What is Art Therapy?



        
Art therapy can be understood as psychotherapy with an additional media of art materials. Both verbal communication and art are used to allow different modes of communication and expression to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing. It is an art-based psychological intervention that aims at improving one's state of mind and wellbeing, for example, to reduce stress, anxiety, confusion, disturbing thoughts, pain and depression; and decreasing self harming, disruptive, or unfavourable behaviours. Clients are facilitated to experience themselves and others in different ways through art with therapeutic support. 

        Art therapists work with children, young people, adults and the elderly. Clients may have a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses. These include emotional, behavioural or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions and physical illnesses. This method of counselling/ psychotherapy can be particularly useful when verbal language does not come naturally or with people who are overly articulate and rational even in traumatic events and/ or overwhelming emotions. It allows you a space and means to explore and reflect on difficult situations and emotions safely with the presence of a professional therapist. 

        Periods of our lives can feel difficult and helpless at times, affecting our everyday lives and our relationship with others. These experiences can feel out of our control and overwhelming. This is when therapy can really help. Art therapy is provided in groups or individually, depending on clients’ needs. Clients do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in art.

(Reference: British Association of Art Therapists)