What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy serves as another language, often a common language, that can be accessed when processing confusing or overwhelming emotions. Art Therapy is appropriate for all ages and presenting concerns. Art Therapy can be adapted to meet a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional disabilities.

Image by Debby Hudson

How can Art Therapy help?

Regardless of what brings you to the therapeutic space, art and art making can be a great addition to any goals you may have while participating in therapy. There is no need to have previous art skills or experience before engaging in art therapy. No need to be a trained artist because the healing that art making can offer is available to everyone.

Remember being small and the rush you felt when you splattered paint or scribbled fiercely? Yeah, that
connection between body, mind, and heart can be accessed in an art therapy space.

What is Art Therapy helpful for? 

In art therapy it can very much feel like giving the chaos inside of you a way to release. Many art therapy directives are not product based - meaning there's no need to create an image or piece to hang a wall. Most are process based. This means the goal is simply to use the art making process to explore and learn about yourself and your lived experience.

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What will my Art Therapy sessions look like? 

Art Therapy is used in partnership alongside traditional talk therapy modalities such as CBT, DBT, IFS,
and many other well-established psychology frameworks. The objective is to enhance the therapy
process and to cultivate a safe space for you as a client to name and work through your mental health
challenges or intentions. Making art in a supportive and validating way can help to externalize or clarify
some of the unknown things that are causing you emotional discomfort. Art can be a great release for
stuck or unheard trauma. Art can take a stand against injustice and oppression – even from within the
counselling office.

Art therapy, like most psychotherapy professions, is regulated in Canada. Practioners must obtain a master degree in psychology and Art Therapy to safely use art-based assessments and interventions as an Art Therapist.