Almost all types of therapy are useful if they are conducted with the right person and in an ethical manner. Therapy allows for a safe space in which we can discuss ourselves, our insights, our private thoughts, and our deepest desires. A good therapist can help us learn how to best help ourselves when we are in need. Therapy is an amazing experience in itself, so why bring art into the mixture?
Art therapy is very different from art used with therapy. Art used with therapy is therapy that uses art as a tool. This type of therapy is often practiced by counsellors without additional art therapy training. This can be helpful for clients; however, it should not be thought of as art therapy.
An art therapist, a person who is trained in art therapy, is always mindful of the fact that the client and the therapist work with art to gain insight rather than using art. I personally beleive that the process of working with art can facilitate amazing insight, help heal very old emotional wounds, and often leads to profound insight during sessions.
Art is everywhere, and is thus relatable for everyone. Art crosses cultural barriers, language barriers, and gender barriers. Working with art during a therapy session allows for the client to express the inexpressible. Have you ever tried to explain how you feel and been unable to do so? Art allows you to express that feeling without words.
For example, this image was used to express the feeling of hope-or something akin to hope. The feeling itself couldn’t be verbally explained, however this is how I felt at the time.
Art has an uncanny way of unblocking creative expression and creative problem solving abilities. I often ask my clients to try to create one thing ever day between sessions. For the clients that adhere to this homework there are usually profound shifts in the way they view the world, how they solve problems at work and at home, and often a shift in how vivid their dreams become. For the clients who work with me long-term, the sketch book becomes a visual diary of our sessions and the work they have done. It is extremely gratifying to return to an image from a difficult time and thank it for its help. It is also amazing to witness the power these images have for both the client and the therapist that has the privilege of working with them.
Are you interested in art therapy? Do you have questions about art therapy?
Feel free to send us an email or come in for a free consult. We are always more than happy to talk about the amazing powers of art!
Thank you for existing!