Whether you are at the beginning of your therapy journey or are looking for the next steps toward mental and emotional wellness, finding a counsellor who feels like the right fit is an important aspect to being able to engage with your personal development or healing. So, when you see a list of modalities on someone’s Psychology Today profile, or your sister recommends someone she saw on Instagram, and they list “art therapy” as a specialty, how does that make you feel? You may be thinking to yourself, “I loved art as a kid, but the last time I held a pencil, crayon or paint brush was in eighth grade art class.” “I’m not an artist.” “Art therapy must be for kids or artist people.”
Rest assured – art therapy is for everyone. Maybe even you! Regardless of your artistic abilities.
If using artistic ideas and creative language in a therapeutic setting is interesting to you or your curiosity has now been piqued, art therapy is for you.
If you are looking to reconnect with your creative self or to begin a new self-reflection practice, art therapy is for you.
If CBT was a great starting place for your healing and self-exploration, but you are ready for something a little different, art therapy is for you.
What is art therapy?
Art therapy combines the creative process and psychotherapy, facilitating self-exploration and understanding. Using imagery, colour, and shape as part of this creative therapeutic process, thoughts and feelings can be expressed that would otherwise be difficult to articulate.
There are certain qualifications required of art therapists.
In Canada and the United States, art therapists must have at minimum a master’s degree or a master’s level diploma in art therapy before identifying themselves within the profession. This graduate level education includes supervised clinical practicum hours, thus ensuring the safety of the client as well as professional liability for agencies and employers offering this form of therapy.”
Art therapy is almost like its own language. By inviting your creative self to join in on your healing process, art therapy can be used as a way to supplement your goals, thoughts, and revelations during counselling, help you externalize difficult to understand emotions, analogies or metaphors during in-session conversations, and so much more.
Art therapy is not focused on creating a specific product of art to be sold or shared publicly. It is the process of engaging with different aspects of yourself through creativity, curiosity and committed support from an accredited art therapist. There is no judgment in art therapy or how your thoughts, feelings, or emotions show up on the pages you create and your counsellor isn’t looking for hidden meanings or metaphors in the artwork; it is another avenue to assist you in your healing.
If you have made it this far and are still interested, then art therapy may just be for you.
Interested in Booking a Consultation with a counsellor specializing in art therapy? Click here
References: Canadian Art Therapy Association. (2020). What is art therapy? https://www.canadianarttherapy.org/what-is-art-therapy