What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses a combination of images and words. It helps to express feelings in an embodied way by using the body to create art. Images created in therapy can express powerful feelings and talking about these with a therapist can help deepen personal awareness and enable a client to begin to let go of painful feelings from the past. It is an extremely deep way of encountering these emotions and releasing them in the present day.

You don’t need to be ‘good at art’ to engage with art therapy. Perhaps you have tried a talking therapy before and felt that, it was too confronting or didn’t lead anywhere, in that case Art Therapy, being non-verbal, could be a suitable alternative.

Art therapy is the therapeutic use of art making within a professional relationship by people in need of emotional support, experiencing illness, trauma or challenges in their lives and by people who seek personal development. Art therapy brings together art making and psychology allowing a client to communicate their thoughts, experiences and difficult emotions in a non-verbal manner through the medium of art.

It may be that you are going through a difficult time or are coping with a long-term illness and feel the need for extra support. Perhaps you would like to explore certain issues without involving family or friends. Art therapy combined with talking therapy offers a space where you can express yourself through an artistic medium, which can give you insight into your personal process and access to hard-to-reach thoughts and feelings.

Art therapy is a form of non-verbal therapy that can be preferred over talking therapies where words are used as a means of communication. Not everybody is ready to communicate their fears or thoughts and it may feel less threatening to explore them in a non-verbal way through colours, themes and metaphors within artworks.

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