More about Art Therapy

The Interplay of Images and Words

In many cases the client discusses the artwork with the art therapist. Through the dialogue about the client’s art, an association is formed between non-verbal visual thinking and verbal expression of the artwork’s content. When a connection between images and words is established, the individual can often activate previously unapplied qualities which allows him/her to arrive at a broader perspective of the given subject in question. This kind of interplay between images and words creates space where the individual can in many cases find solutions, work with them and move forward.

For Whom is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is suitable for individuals of all ages who, for example, might have experienced trauma or suffer from emotional problems and/or mental disorders, disabilities or physical illness. In many cases, individuals find it easier to express complex emotions, thoughts or memories by means of imagery than through verbal expression. Given that a majority of the art therapy treatment takes place non-verbally, it is particularly well suited for children and individuals with impaired language development.

Art Therapy is also suitable for all those who want to work with their emotions and experiences to pursue self-development through artistic expression.

Individuals who seek art therapy might be suffering from the following conditions:

  • Difficult experiences or stress
  • Trauma
  • Abuse
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder
  • Autism
  • Disability
  • Disease
  • Specific learning difficulties
  • Behaviour difficulties
  • Loneliness and relational difficulties

Art Therapy Education

Art therapy is a university level education and is comprised of theories regarding art making, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, experience and awareness of one’s own art making, and emotional processing. In most cases art therapy students attend therapy for themselves. Part of the art therapy educational programme entails fieldwork under the supervision of an experienced art therapist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist.

Where is Art Therapy Practised?

Art therapists work with individuals, groups and families in diverse settings, such as in compulsory schools, galleries and museums, hospitals, prisons, private clinics, care homes and crisis centres.