Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary form of communication. It differs from other therapies in that it employs various art media; paint, clay, collage, etc., as a way of expressing thoughts and feelings that are not quite clear enough to be dealt with in words alone. Paying attention to these feelings even though painful at times may help us towards feeling stronger and recovering our sense of meaning.
It is not necessary to be ‘good at art’ to benefit from art therapy. The aim is not to produce skillful art work, but to use whatever level of competence you have for personal expression.
The art therapy sessions are not recreational or classes, nor do they expose anything personal without co-operation and active involvement. Art therapy provides a non-threatening, verbal and non-verbal, indirect means of expression whereby the person can explore difficult feelings in the safe non-judgmental environment provided by the therapist.
Art therapy can be beneficial in working with many issues including anger management, social challenges, addiction/eating disorders, bereavement/loss, confidence, self esteem, relationship difficulties, trauma. Art therapists are trained to look and listen to private communications, to respect the information that may be offered and to keep it confidential.
For further information, please contact Siobhan Bereen, Art Psychotherapist PgDip, Art Psych, BA.