Below I have offered some of the most frequent questions regarding art therapy. Please note, that my work as a therapist is influenced by various tenets, experiences and teachings. Although I am trained as an art therapist, my practice is always growing and transforming, and is a collection of various techniques, traditions, and ideologies. With each client, we work together to access therapuetic goals and embark on a creative journey to work with and understand any issues or hopes that arise. If you have further questions, please proceed to the contact page and fill out the form and submit any questions you may have. Thank you!
What exactly is Art Therapy?
The Official Answer:
Art therapy is an established mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight (American Art Therapy Association [AATA]).
My definition of art therapy is inspired by one of my professors and mentors, Pat Allen. She states that "art therapy is mostly about getting other people to know themselves through art making."
Isn't Art Therapy just for kids?
The most common assoication with art therapy is children. Children are naturally receptive to art therapy, because it aligns with their creative and curious impulses. In addition, Art Therapy provides a "voice" for children to express feeling and situations that they may not yet have the ability to express clearly in words. On the same note, as adults we often find ourselves at a loss for words in many of life's moments. The creative process also allows us a way to bypass the intellectual side of our brains that hold on to idelologies, personal stories and beleifs, and illuminates the wisdom of the unconscious. Art Therapy is beneficial for adults of all ages.
Don't you have to be an artist to benefit from Art Therapy?
This is one of the biggest myths about art therapy. Many of us can recall when as a child we put down our brush, pencil or clay, because it wasn't "good enough". Art therapy is not about the finished product, it is about the richness found in the creative process. You will never be judged for your artistic abilities, just as you would never be measured on how clearly you articulate feelings and topics in a talk therapy setting. If you have any worries, fears or trauma surrounding earlier art making experiences as a child, adolescent or adult, please share this with me. I will work with your concerns and introduce art making at pace that feels comfortable and appropriate for your indivdiual needs.
What happens during our time together?
We meet for an initial assessment that is 90 minutes in length. I will provide an intake form that allows you to provide answers to questions that typically come up when you first meet with a therapist. Each session differs to each individuals needs and goals. The session could include traditional talk therapy, art-making, journaling or getting outside. It is a process of unfolding and there is not a prescribed plan or interpretative master list. Like any therapuetic partnership, it varies and is developed with the indvidual's needs and desires in mind.
"Imagination is not the talent of some men, but the health of everyman." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
just the faqs
"Unused creativity is not" benign, it metastisizes and turns into grief, rage, sorrow, judgement, shame." --Brene Brown