What Is Art Therapy?
What is art psychotherapy and how does it work ?
Art psychotherapy is a therapy that uses the creative arts to access emotional difficulties, patterns, or problems that might be holding you back in your life. Following an initial assessment, you will be invited to explore the art materials in the room which may start a conversation between yourself and the therapist about the difficulties you have been experiencing. Art psychotherapy is a three-way relationship between the client, the therapist and the art. The therapist supports the clients as they make connections between the art they make and how they are feeling.
Why would doing art therapy make me feel any better ?
The part of the brain where traumatic memory is stored is called the amygdala and there is much evidence to suggest that such memories are stored in the form of pictures.
For this reason, people find it hard to find words to talk about difficult things, or sometimes they may not remember them at all.
Sometimes, these things are accessed more readily in the form of images.
I can’t draw, is art therapy for me ?
You don’t have to have any artistic ability to see an art therapist. It’s not about creating a piece of art, it’s about using materials to express feelings.
Isn’t it just for kids ?
It’s a common misconception that art therapy is only used for young people. While they are often less inhibited than adults in expressing themselves, the process is the same for children and adults.
What qualifications do art therapists have ?
Art therapist or art psychotherapist is a protected title, which means that you need an MA or MSc in art psychotherapy to pratice. Art therapists study psychoanalysis, attachment, developmental psychology and neuroscience, and are as rigorously trained as other psychotherapists.
How is art therapy regulated ?
Art therapists must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) which is the same body that regulates doctors and social workers. Art therapists must abide by the code of conduct and practice set out by The British Association of Art Therapists. They must be in clinical supervision and maintain continuing professional development.
What’s the difference between an art therapist and an art psychotherapist ?
The titles are interchangeable and are both protected by law. Some people just prefer to call themselves an art therapist because it sounds more approachable. The ‘psycho’ part refers to using psychodynamic theory, which means that we deal with unconscious thought and look at patterns developed in early life.
I hope this has answered any questions you have. If you have any more, please do not hesitate to get in touch through the Contact me section.