Human beings are unique in the way they are able to express their innermost feelings and desires. For some people, talking out a problem, an issue or a concern is the most efficient method. Others may find that music or dance allows them to express inner turmoil, sadness or even a sense of pride and accomplishment. For yet others the ability to draw, paint and create is the key to unleashing deeply-held thoughts, beliefs and ideas
What Is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is not just about drawing, painting, sculpting or creating; it is about focusing on a way to express oneself that is unique, personal and meaningful. For many people, traditional talk types of therapy have a very limited influence or effect, simply because they are not people who find talking to be the most appropriate medium of communication.
People who love movement and interaction, the kinaesthetic people, often find that art therapy is the tool that allows them to unlock their inner thoughts and expressive ideas. Art therapy, in this situation, is a form of psychotherapy where the client uses representations through art as a way to express or solidify those inner ideas and concepts.
Art therapy taps into the creative, not the destructive, part of the psyche. As people engage in artistic activities the mind is free to resolve problems, understand challenges and look for internal or external resources. It is the role of the art therapist to be able to create the environment that the client needs to achieve this form of self-expression.
A New Idea Or An Ancient Practice?
Art therapy is not new; it has been well documented as a way to enhance individual creativity, problem solving and personal expression since the earliest of recorded time. Often individuals are able to draw, sculpt or paint their innermost conflicts and challenges using both abstract or absolute forms and figures. The same individual may not be able to talk about the issues because of their preferred expressive style.
Art has long been recognized as a form of personal expression. Some of the classics painted by the masters are a study into a challenge, personal issue or difficulty experienced by the artist. Art therapy allows a professional art therapist, trained in the discipline, to help the individual to clarify an issue and create a solution or change.
The key is that art therapy is more than just another way to express inner concerns, issues and challenges. It is a truly personal and inner experience that can be guided and supported by a trained art therapist.
Art therapy can include the therapist working with the client to teach new or enhanced skills and artistic abilities, or it can focus on facilitating expression of inner thoughts and expressions using existing abilities. Like most forms of therapy the professional's ability to understand what will work best with each individual client is at the heart of the process.
Using Art Therapy
Adults, adolescents and children are all ideal candidates for art therapy. Learning how to use art therapy in psychotherapy or other therapeutic sessions starts with understanding the principles. The Art Therapy Workshops facilitated by Philippe Jacquet provide you with the strategies, techniques and information that you need to be able to use this therapy style with your clients.