There are many different ways to communicate. Unfortunately for those that are not highly verbal traditional types of communication, including talk therapy, is often frustrating, ineffective and creates more stress for the client. They struggle in trying to express difficult and complicated thoughts and ideas through words when words themselves may be part of the problem.
People that have expressive language disorders, including those resulting from stroke, neurological damage, developmental disabilities or trauma or injury, may feel that traditional types of psychotherapy and counselling are not possible. While this may to be true due to the communication problems, an alternative option, that of art therapy, may be the perfect option for treatment.
Art therapists work with a variety of different types of clients. This includes children and adults as well as seniors. Often, even when there is no communication problem, art therapists are beneficial to the client because there is a level of comfort in expressing deeply held thoughts and feelings through images. These images maybe abstract or very concrete, the beauty of the technique is that it is up to the individual.
A Picture Of Me
Imagine if a therapist could see into your inner self. He or she would have access to the experiences that you have had through your life without you having to say a word. Through art therapy techniques including drawing, painting, sculpting and even collage work the client is able to create a visual, physical representation of what is going on inside their own mind. There are no arbitrary definitions or misconceptions and the physical representation may stand alone or be a springboard to further discussion.
Not An Art Class
When people, and adults in particular, are asked to make a visual representation of something internal they automatically are concerned about being judged for their artistic ability. This, in itself, can create a unique opportunity for discussion between the therapist and the client.
However, in art therapy, while some artistic techniques may be taught or explained, is not an art class. The techniques that are used and the images or items created are not judged by anyone, they are simply a mode of expression of inner thoughts and experiences. By allowing the client to just drawn, paint or sculpt the emphasis is on the personal and not the artistic value of the piece.
Depending on the therapeutic technique the art therapist and the client may discuss and talk about the art, or it may be strictly used as a form of self-expression. The value of art therapy here at the Harley Street Office is well recognised and used with many of our clients, all with amazing results.