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What is Art Therapy?

"Art Therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.
 
Art Therapy, facilitated by a professional art therapist, effectively supports personal and relational treatment goals as well as community concerns. Art Therapy is used to improve cognitive and sensory-motor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change.

Art therapists are master-level clinicians who work with people of all ages across a broad spectrum of practice. Guided by ethical standards and scope of practice, their education and supervised training prepares them for culturally proficient work with diverse populations in a variety of settings. Honoring individuals' values and beliefs, art therapists work with people who are challenged with medical and mental health problems, as well as individuals seeking emotional, creative, and spiritual growth. 

Through integrative methods, art therapy engages the mind, body, and spirit in ways that are distinct from verbal articulation alone. Kinesthetic, sensory, perceptual, and symbolic opportunities invite alternative modes of receptive and expressive communication, which can circumvent the limitations of language. Visual and symbolic expression gives voice to experience, and empowers individual, communal, and societal transformation."
© 2017 American Art Therapy Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

BlogTalk Radio interview  

Please feel free to listen and learn more about the field of Art Therapy in general, and about some of my approach to Art Therapy in particular.  And, to be in touch, ask questions, set up a consult and/or appointment, contact me at 914-445-7587 or email.

Discover Lifestyle Internet Radio with Life in The Present Tense on BlogTalkRadio


WHY CHOOSE ART THERAPY?

  • You're seeking a Creative Approach to addressing life's challenges
  • You want a space to express yourself in Non-Verbal ways
  • You've not had success in therapy where it is only talk
  • Art is your Passion, and you want to use it or get back to it
  • You have difficulty with, or don't always enjoy, verbalizing thoughts and feelings
  • Doing Art is FUN!
  • Art making can provide a Cathartic experience, it can relieve Stress and Anxiety; it can cause Reduction in Heart Rate and Respiration
  • Creating Art is Non-linear; you can express many issues/challenges/conflicts at the same time and resolve them using imagery (it does not matter if you have ever used art before)
  • Art making can Increase Serotonin Levels, which can have a Positive Impact on Depression and lower cortisol levels, which rise with stress
  • You have experienced trauma, depression, loss/grief or anxiety and may not yet have the words to express your feelings
  • Research shows that Trauma is often encoded in our brains in the form of images before words are able to describe them. You are ready to create the images and find the words
  • Even after reading this entire site, you don't quite understand what Art Therapy is, and Still are Curious to give art therapy a try

 

DO I NEED TO BE AN ARTIST OR A CHILD TO DO ART THERAPY?

No.

Visual artists and children are often naturally drawn to art therapy, yet we all have the ability to express our creativity using art.

Art is symbolic, as is the alphabet.

 

Using art in art therapy can be as simple as writing the letters of your name in marker, pounding on a piece of clay and seeing where your hand moves the clay naturally, or cutting out photos from a magazine and pasting them on a sheet of paper.

It can be using paint when angry and painting an entire page black.

And, its much, much more.


WILL WE DO ART IN EVERY SESSION?

Creating art will happen as much or as little as works for you.

Using art is a way of working that reflects who you are, where you are at and what you are looking to achieve. It is your process.

Art is a vehicle to help you grow, in ways you may never have imagined possible.

Can we use art all the time? Of course.


Will talking be a part of our art therapy work?

Generally at least some part of our time together is talking, though there certainly can be sessions where the main focus and/or entire time is using art.

And, depending on the work you're doing, it can be a greater or lesser part of the overall therapy experience.


HOW IS ART USED IN SESSION?

There is no one way that a session will go; there are various ways that the art process can happen. Creating art may naturally emerge out of our talking about what is going on in your life in that moment, or I/we may sense that it will be beneficial at getting to something that words are not expressing, you may come in to the session with something you want to create, or it may become part of the session for a variety of other reasons.

You always have the choice as to whether you will create art or not, and you may be surprised by the emergence of your own creative flow.

 

DO I NEED TO BRING MY OWN ART MATERIALS OR DO YOU HAVE THEM?

Materials are provided for you in the session.

But beware many people that have never used art become so excited about the process that they do go out and buy materials so that they can have them at home.


To schedule an appointment with Linda Turner, Licensed Art Therapist: (917) 445-7587 or email.