Art Therapy is integrated into our After School Program and Home Outreach Program for Elders (HOPE) for free. Art Therapy is a new way of offering therapeutic support to our clients, many who face severe crisis: poverty, hunger, fractured families, neglect, mental and physical illness, violence, and isolation. Theses issues face our clients from age 5 to 95, and Art Therapy creates a continuity of care across the multiple generations we serve.
What is Art Therapy?
“Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.”
The creative process involved in expressing one’s self artistically can help people to resolve issues as well as develop and manage their behaviors and feelings, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem and awareness.
Anyone can use it, you don’t need to be talented or an artist, and there are professionals that can work with you and explore into the underlying messages communicated through art.
Art therapy can achieve different things for different people. It can be used for counseling by therapists, healing, treatment, rehabilitation, psychotherapy, and in the broad sense of the term, art therapy can be used to massage one’s inner-self in a way that may provide the individual with a deeper understanding of him or herself.
Who Can Use Art Therapy?
For the most part, anyone can use art therapy. In a world where there is a multitude of ways to communicate and express one’s self, art therapy is yet another. One of the major differences between art therapy and other forms of communication is that most other forms of communication elicit the use of words or language as a means of communication. Often times, humans are incapable of expressing themselves within this limited range.
One of the beauties of art as therapy is the ability for a person to express his/her feelings through any form of art. Art therapy utilizes more traditional forms of art…such as painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, or a variety of other types of visual art expression.
Do You Need to be Creatively Talented?
Absolutely not! And you need not be “afraid” of expressing yourself through art. Though it may seem different and unnatural at first, it is typically because the individual is not used to communicating via the arts. The creative process can be one of the most rewarding aspects. Coupled with an art therapist, you should gradually, if not immediately, feel comfortable with this newfound form of expression. After all, the goal is not necessarily to create an art masterpiece.
Why Would I Use Art Therapy?
As with most any therapy, art as therapy is generally used as a treatment for something, usually as a way to improve one’s emotional state or mental well-being. Art therapy doesn’t have to be used only as a treatment though. It can be used to relieve stress or tension, or it can be used as a mode of self-discovery. Many people can stand to use some sort of creative outlet.
What Does an Art Therapist Do?
Art therapists are trained in therapy and art. They have studied and mastered psychology and human development. Art therapists are Licensed, Registered and Board Certified. They are masters in this niche when it comes to using art as a springboard for everything from a general assessment of another person’s state to treatment for a serious illness. Art therapists can work with people of all ages, sexes, creeds, etc. They can help individuals, a couple, a family, or groups of people. Depending on the situation, there may be numerous art therapists working together as a clinical team.
Art therapists are trained to pick up on nonverbal symbols and metaphors that are often expressed through art and the creative process, concepts that are usually difficult to express with words. It is through this process that the individual really begins to see the effects of art therapy and the discoveries that can be made.