Many people think that you have to be artistic to benefit from art therapy. However, this modality is for people of all abilities and talents. Art therapy is not about artistic talent, it is about exploring and allowing yourself to be creative in a safe, supportive, and non-judgemental space. It focuses on tapping into creativity, not on the finished product. While people often associate art therapy with children, all ages can benefit from bringing creativity into their counseling sessions. This type of therapy is helpful for children, adolescents, and adults seeking to heal and grow.
Art therapy offers the following benefits.
- It is gentle and allows you to set the pace of your sessions and allows you to work at a speed that is comfortable for you.
- It can work quickly because it allows you to use more parts of your brain to solve your problems.
- Using art materials can be calming and can soothe you as you explore difficult or painful issues.
- making art enhances communication and allows you to begin processing your feelings before you begin to talk about them.
Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art-making as a tool for self-discovery and problem-solving. Art is combined with evidence-based counselling techniques to help you achieve your goals of health and mental wellness. You could see an art therapist for the same reasons that you would seek out a regular therapist such as anxiety, depression, or grief and loss. Art therapy is particularly useful for issues that you struggle to describe or for feelings that are difficult to name, such as those that arise from abuse and neglect and from trauma that occurs early in life.
Jessica Fukushima is a Registered Canadian Art Therapist (#10402185) and a longstanding member of the Canadian Art Therapy Association.