According to the American Art Therapy Association, "Art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship. Art therapy, facilitated by a professional art therapist, effectively supports personal and relational treatment goals as well as community concerns. Art therapy is used to improve cognitive and sensorimotor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change."
Why Art Therapy instead of traditional talk therapy?
Art Therapy is unique in that it helps client access memories, thoughts and feelings that are often encoded in our brains as images or other sensations. Words are not always readily available or truly convey someone's experience. Art Therapy works on a number of levels within the brain and the variety of art materials help us access these sometimes elusive parts of our minds. As the American Art Therapy Association also notes, "Kinesthetic, sensory, perceptual, and symbolic opportunities invite alternative modes of receptive and expressive communication, which can circumvent the limitations of language."
How does an Art Therapy session work?
Much like a traditional individual talk therapy session, we meet for 60 minutes. First there's an initial intake assessment wherein I check in with you about your presenting concerns. Then we move to working together to build your unique treatment plan to help you reach your goals. I invite my clients to use art materials in a number of possible ways depending on their needs. Some examples where art making might be used include: as an icebreaker to begin engaging the mind on self-reflection and expression, as a way to express ones thoughts or feelings visually, as a way to process past or current experiences, as a way to visualize a different future for oneself, and as a way to improve self-esteem and mastery. The art making can be a way to open up about difficult things and face them while also providing you some distance at the same time. When it comes to making art in session I often remind my clients they are not in art class being judged or critiqued. The art work created during a session is discussed, explored, and most importantly honored. It's all about the process not the product.
The information contained in in this site is for informational purposes only and is not professional advice or a substitute for therapy. Information in this site is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a client-therapist relationship.