What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a modality that uses the nonverbal language of art for personal growth, insight and transformation, and is a means of connecting what is inside us – our thoughts, feelings and perceptions – with our outer realities and life experiences. It is based on the belief that images can help us understand who we are and enhance life through self-expression. The language of visual art – colors, shapes, lines and images – speaks to us in ways which words cannot.
Many people have found that art making can be soothing and stress reducing, a way to transcend troubling circumstances or life’s problems. Imagery can help to solve problems, release powerful or distressing emotions, recover from traumatic experiences or alleviate pain or other physical symptoms.
Carl Jung, known for his interest in visual symbols in dreams and art, noted the importance of images in therapy. He observed that by allowing a mood or problem to become personified or by representing it as an image through dreams or art, we can begin to understand it more clearly and deeply and to experience the emotions that are contained within it.
Researchers have discovered recently that traumatic experiences become encoded in the mind in the form of images, almost like a camera taking a photograph. Therefore, visual art may offer a unique way to express traumatic images, bringing them to consciousness in a less threatening way than words.
My role as an art therapist is to help people explore and express themselves authentically through art. Through this process, people may find relief from overwhelming emotions or crises. They may discover insights about themselves, achieve an increased sense of well being, enrich their daily lives through creative expression or experience personal transformation.
It is a powerful way of knowing yourself, and a powerful form of healing.
What is Art Therapy? You can learn more by checking out the website for the American Art Therapy Association.
Here’s a video using SoulCollage® with addiction treatment:
If you live in the Prescott, AZ area, and you would like to schedule a free consultation to see if Art Therapy might be for you, contact Kat at 619-977-2345.