What is Art Therapy?
When was the last time you made something with your hands?
When I was a child, I was ill for a time that required about 4 weeks of recuperation and bed rest. By about the 4th day, tired of TV and bored out of my skull, my mother brought me a stack of magazines, a bunch of cardboard, a pair of scissors, and a bottle of Elmer's glue. I spent the remainder of the time cutting, pasting, and producing dozens and dozens of collages.
Each was a piece I was proud of, each helped me not only pass the time but engaged my creativity and ability to express myself in spite of my circumstance. Those early experiences really married the ideas of creativity and healing for me.
Making makes us better.
Often I hear others complain that they are "just not creative".
I say, you are ridiculously creative, you're just not in the habit of giving yourself credit for the things you create.
We human beings are prolific makers. We make things constantly. It's in our language: We make our beds, make conversation, make decisions, make mistakes. We make up, make love, make peace, make choices. You made the decision to click on this link and learn more. I am making the choice to populate this link with information I feel might be helpful to you. Soon, we may make an appointment to meet and see if we are a good fit for your therapy needs.
Art therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that engages our creative self and activates the potential of artistic expression to help us examine, understand, and release our internal experiences. Practice is informed by knowledge of psychological, cognitive, therapeutic and developmental theory. Art therapy is a non-verbal, non-threatening venue toward discovery of and understanding of self.
Art Therapy helps us:
resolve emotional conflict
manage physical and emotional pain
understand our behavior and the behavior of others
develop interpersonal and social skills
process and adjustment to loss
increase self-knowledge and esteem
Art therapy can also allow access to places within ourselves words may not permit. It helps us process our thoughts and feelings in new ways, providing the perspective shift that is always necessary when endeavoring to make change. And as with all therapy, it can help us heal wounds that may otherwise go unhealed.
"But I Can't Draw!"
The art making we engage in for the purpose of therapy is not done to impress anyone. We do not engage in the process to improve our artistic skill (although this may happen) or with the goal of a giving a gallery show.
We engage in it for the purpose of expression and exploration in a judgement-free environment, and the ultimate goal of wellness. Use of the art materials is encouraged but not required! We will work collaboratively to help you grow, be the mode verbal or non-verbal.