What is it Art Therapy ?

Art therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which you can express yourself through art  – painting, drawing, clay modelling, found objects, photography, for example  –instead of words.

You don’t have to be artistic, or good at art or have had any previous experience of making art to do art therapy. It’s not about producing a brilliant work of art. Making the art helps you (and your therapist) understand more about your feelings and any underlying causes, and helps you learn how to deal with them.

Art Therapy can help if..

Art therapy can help you to come to terms with a traumatic or upsetting event or bad memories from the past. It can also help you deal with, or in some cases recover from, some mental health problems, especially if you feel very distanced from your feelings, or find it too difficult to talk about certain experiences.  It can be used alone or alongside other therapies.

What happens?

Art therapists are trained in both art and therapy. Sessions can be one-to-one or in a group. If you want to work on issues you might want to keep private, you might prefer one-to-one sessions. During the session, you or your therapist can help you decide what you want to create, and may play some music, or read a poem or a story to give you some ideas. The therapist can help you think about what you have created, and how it relates to your own experiences.

For more information, see the British Association of Art Therapists