About Arts Therapy

Creative expression used as a therapeutic technique.

What is Arts Therapy?

Arts therapy is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that uses art making as the primary form of communication to inform and improve people’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. Art therapy is more about the art making process and meaning making than the end product, and is grounded in the belief that this way of working creatively is life enhancing and healing. Together the therapist and client develop an interpersonal relationship with clear boundaries, allowing the art to be guided in a therapeutic manner to explore difficult emotions and memories, which can help integrate and heal difficult and painful experiences and traumas.

What happens in an Arts Therapy session?

In an arts therapy session the client is invited to make art in whatever form they choose. There’s no right or wrong, and it’s not necessary to be ‘good’ at art as the focus is on the use of the art materials and expressing oneself through them. Much enjoyment and relief can be obtained through the sensory qualities of the art materials allowing the client to become absorbed in the experience. When finished the art work is not interpreted by the therapist, but if they wish together they can explore and talk about what the art piece, and what the process of making it felt like, and means to the client.

How can Arts Therapy help?

There are many ways in which arts therapy can be of benefit including

  • Dealing with stress, anxiety and depression
  • Self-expression and understanding of difficult emotions
  • Improving well being, mood and self esteem
  • Navigating life transitions and change
  • Coping and coming to terms with grief and loss
  • Exploring and developing identity and an awareness of self
  • Sexuality issues and coming out
  • Recovering from trauma
  • Family and relationship issues
  • Career issues and development
  • Developing your creative self

Who can benefit from Arts Therapy?

Arts therapy can be beneficial for many different people and for all ages. As it focuses on a non-verbal form of communication is can be very useful for people who may not have the words to express how they’re feeling, or might feel safer to tell their story through art. Children and young people in particular often find it a natural way to express themselves, however all people have a unique creative ability and can find it empowering and uplifting to discover that side of their personality.