What is Art Therapy?
Studies indicate that creative expression has a variety of benefits including reduction of stress and improvement in mood and cognition. Art Therapy, as defined by the American Art Therapy Association, is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.
Where can I find Art Therapy?
Art Therapy is practiced in a number of settings including but not limited to private practice, community programs, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, psychiatric facilities and schools. It can be facilitated within individual, couples, family or group treatment.
How does Art Therapy Work?
Aided by the facilitator, the client engages in the creative process using a variety of media based on the treatment needs. The process of creating art builds mindfulness and is as important as the finished work. Together, the client and facilitator explore both the process and finished product which encourages the client to gain insight and self-awareness. While the facilitator is witness and guide to the Art Therapy process, it is the client who is empowered to utilize and interpret his or her own art to find personal meaning and discover strengths.
Who can benefit from Art Therapy?
Every person possesses the capabilities needed to engage in creative expression. Each person who does so has the potential to experience its benefits. Therefore, the use of Art Therapy in treatment is not restricted by age, skill level or even, in many cases, physical disability. All that is required is an openness to engage in the exploratory process of creating. Those who face challenges resulting from trauma or medical, physical, social, psychological, and/or emotional impairment may benefit from Art Therapy as well as those seeking general well-being and personal insight.
Find out more about art therapy contact Shani Bell.