What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy is a mental health profession that uses art as a vehicle to communicate issues in order to improve the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. This practice is in the presence and guidance of a certified Art Therapist, who is skilled in evaluation and psychotherapy and trained to choose art materials and supportive interventions for their client in order to achieve therapeutic goals and objectives. Learn more about the evolution of Art Therapy in Lynn's blog post: What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy provides an effective means to address the following challenges:

  • anxiety and depression

  • social and family difficulties

  • low self-esteem

THE ART THERAPY PROCESS
Evaluation: Lynn does not use formalized assessments or manualized approaches in her approach. To determine the approach, a questionnaire is provided to gather information. The first session will be an exploration of different materials and directives. The approach will be determined based upon verbal, written, and artistic information provided by the client.
Directive: The Art Therapy Directive that would be utilized (bibliotherapy, sensory exploration, self-expression, etc.) is dependent on the therapeutic environment and the developmental needs of the client. 
Art Making: In Art Therapy, we recognize the process of creation not just the product. The process of drawing, painting, or constructing is a complex one in which the client brings together diverse elements of their experience to make a new and meaningful whole. 
Parents: Learn more in Lynn's blog post: Art Therapy for Children - The Creative Process
Interpretation: Connecting the act of handling a difficult situation or one that is out of our control and how we are able to work through it provides us with strategies and tools for us to use in the real world. 
Gaining Insight: Once an image or structure has been created, the Art Therapist will facilitate discussions to help the client understand and integrate new ways of dealing with their concerns, whether personal, social, family, work or school related.
Goal Setting: Treatment goals are collaboratively established and are individualized based on the clients needs.
Real World Practice: The client begins to move toward increasing independence by developing a sense of self as an individual with capacity to accomplish and master simple situations. Art production can be a vehicle for socialization and reality adaptation.
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The symbolic images that are created in an Art Therapy session can express feelings and ideas that are often too powerful or confusing to communicate verbally.

 

Art helps to organize the chaotic nature of internal worlds, especially when trauma is present.

Why Art Therapy?

  • ​​Catharsis and conflict resolution 

  • Clarifying/teaching feelings

  • Achieve personal insight 

  • Manage problematic behaviors 

  • Experiment with new behaviors

  • Reduce negative stress 

  • Increasing attention & frustration tolerance

  • Enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of art making

  • Facilitating identity development

  • Generating alternatives

  • Improving self-observation

  • Improving impulse control

  • Taking risks

  • Acquire stress-relieving tools

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"Art washes away from the soul

the dust of everyday life."

                            -Picasso