colorful watercolor painting

What is Art Therapy?

Do I need to be an artist or a child to do Art Therapy/Psychotherapy?


Visual artists and children are often naturally drawn to art therapy.

And, we all have the ability to express our creativity using art.

Art is symbolic, as is the alphabet.

Using art in Art Therapy can be as simple as writing the letters of your name in marker, pounding on a piece of clay and seeing where your hand moves the clay naturally, or cutting out photos from a magazine and pasting them on a sheet of paper.

It can be using paint when angry and painting an entire page black.

And, its much, much more.

To learn more about how we use Art Therapy/Psychotherapy.

Will we do Art in every session?

Creating art will happen as much or as little as works for you.

Using art is a way of working that reflects who you are, where you are at and what you are looking to achieve. It is your process.

Art is a vehicle to help you grow in ways you may never have imagined possible.

Can we use art all the time? Of course.

Will talking be a part of our work?

If you choose, there can be sessions where the entire time is spent creating art, though generally at least some part of our time together is talking.

And, depending on the work we're doing, your goals, and how you want things to go, it can be a greater or lesser part of the overall therapy experience.

How we use Art/Creative Processes?

You ALWAY have CHOICE in whether to create art or not, and if you do, you may well be surprised by your creative flow.

There are also ways to integrate the creative process without ever touching hand to materials.

Below are some ways that the creative process can emerge.

  • Creating art may naturally arise out of our talking about what is going on in your life or in the moment

  • Using art can be beneficial at getting to something that words are not expressing

  • You may come in to the session with an idea that you want to create

  • We might use your imagination to visualize images that are never physically created, but instead, explored verbally

  • You might create art between sessions that we then explore when we meet

  • And art may be used for reasons I have not thought of here

Click here to learn more about our work together in Art Therapy/Psychotherapy.

Do I need to bring my own Art Materials or do you have them?

Materials are provided for you in the session.

However, please be aware many people that have never used art become so excited about the process that they do go out and buy materials so that they can have them at home.

For working together remotely, I have provided a list of supplies with a broad (yet limited) range of materials that can be found on the Resources page.

*When in person during the time of Covid, I will provide a set of materials that are yours. There may be shared materials such as SandTray or magazines available. If you choose to work with shared materials, know that they will be cleaned between use or if that is not possible, they will become yours. And when possible it is asked that gloves (which I will provide) be used.

What is Art Therapy? (Unabridged Definition)

"Art Therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship. Art Therapy, facilitated by a professional Art Therapist, effectively supports personal and relational treatment goals as well as community concerns. Art Therapy is used to improve cognitive and sensory-motor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change. Art Therapists are master-level clinicians who work with people of all ages across a broad spectrum of practice. Guided by ethical standards and scope of practice, their education and supervised training prepares them for culturally proficient work with diverse populations in a variety of settings. Honoring individuals' values and beliefs, art therapists work with people who are challenged with medical and mental health problems, as well as individuals seeking emotional, creative, and spiritual growth. Through integrative methods, art therapy engages the mind, body, and spirit in ways that are distinct from verbal articulation alone. Kinesthetic, sensory, perceptual, and symbolic opportunities invite alternative modes of receptive and expressive communication, which can circumvent the limitations of language. Visual and symbolic expression gives voice to experience, and empowers individual, communal, and societal transformation." © 2017 American Art Therapy Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved To learn more about how we use Art Therapy/Psychotherapy.

Who Does Art Therapy/Psychotherapy?

The short answer is everyone can, and that includes you. Do you need to consider yourself an artist to use Art Therapy/Psychotherapy? Absolutely not. Can you be an artist? Of course. When you're creating, it can be as simple as pounding clay or picking up a marker and allowing your hand to move. It's not about knowing how to draw, though knowing how to draw can be wonderful; it's about connecting to yourself in a unique way that provides new awarenesses, healing and growth. To learn more about how we use Art Therapy/Psychotherapy.

Art Therapy Artwork Gallery

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