Centre for Creative Self Expression Through the Arts
WHAT IS ART THERAPY
Art therapy is a recognized mental health profession and a unique branch of psychotherapy that uses the creative process of ART MAKING to improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
There has been more than 40 years of research done in this field and using art goes back probably to the beginning of time, as people have always turned to the arts to help them express their emotions and their significant life experiences. Art therapy is different than an art class, because the goal is not about creating a beautiful work of art to frame and put on the wall. It is about looking inwards and using the mediums to discover new non-verbal ways to express yourself. It is about being open to whatever that may look like. In other words, art therapy is about engaging with the arts and experiencing the process rather than being concerned with the final product. It is about the story that comes out of your artwork, rather than what it looks like aesthetically. It is fun, accessible to everyone, and easier than you think!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
ART HELPS YOU EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS
Making art forces you to get out of your “all-knowing”, otherwise called rationale mind and more into your body and your feeling/intuitive being. Let’s face it- sometimes words just get in the way and can’t capture the depth of what is really going on. Or sometimes you have so much stuff going on inside that it is really hard to identify and share it through words alone. Images are powerful, and emotionally charged. They have the capacity to convey your feelings with much more intensity and clarity, making it easier to understand what is going on inside. Making art also connects you more to the feeling parts of your brain and gives you an accessible outlet to express them.
ART ALLOWS YOU TO SEE YOUR PROBLEMS IN ANOTHER WAY
Art therapy gives you - literally - a new way to see your problems… outside of yourself and on the page. Many people are really amazed at how much more clarity they have when they are able to have a bit of distance and perspective from what is going on inside of them. Looking at your problems from the outside can help you find new ways for constructive action.
ART IMPROVES SELF-ESTEEM
Making art means learning new skills, thereby you are building confidence. It takes a lot of courage to try something new, and I have witnessed that people often feel very rewarded when they create meaningful art during a therapy session. You are learning a new language, a visual metaphoric landscape that widens your horizons and encourages you to expand the way you see and experience the world.
ART ALLOWS YOU TO PLAY
This is my favourite part about art therapy. Often when you are fixated on a problem or a particular way of being, it is easy to forget the importance of play. Life is dynamic and problems often arise when things become stuck. The secret to initiating change is movement. Through moving colours on a page, art helps you literally shift your perception, and encourages spontaneity, playfulness, and fun during the process.
ALL THESE THINGS ARE PRETTY AMAZING - AREN’T THEY?
One more thing…making art creates a record of your process: What is beautiful about art therapy is that you have a visual record of your whole therapeutic process. I keep all your art-work locked away in your own file during your therapy, and when we finish working together, we do a review of everything you have made. You will be amazed what happens
INTERESTED IN TRYING?
NOT SURE IF ART THERAPY IS RIGHT FOR YOU?