What is Art Therapy?

 

Art therapy is a sensory based therapy utilizing art materials, process of art making, and counselling in a safe environment to promote emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health. Art therapy is a gentle way to begin working on an issue if the problem seems insurmountable, overwhelming, or when words are just not enough. In a practical sense, art therapy can do some of the following, but is not limited to:

  • Gain deeper understanding and insight of the self and personal issues;

  • Increases awareness and understanding of the mind and body relationship;.

  • Ability to express thoughts/feelings too difficult to talk about;

  • Develops creativity and self-expression;

  • Develops healthy coping skills, direction, and focus;

  • Increases self-esteem and confidence;

  • Solve problems and conflict;

  • Ability to engage and connect in a nurturing environment;

  • Ability to identify feelings and blocks to emotional expression;

  • Ability to identify limited belief and reinforcing patterns;

  • Ability to decipher healthy and sustainable behaviours;

  • Ability to heal past psychological and/or emotional wounds;

  • Ability to re-create new beliefs and experience that nourish personal growth and fulfilment;

  • Re-ignites and connects the individuals sense of awakening to life;

  • Development of intuition;

  • Relaxation and stress reduction;

  • Boundary making;

  • Can address social concern;

  • Can address physiological and emotional trauma;

  • Can address abuse;

  • Can address family dynamics;

  • Providing Self-Care tools;

  • Assessment tool for child development;

  • Ability to identify early attachment patterns and re-create new     healthy self-regulating habits; and

  • Rehabilitation for substance abuse

Who can benefit?

 

Everyone!.... and persons struggling with:

  • Abuse (sexual, physical, emotional)

  • Addiction

  • Anorexia/bulimia

  • Anxiety

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

  • Chronic Illness

  • Developmental Disabilities

  • Family Changes

  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

  • Grief and loss

  • Identity

  • Learning Disabilities

  • Medical Conditions

  • Mental illness

  • Military personnel

  • Muteness

  • Neglect

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Trauma (recent or childhood)

  • Persons with aversion to therapy

  • Mental health professionals

         

Materials Used  

  • Natural objects found in the environment: sticks, stones, wood bark, flowers, moss, sea shells.    

  • Clay

  • Collage materials

  • Paint: acrylic, water based, water colour, Indian/Chinese ink. Fabric: leather, cotton, silk, etc.

  • String and wire

  • Decorative materials, Sparkles, gems, pompoms, sequence, balloons  

  • Drawing tools: pencil, pencils crayons, charcoal, felt, graphite

  • Glue: white glue and hot glue

  • Paper, canvas board, Cardboard, wood

  • Scissors and exacto knife

  • Developmentally, culturally, and age appropriate materials.   

 

 

Session Guidelines 

 

  • Punctuality

  • Non-judgmental

  • Listening

  • Confidentiality

  • Respect

  • Acceptance

  • Curiosity

  • Everyone is equal in a group

  • Everyone matters

  • Expect and accept non-closure 

 

*Adapted from Aruliah (2013)

 

 

 

 

 

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