Creative Healing and Growing
Art Therapy is an integrative mental health profession that provides a safe and supportive space for each person's unique "visual voice" to be reflected, honored and learned from. Self-expression, awareness and growth are a two-part process in art therapy, involving both the active creative process of art making and the reflective process of discovering what has been expressed and what it means to the person, family or community that created it.
Art therapy engages the mind, body, and spirit in integrative ways that are distinct from using verbal processing alone. Kinesthetic, sensory, and symbolic opportunities offer alternative modes of communication, which can work through limitations in language or fears related to verbal expression, and allow for creative visual expression of emotions and experiences that often cannot be expressed through conventional means. This expression often results in increased sense of awareness, clearer sense of self within the world, and a transformative growth or healing process.
When paired with therapeutic guidance by a professional art therapist, art therapy effectively supports a myriad of personal and relational treatment goals, and can be 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, increase feelings of hope and advance societal connection and change. Art therapy is inclusive and adaptive, and can be meaningful and beneficial for people of all ages, backgrounds, perspectives and needs. Finally, it is important to emphasize that art therapy is focused on the process of creative expression and understanding, and not about the appearance of the product created.
Incorporates content from the American Art Therapy Association, 2021 www.arttherapy.org