Art can be said to be – and can be used as – the externalized map of our interior self.
Peter London, No More Secondhand Art
Art Therapy is a therapy modality that utilizes visual art to express what sometimes words alone cannot. It emphasizes developing and expressing images that come from inside the person. It can be a way to express those inner most feelings, fears, or thoughts that can sometimes feel incredibly difficult or even impossible, to release verbally.
The process of art making in and of itself can be a healing experience while the art product can communicate information that is relevant and important to the therapeutic process. Art can help us organize our feelings, thoughts, and perceptions of the world through images. The image itself can be a way of externalizing what’s on the inside and provide us with an opportunity to interact with our internal process in a more concrete and contained way.
If comfortable, my clients are invited to utilize the art process as a means of self-expression and self-exploration, releasing difficult emotions or experiences, accessing sub-conscious thoughts and processes, and visualizing healing. I enjoy using art therapy with clients because I strongly believe in the healing that the art making process can bring. I enjoy interacting with the art product along with my client and using it as a tool for greater understanding. I believe that art therapy can also greatly enhance the verbal exchange between client and therapist, bring forth greater insight and facilitate greater emotional release.
You DO NOT have to be an artist to benefit from Art Therapy. Any one of any age can experience the richness and healing that art therapy can provide.