What is art therapy?
Here’s the official definition:
“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.”American Art Therapy Association
I’m not an artist. I only draw stick people! Can I still benefit from art therapy?
My studio is a place where people of all skill levels are accepted without judgement or critique. No prior artistic experience is required. In fact, part of my role as your therapist is to help you learn about the different materials we’ll be using.
Rest assured that art therapy is very process-oriented, with no emphasis on creating a highly-skilled, complex, or “pretty” piece of artwork. Instead, our focus is on learning new modes of self-expression – whether you’re accustomed to working with art materials or it’s your first time holding a paint brush.
Isn’t art therapy for kids?
While art therapy can be very beneficial for children, it is also a popular treatment for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.
What can I expect at my first session?
Please complete my New Client Forms and bring them with you to your first session. We’ll start by spending some time talking about your background and your present concerns. A portion of this session will also include a simple art experience aimed at building our rapport and introducing you to the art therapy process. We will work collaboratively during this first session or two to determine your treatment goals, and then we’ll begin the journey!
Please note: If you are a workshop participant only, you will not go through a formal intake process to become one of Jennifer’s therapy clients, and are not required to complete the packet of New Client Forms. You will only have a couple of forms to sign, and these will be available when you arrive for your workshop session.
What should I wear to art therapy?
All of the supplies we’ll use are safe and non-toxic, however some materials such as paint, ink, and markers may stain your clothing. Therefore, I recommend wearing comfortable clothing that can get a little messy. I will also have aprons and smocks that you may use during your sessions.
Do you accept insurance?
Not at this time.
Can I do art therapy in addition to traditional talk therapy?
I would love to work cooperatively with your primary therapist to complement the work you’re already doing. You will simply be asked to sign a consent form so that your primary therapist and I can communicate openly with one another and ensure consistent treatment goals.
For example, you may be working with your primary therapist to address past traumas or relationship challenges. Perhaps…
- Completing an art therapy workshop can help you explore your sense of self and learn a new tool for continued growth.
- A series of art therapy sessions with your family can be an effective way to engage your children or spouse in some of the concepts you’ve explored in your individual work.
Let’s find what works best for you!