One question I get asked often is, “What is Art Therapy?”
Responding with a question is sometimes the best answer. Do you like art? Did you ever like art? We have an innate need to create and most people draw and produce from our hands as children. As we grow and become aware, of our inadequacies or “flaws” in our products; we criticize ourselves and many ultimately stop making art. Reigniting the will to create can be powerful and freeing for adults. Utilizing the way children make art as a tool to help them through the muck and challenging times can put the child in the “driver’s seat” when they need it most. Working with art materials with people with disabilities can allow for immense pride for individuals that deeply desire autonomy and raise self esteem. The reach of art therapy is broad and can mean many things to many people. Art Therapy can be catalyst for transformation and I am here to harness all that goodness.
Art Makes WELLNESS. Art therapy is both simple and complex. Just like people.
From the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), “Art therapy is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. A goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being. Art therapy practice requires knowledge of visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms) and the creative process, as well as of human development, psychological, and counseling theories and techniques.”
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. – Thomas Merton