Do you have it difficulty expressing yourself verbally? Ever wondered what might happen if you tapped into your creative side? Integrating art media into counseling requires absolutely no creative experience or perception of artistic ability. It can often help those who have found traditional psychotherapy difficult or ineffective.
The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) states, ‘Art therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight. Art therapy integrates the fields of human development, visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms), and the creative process with models of counseling and psychotherapy.’
With a Master’s in Art Therapy Counseling, I believe we are all artists who deserve the pleasure of art making. I have used this modality in a variety of ways; helping people process grief and trauma externally, as a means to improve reality testing for individuals with psychosis, as a tool for depression and anxiety, and as a method to increase insight. For some, simply having the art product to interact with can help them feel more comfortable in a therapy session. Integrating creativity in therapy is a highly individualized modality, and I enjoy helping clients discover the right approach for them.