Art Psychotherapy has a growing body of clinical knowledge and critical theory behind it, drawing on concepts from allied disciplines such as art education, developmental psychology, neuroscience, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.
Klein, Winnicott, Segal, Milner, Freud and Jung are some of the most commonly referred to psychoanalytical theorists within the field.
Art psychotherapy is a form of therapy which utilises a creative medium to allow an additional and alternate way for individuals to explore and understand their life experiences in a safe and therapeutic environment.
Clients do not need any artistic skill prior to therapy. Any mark or creative action which they make in the session will be valued and the therapist will help the client try to make sense of and find personal meaning within.
When I work with a client, I offer myself as a resource in order to help them engage with creative media. I encourage the client to play, explore and express themselves creatively in whatever way they feel comfortable. When dealing with difficult issues clients often find it easier to project their thoughts and feelings through images rather than verbally. As they give themselves permission, they can start to get in touch with their inner selves and learn to trust their own understanding and journey through therapy. Engaging with creativity enables clients to tap into unconscious processes which can become a rich source of inner strength and wisdom.
Art psychotherapy enables the individual to develop this self awareness and life skill and can help maintain an ongoing sense of wellbeing.