What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy which uses making art as its primary mode of communication. The creative process of making art can be very healing in itself and very often the picture or product involved also plays a valuable and meaningful part in the ongoing therapeutic process.

Art Therapy differs from other psychological therapies in that it is a three-way process between the client, the therapist, and the image or artefact. By reflecting on the piece of art which has been produced the client often develops a deeply meaningful relationship with his or her creation which in return often gives deep insights into themselves and the issues they are struggling with.

Art Therapy offers a fantastic opportunity for non-verbal expression and communication and can be particularly helpful to people who find it hard to express their thoughts and feelings in words due to the depth or pain involved in the issue or because they have repressed past experiences to such an extent that they can’t access them verbally. In short: when words are not enough, we turn to images and symbols to tell our stories.

Art Therapy also offers the chance to express oneself imaginatively, authentically, and spontaneously in a way that is not possible with spoken language, and this can often make it a very freeing experience. It also provides an emotional outlet that feels safe because it is contained within the artistic creation, and the handling of physical materials often gives an additional emotional stability.

It is not at all important to have special skills or previous experience of the arts to use and benefit from this kind of approach to therapeutic work. The aim is not to produce a wonderful piece of art but to use the process of making art as a non-verbal language to express oneself freely and connect deeply within.

Reading these lines has possibly touched you somewhere within, and you might intuitively know that this gentle and creative approach to therapy is for you.

For more information on Art Therapy go to http://www.baat.org

For an appointment with your personal psychotherapist, contact me here.