What is art therapy/art psychotherapy?
Art therapy or art psychotherapy is a form of psychotherapy which uses art as its primary mode of communication.
The use of art media enables self-exploration and the expression of emotions in a non-verbal way. This non-verbal approach is particularly helpful for people who feel uncomfortable with more traditional ‘talking’ therapies.
Advantages of Art Therapy/Art Psychotherapy
Art therapy can encourage clients to:
• express feelings that may be difficult to verbalise
• explore their imagination and creativity
• develop healthy coping skills and focus
• improve self-esteem and confidence
• identify and clarify issues and concerns
• increase communication skills
• share in a safe nurturing environment
• identify blocks to emotional expression and personal growth.
The psychological value of Art therapy explores how past relationships and experiences affects an individual’s current circumstances. In order for this to be facilitated a trusting relationship is built between therapist and client, and ‘art making’ provides a form of expression so that personal development or growth can occur in a safe and supportive environment.
Art therapists are able to use their discipline in a flexible manner and therefore can be used with individuals and groups in a variety of settings including:
• Social care
• Private practice
All Art therapists are professionally qualified, having under taken a two year Masters degree incorporating theoretical and experiential components. All Art therapists are expected to maintain professional standards and therefore must be registered with the Health and Care Professional Council.
For more information visit the British Association of Art Therapists: www.baat.org