You may wonder what Art Therapy is. It is a specialized form of psychotherapy that uses a client’s visual, as well as verbal expressions and reflections to understand more clearly their problems, conflicts and symptoms.
An Art Therapy session is different from the average art class. The focus in Art Therapy is that your attention is directed to your inner experience, your feelings, perceptions and imagination. You may learn some art skills in your Art Therapy session, however the emphasis is on the expression of what is inside of you not what you see outside yourself.
Clients do not require any special art skills to fully benefit from Art Therapy. The creative process and art work are considered in terms of their therapeutic significance rather than any artistic merit. The therapist and client work in a collaborative manner to understand the client’s creative language and put it into a way to meaningfully explore and gain personal insight.
One of the great advantages of art therapy is that it permits thoughts and feelings to be expressed in images as well as words. For example, a line, scribble or color may lead to important discoveries that could be unavailable in tradition verbal therapy. Like dreams, images can be a path to the conscious, thus increasing the likelihood of revealing underlying issues, conflicts and concerns which can be addressed in your therapy. Art Therapy can also help to foster integration, wholeness and coherence by communicating both visually and verbally.
While Art Therapy can benefit children greatly, it can also be very helpful to individuals, couples and families.
I am a Board Certified Art Psychotherapist with a Masters Degree in Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University in the Los Angeles area. I have practiced as an Art Psychotherapist for over 30 years and know this modality to be a powerful treatment modality for all ages and most therapeutic problems. I work with individuals, families, couples and groups of all ages.