Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses art materials, such as paints, drawing, clay, collage and even digital media such as photography and tablet technology. Art therapy combines traditional psychotherapeutic theories and techniques with psychological, interpersonal and somatic aspects of the creative process and self-expression. “When words are not enough, we turn to images and symbols to tell our stories. And in telling our stories through art, we find pathways to wellness, recovery and transformation.” (cathymalchiodi.com)
Art therapy accesses the inner world of our thoughts and feelings through visual images. The art made in an art therapy session expresses the symbolic and metaphoric content of our internal lives. With this expression, new pathways of healing may occur.
In the words of a nine year old, “Art therapy can help when you’re stressed, it might calm you down”.
When coming to an art therapy session one can expect the first session to look like a regular talk therapy session, unless the participant would like to work with art materials right away. The art therapist will learn what the goals of therapy are and how the creative process may be utilized in meeting those goals.
The art therapist will tailor each session to fit the needs presented, whether that incorporates the use of art making or not. The work can also include other types of expressive arts such as writing, poetry, or music. The art made in the session acts as a container to hold the emotional content being brought to the therapy session whether it be anxiety, depression, PTDS, relationship issues, grief and loss.
At GR Therapy Group, Kerry Huver specializes in art therapy.