WHAT IS ART THERAPY?
“Art therapy is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behaviour and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.”
American Art Therapy Association, AATA
What this means is that we combine the principles of therapy with the limitless potential of art. Expressions in the form of painting, drawing or sculpting allow you to convey thoughts and feelings that may be difficult to say. It is a form of communication that helps you access deeper feelings.
our art therapists specialise in facilitating trauma-informed art therapy for clients who experience complex trauma. This may be any traumatic experience occurring early in life, such as loss, separation and abuse which disrupts positive attachments, such as the ability to regulate emotions, cognitive development and behaviour control (Elbretch & Antcliff, 2014; Naff, 201; Lawson & Quinn, 2013).
- Witnessing a divorce or separation
- Loss of family or a loved one
- Various forms of abuse
- Experiencing violence, abuse
- Stuck in a toxic relationship or a distressing breakup
These memories are indelibly stored in our bodies and the right brain hemisphere. Our brain blocks painful memories as a form of self-protection to allow us to live life as normal as we can. However, persistent trauma manifests in unhealthy coping behaviours and chronic fatigue from constant mental and physical tension. Relationships are inevitably affected, harming careers, family, marriages and social interactions.
If recalling traumatic memories can be difficult to do or lead to further trauma, how do we start the healing process? Art therapists facilitate non-verbal communication, and art-making becomes the main tool for communicating. This form of art therapy is non-intimidating, and the brain's right hemisphere is also responsible for creative and artistic endeavours. Catharsis can be achieved without needing to verbalise it at the beginning, before doing so in a safe, confidential space with our therapists. This allows the externalisation of memories and feelings.
No prior experience or artistic ability is needed to engage in art therapy.
Our highly trained therapists have extensive experience providing the best care to ease clients with complex trauma. Complex trauma is more common than most people think, so take the first step in helping you or your loved ones who may be struggling.