Art Therapy is one of the many therapeutic modalities offered as a service by our holistic team of
psychotherapists here at The Holding Space. To find out more about this service, read below!
What is Art Therapy?
Art Therapy is a form of therapy that uses artistic methods and media, the creative process, psychological theory, and the therapeutic relationship for healing and treatment of mental health concerns. It is an integrative therapy that involves the mind-body-spirit connection, which allows for not just verbal expression of the client’s experiences, but also kinesthetic, sensory, perceptual, and symbolic. This is different from traditional talk therapy, which relies solely on the conscious, “thinking mind” and its cognitive and verbal capacities for expression and processing. That being said, Art Therapy typically involves talking and is often integrated with more traditional psychotherapy. The freedom and variety of self-expression available within Art Therapy is believed to promote self-insight, self-esteem, and empowerment; emotional, creative, social, and spiritual growth; and cognitive and sensorimotor functioning.
How does Art Therapy work?
In Art Therapy, a basic belief is that creative activity and expression can reduce stress and positively impact mental health. As such, one of its main methods is that the client engages is creative activity. What makes Art Therapy different from doing art alone or in an art class is that, for one, there is no emphasis on artistic skill or ability—the emphasis resides on self-expression.
More importantly, the creative activity and any feelings or reactions that come up in the client during or following it are explored within a safe, accepting, and collaborative therapeutic relationship. With the therapist’s facilitation, people can start to identify themes and conflicts that may be impacting their wellbeing and functioning. In time, the integrative, mind-body-spirit nature of Art Therapy allows for deep, multi-level exploration, understanding, and, ultimately,
healing of the client’s identified issues.
What does Art Therapy look like?
Art Therapy can be utilized with clients of all ages independently or in conjunction with other treatment modalities. Here at The Holding Space, our approach to Art Therapy is similar to the
latter, such that we utilize it and other treatment modalities as necessary throughout an individual or couples long-term psychotherapy treatment.
We do this, in part, because of the importance of developing a safe, collaborative therapeutic alliance before the creative expression and analysis begin. Once the therapeutic relationship has been established, an Art Therapy session might involve a combination of discussion and:
Doodling and scribbling
Working with clay
Who does Art Therapy work for?
Art Therapy can work for just about anybody! Many people have a perceived misconception that Art Therapy is solely for children. We have found that people of all ages benefit from the communication gained through art expression. You create, we interpret together!
Common issues that we may address with Art Therapy:
To find out if Art Therapy might be a fit for your individual needs, contact us for a free consultation today!