Since the earliest days images have been used as a form of expression and communication. In the early 20th Century art therapy developed into a professional practice combining the fields of art, psychology and therapy. As a form of psychotherapy it utilises the creative process to explore personal problems and potentials. Making art by-passes words and can reflect an instinctual and deep expression of the self. While the creative process is the primary tool for growth, this is supported with gentle and exploratory conversations about the art-making as well as whatever the client brings to the sessions.
In art therapy one can express non-verbally what may be difficult to express verbally, and the art therapist provides the therapeutic environment to grow from that expression. You do not have to be ‘good at art’ to benefit from art therapy. Your artworks are not judged; they are highly respected.
Today, art therapy is not only an effective therapy for emotional difficulties but it is also something people are turning to for personal and creative development. Recently it has been attracting members of the general public who simply want to have a pleasurable and insightful experience. You don’t have to have psychological problems to benefit from art therapy. It is life enhancing for people of all ages.
Art therapy provides a safe space to develop personal creativity and to foster the benefits gained from this process:
development of self-esteem
restoration of a sense of identity
increasing insight and self-awareness
improving interpersonal skills
experiencing a sense of achievement
fostering personal integration
working towards lasting change
Art therapy is suitable for a wide range of people. It can be structured on a one-to-one basis or as part of a group experience.
Art therapy is a Masters Degree Level Training and is regulated by the Health Care Professions Council. Art therapists are registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). Our professional organisation is British Association of Art Therapy and I follow their Code of Ethics.