Individual Art Therapy

Addressing Challenges With Individual Art Therapy

People often get stuck or limited in their ability to see a solution to a problem or challenge they are facing in life. This is often because the individual is not able to access the creative elements of their mind because trauma, anger, depression or stress is blocking the creative elements. People who are under stress tend to focus on the literal, concrete ways to handle the problem, which limits the possible solutions and options to move forward.

Art Therapy Forms

Individual art therapy can take on a range of different forms depending on the interests of the client and their expressive preference. Common art therapy modes include drawing, painting, collage work, sculpting and carving. While an art therapist may assist a client with actual skill development, the focus of the session will be on encouraging the client to express their inner experiences. The subject of the art, regardless of the art form, will be your own personal inner world, not that of an outside model or source.

Art Therapy Stimulates Creativity

Art therapy is a highly effective option for helping people of all ages to access their creativity and creative thinking and discover solutions to the challenges in their life. Through the use of a variety of different types of art techniques, combined with psychotherapy, the client is able to tap into their own problem solving ability by expressing the problem and working through the possible options.

Individual art therapy is not about being an artist, but rather about individual expression at a deeply personal level. Art work may result in a literal or an abstract representation of the inner issues, but it is a highly effective way for a client to explore and let go of issues that may have been overwhelming in the past.

Art Therapy In Treatment

Individual art therapy is an integrated approach to treatment that is used with a range of different issues. These include trauma and abuse, depression, anxiety, stress, cognitive or behavioural difficulties, interpersonal relationships challenges and addictions. It can be very beneficial for individuals who are working through issues with body image, self-esteem and self-confidence.

While individual art therapy can be used with anyone as part of a treatment, it has long been used to work with children and adults with expressive problems or those with mental health disorders and brain injury. The freedom to draw, sculpt or paint and not have to talk is very freeing for many different people and encourages a true and accurate expression through the art medium.

There are many different approaches to individual art therapy. In some approaches the therapists infers and then confirms with the client what is being expressed through the art. In others narratives may be developed by the therapist and the client that verbally capture the message in the art. In yet other approaches the expression in the art is not explored through the therapist/client relationship but is used as a stepping stone to creating a solution that resonates with the client and develops from the creative process.

Posted by: Philippe Jacquet