You don’t have to be an artist, ‘talented’ in the arts or like art to engage in art psychotherapy (or art therapy) to experience the benefits that art therapy has to offer.
Art Therapy is Different from an Art Workshop
An art therapy session is not an art lesson. It does not involve learning skills or techniques to complete an artistic product. Art therapy focuses on the process, as clients express themselves and communicate their challenges through the visual process of art-making. As such, their works are highly personal. They capture their personal challenges and reflections and are kept confidential as they are insights into their thoughts and emotional state.
These creations are not evaluated or ‘graded’ based on their aesthetic qualities. They are returned to the clients when reviewing their therapy journey together with the therapist.
The Process of Art-Making
What is the art-making process in art therapy? The clients’ intentions, choice of art materials or art medium and actions are all part of the art-making process. They allow deep thoughts and raw emotions to surface in a safe and supportive space.
What the Art Therapist Does
Our art therapists undergo extensive and rigorous training, including clinical supervision from experienced art therapists. They are trained to listen or pick up subtle gestures or signals from their clients during the art-making process from start to end, including their interactions with the artwork.
Sometimes, the art therapist guides or facilitates specific directives for their clients or highlights certain observations, but they never try to interpret these artworks as they are personal to the client, and up to them to make meaning in what they create.
Advantages of Art Therapy
Very often, we struggle to understand the depth and intensity of our feelings and emotions. How are we then able to express these in words? In art therapy, therapists begin with the clients’ preferred form of expression, be it visual, verbal or kinaesthetic. Art therapy provides an effective alternative form of expression, as it is not necessary to verbalise these challenging feelings. Our art therapists are specifically trained to facilitate non-verbal forms of communication.
Using art as a tool in therapy allows clients to externalise emotions in a safe manner, as it creates a safe distance for them to work on their challenges externally. As they are able to detach themselves, these challenges are less intimidating compared to processing internally.
As art is versatile and flexible, clients are at ease to create and express what they would like to do so. This makes art therapy safe, comfortable and effective in strengthening their emotional and mental states.
Art Therapy at Solace
At Solace, our registered art therapists have at least Masters qualifications and a minimum of 750 hours of clinical supervision, in accordance with the requirements of the Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association (ANZACATA).
We deliver competent therapy services though ethical, safe and empathetic art psychotherapy interventions with the aim of building your emotional resilience.
We guide you through every step of your therapy journey and ease you into the art-making process, making sure you understand what to expect from your therapy sessions.
With our guidance, we are confident in helping you identify, process and work through your difficulties to emerge stronger and be who you are.