What is art therapy?

What is art therapy?

Art therapy, a form of psychotherapy, offers emotional and psychological support during the most difficult times of life. Working with a qualified art therapist helps people access art materials, discover the creative process and support them as they explore their thoughts and feelings through the images they create.

The process of image making and discussion in art therapy enables people to reflect and share experiences in a safe and confidential place. It can support people to reduce anxiety and help them understand and deal with emotional problems, as well as encouraging them to get to know themselves better and develop self-awareness.

Clients do not have to be ‘good at art’ and no previous experience is required. Art therapy can support people who face a variety of issues, such as emotional or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions, or physical illness and much more. It offers a valuable alternative to talking therapies for people who find it too difficult, or too painful, to talk about their emotions or experiences. This is because art therapy uses art as the main form of expression and communication.

There are many books, articles and videos about art therapy, and the book ‘The Handbook of Art Therapy’ by Caroline Case & Tessa Dalley is a good foundation if you would like to learn more about it, why not visit your local library or bookshop to get a copy?!