Art Psychotherapy combines visual art and psychotherapy in a creative process using the created image as a foundation for self-exploration and understanding. Psychotherapy involves conversations with a listener who is trained to help you explore, understand and change various aspects of your life that feel uncomfortable or are causing problems. Within this context, the art making is a powerful medium to address emotional issues, allowing clients to project feelings and experiences into the art which may be too painful or too confusing to express in words. In Art Therapy, creativity and art making processes promote healing and encourage the development of insight into life situations and traumatic experiences. It is the stories in the art work that help to guide the process of healing.
When words aren’t helping or you are simply more comfortable working with images, art psychotherapy may offer support, coping strategies and emotional healing opportunities for children, adolescents and adults. Using the arts in therapy can allow unconscious thoughts, feelings and images to arise, letting the client experience and work through past events, current challenges or long ignored emotions with the support of the art therapist. Art making is accessible and approachable and can promote relaxation and reduce stress, thus improving the client’s ability to cope with challenging situations. Many people have a natural affinity to communicate through the art making process and therefore find creative expression a rewarding and insightful experience. Artistic skills are not required in order to benefit from art psychotherapy.
· Increases your ability to reflect and respond thoughtfully to situations, rather than reacting in unhealthy ways
· Facilitates expression and processing of strong emotions including anger management and conflict resolution
· Develops mindfulness
· Increases self-awareness, self-esteem and personal insight
· Promotes relaxation and reduces stress
· Negotiates with your inner critic while finding your authentic voice
· Develops a healthier relationship with yourself and those around you
· Assists with becoming more aware of your habitual thoughts and reactions
· Develops mastery
· Improves problem solving skills
· Develops coping skills
· Improves mood and sense of vitality
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