Art Therapy

What is Art Therapy?


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Through my extensive creative process I have found that healing and a deeper sense of self occur through one's own creativity. This is a tool that can be accessed by all.  As well as being an artist I provide art therapy and counseling services in Anacortes, Washington. To view my counseling web site visit:
www.artwellspring.com

What is Art therapy?

  Art therapy was developed as a tool to help chronically mentally ill clients at psychiatric clinics.  Since its inception it has grown into a mental health profession that serves people with diverse abilities, age ranges, and therapeutic needs. Art therapy services can be found in schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, community-based programs, nursing care facilities, and through practitioners in private practice.

    Art therapy is intended to enhance the well being of clients who find that words are not enough, who don’t wish to speak, or are unable to speak.  It is a healing arts modality that brings together the psyche and the soma, based on the belief and experience that our creative processes can help heal a variety of wounds.  It helps people access emotions, express them, and by containing them in a visual format it can help increase self-awareness, self-esteem, and promote well-being.

    Art therapy uses a wide variety of art materials.  Clients are not expected to have artistic skills, but are encouraged to play with and experience art materials. With the presence of the art therapist clients learn how to use materials if they don’t already know, and they have the opportunity to create images in a supportive, empathetic, non-judgmental environment.  It can be used in both individual and group settings.

    Art therapists are trained in both visual and other creative arts, as well as in psychology. Through their psychotherapy training they acquire skills in counseling, assessment of mental illness, developmental stages through the lifespan and creativity, working with diverse and multicultural populations, and a variety of different art approaches. A genuine passion for art and the sharing of its healing abilities characterizes a good art therapist.