Sometimes only the arts can adequately express what we feel, the arts being a powerful mirror, reflecting our experience back to us, often leading to greater insight. Art Therapy offers an alternative to ‘talking’ therapy by employing creative materials or actions to assist in how you communicate your feelings, thoughts and emotions.
What is ‘Art Therapy’?
At City Therapy Rooms some of our therapists use ‘Expressive art therapy’ to explore and work with your thoughts and feelings. Art therapy is a form of therapy that involves using the arts or creative materials, when words alone are not effective enough to communicate our emotions, frustrations and worries.
Drawing, collage, journaling, creative writing, drama, movement, music and sand-play are all potential tools employed by the expressive arts therapist when working with clients.
Art materials, sand, water, paint, clay, paper, have their own properties, and the physical experience of using them can help to reach below the surface. Sometimes feeling or holding something physical can help the individual express something of their internal world making it possible to share thoughts and feelings in another and different way from speech.
What are the benefits of art therapy?
Creative play is a fundamental requirement for our mental health and well-being.
Many of us remember or perhaps are reminded when watching our children, of the enjoyable experiences of our own childhood, that of becoming absorbed in a creative activity whether that was building a sandcastle, making a potato print card or picture, colouring in, making a clay coil pot or just the sensory pleasure of playing with running water. Art therapy provides the opportunity of reconnecting with the creative or imaginative aspects of our personality and gives us an outlet for our curiosity.
The therapy process employs the artistic materials to help give us an alternative way of exploring issues in a therapeutic environment that is supportive, safe and trusting.
What areas or issues can art therapy help with?
Everything and anything human! Any emotional experience can be explored during an art therapy session. The first session or two may be spent exploring what has brought you to therapy then, only if you wish to explore this way, the therapist might suggest using a creative medium to work through whatever is going on for you.
Do I need to be an artist to have art therapy?
Absolutely not, you don’t need to have any ‘artistic skill’ or ‘talent’ and nothing is judged. In art therapy it is the process of doing and making, the non-verbal process, that will help you discover new insights and gain a clearer understanding of whatever it is that you wish to explore.
Expressive Art Therapy in London at City Therapy Rooms
A number the psychotherapists who work from City Therapy Rooms are trained ‘Art Therapists’ and would be happy to work with you. To find out more about ‘Art Therapy’ please take a look at the profile pages of Neil Young or Sophie Munro, who are all trained art therapists and employ art therapy in their psychotherapy work with clients.
© Brian Cotsen