The Arts and Therapy
One of the basic premises of Art Therapy is that creative expression enhances wellbeing. In the context of a therapeutic setting, art making facilitates self-reflection, insight, and becomes a resource for ongoing growth and transformation.
Art Therapy sessions combine traditional talk therapy with creative self expression to explore thoughts, feelings and patterns of experience. No 'artistic’ skill is required, just a willingness to be open to the process. Participants are often surprised at how easily, spontaneously and directly they are able to express themselves via mediums such as painting, writing, drawing, weaving and clay making.
Many people decide early on in life that they are not creative; this is often based on a limited idea about what creative expression is. Adopting a process oriented approach allows us the freedom to explore with a sense of curiosity and replaces the ‘outcome’ or 'product' driven ideas that many of us, from a young age, associate with creative expression. Art Therapy provides a wonderful opportunity to reclaim our connection with what is an innate capacity for self –expression and can be explored within a group context or in individual sessions.
“Art therapy is the application of the visual arts and the creative process within a therapeutic relationship, to support, maintain, and improve the psychosocial, physical, cognitive and spiritual health of individuals of all ages. It is based on current and emerging research that art making is a health-enhancing practice that positively impacts the quality of life. Art therapists are credentialed professionals who purposively use specific art-based approaches with children, adults, groups and families to support, maintain, and improve overall health, physical, emotional and cognitive functioning, interpersonal skills, personal development, and quality of life"
- C. Malchiodi