieves tension and is calming.
- It helps express feelings that may be difficult to put into in words.
Art making helps the different parts of the brain to connect and “rewire” to create new pathways. Art therapy also helps couples to share feelings and thoughts more clearly and even “talk” all at once!
How does it work?
I will always ask if you would like to use art to explore your feelings or an issue. If they answer is “yes”, then I may suggest an art exercise or invite you to use the art materials provided in my studio/room and you go ahead and draw, paint, use clay or magazine pictures. I allow the process to unfold as naturally as possible but will let you know when it is time to finish so we have enough time to talk about what you have made.
Can couples do art therapy?
Yes, there are some sessions in which couples may be invited to use the art materials. For example I may suggest a couple work on a painting together or create a collage of their vision for their relationship. Feedback from the “couple painting” exercise has been really positive.
If you would like to find out more about how art therapy could benefit you or you would like to book a session then please contact me!