Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy, with a unique emphasis on communicating through the art-making process instead of the spoken word. Art-making is natural and spontaneous, which renders the therapy less threatening in the first place. Art Therapy addresses critical concerns that pose a threat to an individual’s emotional, social, and psychological well-being.
The creative process involved in making art is life-enhancing and inherently therapeutic. Art Therapy is strengthening and builds confidence and self-esteem. The art expression and creativity focus on healing and reflection. Art making is comfortable, safe, familiar, and therefore sessions are less anxiety provoking than conventional therapy. In the sessions, clients are given freedom and choice, using the art materials in the way that is most helpful to them. Clients are encouraged to explore and experiment, to begin working through difficult feelings at their own pace. The emphasis is on the process of creating rather than on the end product.
Art Therapy helps clients to express their thoughts and feelings in a contained environment. It can help them to deal with their problems and difficulties, using art as symbolic language for exploring the client’s issues. We encourage them to tell their stories and discover their own interpretations, using the art as a processing tool.
The therapist provides a non-judgemental, confidential, supportive and consistent space. They are a calm and reliable presence. The relationship between client and therapist is an important part of the therapy. It involves trust and the benefits of sincere interest and attention. The active presence and interaction with the therapist encourages recovery through creative activity. The therapist’s constant attitude is to empower the client to find and develop their own capacities and skills.
The essence of Art Therapy lies in the therapeutic outcome of the creative activity.