Artistic ability is not necessary to be able to engage with art therapy. Sessions are tailored to individual needs and focus on the goals and wellbeing of each person.
More than wordsCreative art therapists are trained counsellors and facilitators, providing a safe place for expression and helping people use varied artistic media to explore and process their feelings.
Creative art therapy sessions include talking about experiences, however using art materials as well can help people creatively express thoughts and feelings that can sometimes be difficult to put into words.
For example, for someone living with a condition like post-traumatic stress disorder, engaging in art therapy may help them safely communicate and process their experiences, helping them regain a sense of authorship over their life and providing a pathway to healing.
Gaining new insightIn addition to encouraging mindfulness, using a creative mode for expression as part of mental health treatment can help people identify blocks and feelings, provide new insights and develop new coping skills.
The act of creating something during therapy sessions can also relieve stress and anxiety, enhance self-esteem, cultivate emotional resilience, improve confidence and problem-solving skills as well as help manage symptoms.
Finding self-expressionCreating in different forms, with different art media, has different effects on the brain. For example, working with clay has a different effect than painting or dancing. Creative art therapists will assist in finding medias that suit the ongoing needs of their client throughout their sessions.
The role of a creative art therapist is to help clients find modes of self-expression that work best for them, helping them learn a new way to explore what they’re going through so they can find a way forward.
St John of God Mental Wellbeing Services in Western Australia can provide art therapy services and anyone can access our free or low-cost services via referral from their GP.